I am not a romance reader. Never have been. There's nothing WRONG with romance, it's just not my thing. Until I started reading YA Fiction, that is. Now I can't stop myself from splitting up into Teams. (Team Edward, Team Ash, Team Rob... Wait, that's not a team... *wink*)
A good female heroine with a charming suitor is half of the draw for me. And it occurred to me that as an adult I long for that excitement of a first love or the fantasy of a bad boy. Grown women know better than the run after the sexy miscreant (usually), and we realize that passion doesn't always mean a lasting love. I love young love.
But then I started to wonder... while this escapism is great for those of us who've already survived high school, what about the intended readers? Does my love perpetuate the allure of the bad boy and encourage young girls? Or does it give them a chance to explore that in a safe environment? What do you think?
I agree with you on the draw of the "First Love" aspect of YA romance, because who doesn't want to relive those moments of falling in love? I think the other great thing about a lot of YA romance books is the whole Forbidden Love, Star-Crossed Lovers thing. When you're finally settle down for marriage and kids, it's usually with someone safe. Or at least someone who doesn't turn out to be a vampire or a werewolf. I think the star-crossed lovers theme is fun to read as an adult, since we've already settled into our relatively safe lives.
It's being kind of presumptuous of us oldies to think that these books will influence young girls to the point that they will run out looking for Edward. (Okay, well maybe we all have a little bit.) It's like Marilyn Manson back in the day (I'm dating myself)...People blamed his music for things that couldn't possibly be the music's fault (imo). Books can't make girls fall in love with the wrong boy. Right?
Okay, first of all, I don't know who you're calling an "oldie". Secondly, I agree that books don't MAKE people do things. I think that YA literature tends to romanticize the "bad boy" because this is the only period in life where falling in love with him seems acceptable. We all have that "but only I can see the good in him" fantasy, and YA loves to let us live that.
My only point was that I think we should be careful, as adults who can see the futility in that exercise, to not over-glorify it. I think for every Jace we put on a pedestal, there should be a Simon that we express similar love for.
Agreed. Because I think we've all dated the Potential in a Boy, rather than the actual Boy. I think that was part of the draw of Twilight. Edward was already perfect - he wasn't the Bad Boy at all, and he offered Bella complete safety. But, he offered it within the context of danger - being a vampire. So, basically, the best of both worlds. Let's face it, we all want to feel safe, but we don't want boring. A lot of YA books give us exactly that by placing them in a fantasy setting. I think the supernatural romance books are best for the "exploration" because the things that occur (falling in love with a vampire, werewolf, shadowhunter, etc.) could never truly happen. Well, so far as I know.
*stunned look* Wait, you mean Edward isn't real?
So, readers, do you agree? Are we over-thinking the whole "bad-boy" allure? Tell us what draws YOU in to a good YA Romance.