Monday, December 20, 2010

YA Love Interests

The love interests of the MC are often the favorite character of a female reader. I know I have love interests that I'd love to meet, that I root for every step of the way. But love interests are a tricky thing and there's a couple odd trends for LIs in YA literature lately.

Trend #1: Whole New Level of "Bad Boy"

Stalking is NOT okay. It is not sweet or romantic, it's CREEPY. It's not okay for someone to constantly follow you around. It's not okay for someone to sneak into your house if you're not home and especially when you are. That's called trespassing and it's illegal. We invented restraining orders for that kind of thing.

I don't understand the sudden rush of love interests that have a desire to kill, whether it's the MC or someone she's never met. It's NOT okay to date someone that wants to kill you. So what is it with the sudden rush of LIs that have that murderous urge and yet the MC falls in love with them anyway? That's like taking the whole "bad-boy" idea to a whole other extremely scary level.

It's NOT okay to date someone that abuses you. Or threatens you. Or tries to kill you (see above). [Irony of the day: Face Down just started playing.] It doesn't matter if that abuse is physical or verbal, it's still abuse and it is still very wrong.

It's NOT okay for the MC to depend on their man for everything. If your boyfriend doesn't call, it's not the end of the world. You should not have an emotional breakdown where you waste three months of your life pining for someone that basically exhibited every quality on this list. Your life should NOT revolve around your man. If you find yourself giving up your friends/hobbies/social life for your boyfriend, you might want to rethink your priorities.

Trend #2: Pure as Snow Good Boy

This LI is usually extremely sweet and caring and always puts his girlfriend first. I just want to say there are more than two types of guys out there. Most guys aren't full "bad boy" or full "good boy." They're some combination of the two. Every guy has flaws and not every guy has a Adonis body with a six-pack and a flawless smile and a face granted to him by the gods. I'm not sure if I've ever seen someone that fits that bill.

So why do all YA love interests have to be flawless and hot?

Another thing I don't understand is the main characters that meet their LI and immediately believe that that person is their soulmate. All of a sudden they just want to spend the rest of their life with them. I'm not saying all high school sweethearts are destined to break up, but most high school relationships do end. I believe in love at first sight, but you really should get to know the person you think you want to spend the rest of eternity with.