Second off, I totally stole this idea from Choco, who wrote an extremely awesome post, that would pawn mine any day. So you should, like, go read it. Now. Clicky.
Third off, I'm not even going to go into what I think about today's YA romances. Because seriously. Some of the romances out there are ridiculous. A lot of them out there are crazy good, but there are a handful of them that just makes you want to throw the book across the room.
But I won't get into that. Especially since not too long ago (four years to be exact) I thought that stalker-ish, sparkly, dark, brooding vampires were the ideal love interest. But I have seen the light, and though I am not an expert, I do know what kind of romance that I like to read.
If you are reading this post, and you happen to have love triangle, square, circle, whatever, then pay close attention. Please.
Because I'm only going to say this once.
Romance has nothing to do with how drop-dead gorgeous the girl is or how smexy the guy is. Romance has nothing to do with steamy kissing scenes or the cheesy promises like I'll wait for you or You are my life.
If you have that stuff in your novel, then TAKE IT OUT NOW.
Some people go for that type of stuff, but a lot of people don't. When I read a young adult novel with romance elements, I want to feel it. I want it to be real. I want it to make me cry, make me smile, not make me gag because the words are too glittery or the love interest is too perfect.
No, no, no.
Love is about the words left unsaid. It's about the arguments, the heartbreak, the differences that are later resolved. Before you can truly love someone you have to know them. Forget all that love at first sight stuff.
People, this is the twenty first century. I'm not putting the love-at-first-sight method down, but come on. We all know that that is not how it works in real life.
In real life.
Think about it.
Have you ever been in a relationship where the girl or guy: a) stalked you b) treated you like dirt or c) wanted to kill you.
Okay I know a lot of girls/guys who have been in a B type of relationship, but if you have been in an A or C type of relationship, then there is something wrong with you.
In order for a young adult romance to be good, it has to be believable. It has to feel like it could happen, you know?
Don't just throw together some pretty promises and a few kiss scenes and call it a day. Because those steamy moments when your characters lock lips or say I love you, don't mean a thing if they don't have chemistry.
You have to work for love. It's not handed to you on a silver platter.
I like the type of romances that have layers. You know, where there are reasons why you 'love' this person. Not just the usual: because he or she is gorgeous/sexy.
If there is no chemistry, then there is no romance. If you do have a romance, where the characters are just two big cliches, then I feel sorry for you, because people are getting tired of reading those type of novels.
That is all I'm going to say on the subject. Disagree with me if you'd like, but know that I do think that romance in YA needs to change.