Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Teenage love that lasts forever

This is a potentially controversial subject that no doubt has already been talked about by others more knowledgeable than me. But it's something that's been on my mind a lot lately.  There's a whole herd of YA paranormal novels where you've got a girl and a boy falling in love and it's a "I'll die for you" or "I can't live without you" kind of love.

I think Twilight opened a flood gate and there's apparently a big demand for these kind of stories in YA (I confess, I've read quite a few. They aren't the ONLY kind of stories I read though).

I adore a good love story that overcomes all odds but I'm really wondering - I'm struggling - whether its creating unrealistic expectations in YA?

The cynical side of me says, well Disney's been pushing these fairytale love stories on little girls for at least 80 years. The damage has already been done.

And my romantic side argues back, "well, it really can happen. Maybe it's rare, but it's possible."

I also think it's possible to write a great teenage love story and still keep it realistic. But this is where it's a little tricky, defining what "realistic" is. I'm still trying to figure that out. My own love story experience was very different! - a whole lot of false starts, and then finally finding true love in my late twenties. And even then, it's been a rocky road.

So I just had another thought about Disney. The classic Disney love stories are all set in far off places or times - they are basically fantasies. YA paranormal has the distinction of bringing fantasy "closer to home" - so to speak. They are all set in, or at least start out in, a normal teenage high school world, but they create a bridge to a fantastic world. I have yet to find one of these all-consuming teen love stories set entirely in the real world (West Side Story, maybe? - any other real world examples?)
This is my first post for Young Adult Teenage Tuesday  - a new meme started by Sheri Larsen over at Writer's Ally (let her know if you are interested in joining!) - it's pretty much open to anything related to YA reading, writing or teenage life in general.

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