Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Discussion: Does YA Give Us a False Image of Love?

At the point in time of writing this, I'm reading Eleanor and Park. It's amazing (like perfection...), but it got me thinking. Does YA give us a false image of love? 

*Note: I'm writing this in the point of view of a girl reading books, but it can work either way with a guy. (Do boys have book girlfriends? If you're a guy, let me know in the comments!!)*

All in time in the bookish world, we reference to "book boyfriends". There are so many! And a lot of people, including myself, say things like "I want a guy like *insert name of book boy here* some day". Because, they, and the romance between the characters, is often flawless and makes us feel all warm inside. The little things they do, the way they look, they like books/can cook/are smart, all things like that, makes us daydream about these guys.

But... Are there really guys like that? Will any of us ever be with a guy like that? The awesome Jamie wrote this post about being married to a non-reader, and it doesn't seem that bad. But I think that maybe YA gives us that image over love as teenagers and as readers.

And, I think there is an illusion as to what being in a relationship is like. It isn't all singing and dancing, is it? (I'm guessing, of course.) And a lot of the time, it isn't forever. It's not our best friend, love at first sight or any of this. 

The graphic on the left is just a few examples of book boyfriends! I have loads from standalones, but these are a few from various hyped books and series. Park, Tobias, Peeta, Draco and Simon are a few of mine, and I added Jace and Ron for a little variation ;)

So, what do you guys think? Does YA give us a false image? 

Let me know down in the comments about what you think! (Especially if you're a guy; do you have book girlfriends? Who are they? I want to know!)


  1. Great post! I really don't have any experience with this. I've never dated or anything before, but I think it does give a false idea. In my mind, I'd like him, he'd like me, we'd both obviously think the other looked nice (they throw insta-love at us too much), but really like each other more for who we are rather than fame, power, or looks. He'd be the most perfect thing ever, there would never be any bumps or disagreements, etc. I wouldn't blame YA, though. Even without books or movies, it's kind of that fairy tale image that a lot of people have. As for how it compares with real love? *pales and tries to blend into the wall* Don't ask me. I have no idea.

    1. Thanks! I'm the same. I think it does in some ways, but then I know it's not true. It's just one of those things!

  2. This is something I've always thought about, especially since I was a very heavy romance reader when I was younger...I am also now very into my YA romance novels...I think it depends. I grew up thinking of the book worlds (the lighter romance books, some contemporary and a lot of Sarah Dessen) so I guess I did have the illusion that love was running in a field with a guy who'd I'd fallen for. I was also that girl who watched A Cinderella Story and hoped my prom was like their dance in the film...(it differed quite a bit). I was a bit of a fairytale disney girl so everything surrounding love was an illusion for me.

    But it really depends on the person and how aware of how something affects the way they think. For me, unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way...with a lot of growing up to do.

    Love the post Charli xx

    1. Totally agree. I've never been one for heavy romance, I'm a tomboy, but it's still one of those things I think about! Thanks Sabrina!

  3. I don't think it gives us false image, it gives us hope. YA books are often written from a perspective of someone who is in love, so the subjective images might be how the person in love sees it. No one is sane/objective when they're in love, really. :P

  4. Hey! Great discussion post! I ALWAYS compare book boys to real life boys and in books they just seem so much better! I don't know if anyone really exists as perfect as in books, but maybe that's impossible? I hope not tho.
    Kate @teenblurb_

    1. Thanks Kate! Good point, and I hope not too...


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