I'm a little different from most readers because I don't actively seek out romance books anymore. I don't know why but I'm so sick of reading about romance. It's not that it's awful- I can enjoy it. I hate however that it's beyond a norm, almost like a rule in YA. It's almost impossible to find a book without the main character having some sort of love interest. I thought I would do an "experiment".
ProceduresLook at the last 10 YA books I read and discern whether the main character had any type of romance going on. I'll categorize what I find into four groups. All groups are chosen based on the "end state" of the novel. Everything here is subjective.
- Angst (they broke up, etc.)
I don't seek out romance so I'm expecting 70% of the books I read to have some sort of romance.
|The Color of Rain||Relationship|
|The Madness Underneath||Angst|
|The Piper's Son||Relationship|
|Pretty Girl 13||Crush|
90% of the books I read had some sort of romance in them. The only one that didn't, had a 14 year old main character. There's nothing wrong with romance; it's like sprinkles. Even if there's a lot of them, they can be enjoyable. However, I think 90% is a way too high figure.
There's a lot more to teenage life than crushes and relationships. Sometimes I get so fed up with romance because it's unrealistic: why can't characters be single, and enjoy being single? Looking at this list, most YA books end off with the characters in a relationship. I can only speak from experience and looking around at my school, but 60% of the teens there don't have relationships. More like 10-20%. There's nothing wrong with being single and enjoying it.
The reason I did this was to say that not every book needs a romance. They're not necessary. Why not have a super strong parental bond? A sibling relation? How about a variety of friends? Epic Reads hosts an event called #TeaTime and they were talking a little along these lines yesterday, about womances (girls that are BFFs) or the lack of womances. It's obvious that most people would enjoy a focus on other relationships.