Things That Drive Me Crazy in Young Adult Books #8

Say you’re an ordinary-looking girl—which, let’s face it, most of us girls are. It’s just a statistical fact that only a small percentage of people are really, really good-looking. All of us ordinary-looking people can still have toe-tingling romantic relationships with someone who will fall truly, madly, deeply in love with us but…it’s extremely unlikely that someone will be The Most Beautiful Boy In The Whole World. UNLESS—and now we’re getting to the part that drives me crazy—you are in a young adult fantasy novel.

This is the true fantasy element in young adult fantasy novels. I can more easily believe that vampires sparkle in the sunlight, fairies steal human babies, or a future authoritarian government will outlaw love than that The Most Beautiful Boy In The Whole World will develop an all-consuming passion for an ordinary-looking girl. And not just fall for her but fall for her instantly and forever. Or (and this drives me craziest of all) fall in love with her BEFORE HE EVEN MEETS HER. This is why we read these books: to escape from the reality of who those beautiful people fall in love with—and who they don’t.

If you need further proof these romances are fantasies, just look at the covers of books with “ordinary-looking” heroines: The girls on those covers are not ordinary-looking (and neither are their dresses, which are inevitably long and flowy and either shredded or water-logged). Or look at the movies based on these books. I refuse to believe that Kristen Stewart is ordinary-looking.

Is it just me? To find out if this drives you crazy, too, try these books:

TwilightTwilight, by Stephenie Meyer

When Bella goes to live with her father in Forks…wait, I don’t really need to tell you what it’s about, do I?


Fairy TaleFairy Tale by Cyn Balog

Morgan Sparks and her boyfriend Cam have been best friends since they were children, but just before their shared sixteenth birthday Cam confesses that he is a fairy who was switched at birth with a human child, and now the fairies want to switch them back.

DeliriumDelirium by Lauren Oliver

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

Time for a poll!

  •  Quit ruining my fantasy that The Most Beautiful Boy (or Girl) In The World will fall in love with me!
  •  I’m perfectly happy with my current (or future) ordinary-looking boyfriend (or girlfriend).
  •  Who are you calling ordinary-looking?

Add your comments below!

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