Before all the wonderful YA librarians in the States start writing comments on how this blog entry may be infringing on teen's right to read, rest assured that issue has been considered. The opinion remains in tact that certain fictional romances just do not benefit teens in any way shape or form. In fact, it harms the fragile teen psyche. Teens have many things to worry about in life, such as how they look, succeeding in school, and being liked by the boy or girl that they have a secret crush on. The list is endless. Where do some teens go to look for ideas on how to behave in a relationship? In the books, movies and songs that are popular at the moment. Valentine's Day has passed, which means that this is the perfect opportunity to express some love-hate for characters that just give out the wrong vibes about love.
Bella and Edward of Twilight is one prime example of a girl losing her self-esteem to an older guy. All right, Edward is the extreme in older men being several hundred years old. However, the fact that Bella just adores Edward and can not believe that a guy as hunky as Edward could ever find her attractive is just pathetic. What is Ms. Meyers trying to teach young girls? That having a low self esteem is good and the only way to make it better is to fall for a guy who makes you realize all your faults. Let's face it Twilight is a Harlequin novel gone batty for Vampires.
Romeo and Juliet of William Shakespeare and other YA novels that deem it fit to retell the story for a young generation. Two star crossed lovers, with Romeo being the one who just loves to be in love, tragically end their lives because they can not live without each other. Let's delve into the young lovers' problem. First, their families hate each other. Second, they are crazy for each other. Of course, their parents would hate the idea of the two of the together, so this makes it even more romantic. Third, at a very young age, they know that they are so in love that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. Not a good thing to do as a teenager, as adults all know, events have a way of changing a situation. Fourth, suicides never has a good ending. What should teens learn from this tragic love story? Never think in terms of forever when your are a teenager. A new guy or gal will come along and turn your head around sound enough.
Last, and certainly not least, Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist is enough to drive any teen out of their mind with lust. Yes, lust. Cohn and Levithan try to be hip with latest trend in music and turn into a chance meeting between two teens who have nothing in common. Oh, wait, that's right they like the same music, spend the whole night together and end up on a charming first date together. Blah! Its true that fiction does not have to be completely real but if authors are going to use modern technology and times to base their stories,' the least they can do is acknowledge the real world. Fantasy loves plus unbelievable first encounter equals a book that leads teens to believe that this could happen to them. Someday. Somewhere. Let's be honest with the teens and add, on a planet far far away. At least it would be more accurate.
This list is by no means complete. There are so many tasteless, trashy, and terribly written YA romance novels that it is at times, overwhelming. This list may have been a bit harsh. However, there is one good thing about awful romance novels. They help readers appreciate he better written stories even more.