Discussion Time: Is the Romance in YA Books Realistic?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not reading for the realism, and considering I mainly pick up sci-fi and fantasy books this is probably already obvious to most people. However for the same reason I think diverse representation is important in YA books, so is realistic romantic representation.

Not everyone meets the love of their lives as a young teenager while in high school, and while I’m not saying some people don’t settle down with their high school sweetheart I think it’s rare. There are plenty of books out there where the boy and girl meet as teenagers/in high school and fall in love, and that’s the be all and end all.

Is the Romance in YA Books Realistic

Is the Romance in YA Books Realistic?

Spoiler warning: This post will contain spoilers for books by A.G. Howard, Sarah J. Maas and Marie Lu.


Take Splintered for example. As much as I love the trilogy Alyssa ends up getting her happily ever after with Jeb, her first and only high school boyfriend, in the human world. It’s the same with RoseBlood only replace Alyssa with Rune and Jeb with Thorn.

A.G. Howard

I’m not saying I want heartache and breakups in all my favourite YA books, but there’s part of me that doesn’t think it’s realistic reading all these books where the characters meet young and get their happily ever after. Relationships in high school, a lot of the time, are unlikely to last. It the same with friendships, the older you get and the more you see of the world the more you grow into who you’re going to be, and sometimes that means growing out of people. Sad but true.

Of all the friends I had in high school I’m now only friends with five of them, five out of the countless people I promised I’d stay in touch with, and of those five friends only two of them are still with their high school boyfriends.

This discussion has gotten depressing pretty quickly hasn’t it?


The point I’m trying to make is being a teenager is not the end of your life, in fact I’d say the end of high school is the beginning, so why aren’t we seeing more characters growing out of old relationships and moving forwards with new ones.

I’ve used Sarah J. Maas as an example plenty of times but this is one of the things I love about her books. In the Throne of Glass series when we meet Celaena she is a completely different characters to the Aelin we come to know in Empire of Storms. As the series expands Celaena/Aelin outgrows some of the relationships she’s in, and this isn’t seen as a bad thing at all. The Aelin we know from Empire of Storms would never work in a relationship with Chaol the way Celaena did in Crown of Midnight.

Throne of Glass Series

It’s the same with Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series; as Feyre’s character develops she outgrows her relationship with Tamlin and grows into one with Rhysand. That’s what I’d like to see more of in YA books; second relationships, characters moving on as they change and grow and realise maybe their first love was just that, the first and not the last.

It’s also one of the things I enjoyed about the Legend series by Marie Lu. Although Day and June first meet when they’re fifteen after everything that happened in Champion they’re separated for ten years. In that time June has had other relationships, she’s changed as a character and grown into the person she was always going to be, and it’s likely the same with Day. When they meet again at twenty-seven the ending is left open but for me their relationship felt more final than it would have if they’d stayed together from fifteen until twenty-seven.

Legend Series


I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t imagine still being with a partner I had as a teenager. When I think back to who I was all those years ago it’s like I was a completely different person. While relationships can develop throughout the years as people do I’d love to see more YA books that show the another side; that show characters moving on from one relationship to another the way Sarah J. Maas does.

When you have young people reading YA books I think it’s important to showcase all different kinds of relationships. People pick up more than they sometimes think reading, and learning you’re not always going to be the same person you were in high school, but that that’s a good thing, is important.


Now Onto the Discussion Part of This Post:

Do you think we need a wider variety of romantic relationships developed in YA books, and do you think there’s a need for more second-love relationships?

Or, on the other hand, do you prefer stories where young characters get a happily ever after when the book/series is finished?

What would you like to see more when it comes to romance in YA books?

Let me know in the comments below.

59 thoughts on “Discussion Time: Is the Romance in YA Books Realistic?

  1. Hey Beth,

    So much love for this topic, and your examples are on point. I think one of my favourite parts of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series was Feyre’s transition from being with Tamlin to Rhysand – without immediately falling into Rhysand’s arms. Though I wasn’t a fan of how Tamlin became a really unreasonable villain after that, even if he came around in the end.

    I tend to read Y.A. for the fantasy, so don’t worry too much if the romance is unlikely. Maybe that’s part of the magic πŸŽ†

    – Lucky

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    1. Thanks so much Lucky. πŸ™‚ Yeah that’s something Sarah J. Maas writes really well in her series. It’s not just ACOTAR but Throne of Glass as well, and it makes the relationships seem so deeper when you can see the feelings grow between the two characters. Tamlin did seem to do a 180 in terms of his personality between the first and second book right? But at least he started to redeem himself like you said.
      Ha, yeah I wouldn’t like it if the books I read had the same kinds of relationships people around me had in high school. Where would be the fun in that! πŸ™‚

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  2. Ooh I like this discussion, Beth! I definitely think the romance in most YA books aren’t realistic, seeing how so many of the books (barring the examples in your post, of course!) features characters who find their true love at the ages of 16/17 and stays with them for the rest of their lives. People change, and grow, and honestly I would say very few people actually stay with their high school sweetheart, you know? From what I’ve seen anyway ahah. It’s definitely important to show that aspect in literature, though I definitely still have a soft spot for all my Happily Ever Afters and I adore my ships all the same, realistic or otherwise! xD LOVED this post!

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    1. Thanks so much Analee! πŸ™‚ YA definitely seems to give out the idea that people meet their one true love in high school and that’s it for them. Yeah I don’t know many people who stay with their high school sweetheart and when you think about it, think about how much you’ve changed since you left high school (if you have left high school that is) would you want to be with the same person?
      Oh I still love seeing happily ever afters in the books I read, and I wouldn’t want that to go completely, I’d just want a little more variety. πŸ™‚
      Thanks! πŸ˜€ ❀️

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  3. Personally, based on all the reviews and blurbs and the little YA I’ve read, I think it’s safe to say that most YA novels have pretty unrealistic relationships, especially how they are brought to life, and when hahahah Really nice topic though. I don’t know if YA needs more variety on this subject since a lot of people just enjoy what they get, unless it goes into the love triangle side of things hahah

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    1. Yeah it does seem to be a trend. I guess romance is something young adults want in their books. There’s nothing wrong with that or anything, personally I love romance in the books I read, I just sometimes wish it was a little more realistic.
      Well I think we definitely need more variety when it comes to the love triangle side of things, but that’s just my opinion based on a trope I don’t really enjoy! πŸ˜€

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  4. Hmmm. for the most part, I’d have to say that I don’t find the romance in YA books to be very realistic. quite the opposite, in fact. XD but that doesn’t stop me from engaging in extreme shipping and obsessively forming OTPs!!! ❀ ❀ the only thing is, all the lovely romances I read about make me set sky-high expectations for my own relationships :')

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    1. No the lack of realism doesn’t stop me having my ships and OTPs either. A lot of the time I get very invested in the characters and want them to have their happily ever after more than anything else. Yeah it was the same for me, and I think that’s the problem, the lack of realism just means people have a sort of off view on how romance works you know? πŸ™‚

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      1. definitely!! sometimes, the reason why I enjoy YA romances so much is *because* they’re so unrealistic and happily-ever-after. I find this especially in the fantasy fiction/science fiction genres. I mean, obviously 16 years old in real life probably aren’t going to stay together for very long, but their romance is adorable nonetheless.

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  5. Oh this is such a great post, Beth! I love it, and you made some great points here. It makes me a bit sad whenever first loves end up being the one and only love the character encounters. We need to see more evolution, people changing, knowing that their first love won’t be their last and everything. Heartbreak, growing up, changing and moving on, both with romantic relationships and friendships, are part of life. Like you said, most people aren’t as close with their high school friends as they used to be – at least that’s how it is for me – and this needs to be aknowledged more, or hinted at, at least. It’s so important.
    I love my happily ever afters for sure, ahah, but it’s also good to leave with a note of, well…not sadness, but maybe in a more realistic way? Like, everything’s not sunshines and rainbows, but not too depressing either. It’s just life, there’s both good and bad in this and we need to have more in-between endings like that, I think, for everything to be more realistic πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks so much Marie! πŸ˜€ Yeah I know some people who meet their partner in high school and stay with them forever, but I think it’s more of an exception than a rule you know? Like you said heartbreak and everything that comes with it is part of life so it would be great to see more of it in YA books. Just like diverse representation is important so is romantic representation.
      I love happily ever afters, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little variety and realism as well. πŸ™‚

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  6. I am an HEA girl. I know many people who are happily married to their HS sweetheart (my mom was 16 when she met my dad, and they have celebrated 48 years together), and I also know people on their second and third husband. So, I am ok with both situations. In general, I am a lover of romance, so first love, friends to more, second chance love — I love them all. Since this is a spoiler thread, I can talk about Legend. The most beautiful thing with that ending was that June always wondered if their love was real or born out of their circumstances. Having them meet up again, post Day’s operation, was a new start for them to see if it was real. I thought that was an incredibly beautiful thing Lu gave them. Oh, the tears are coming now just thinking about it.

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    1. Oh wow that’s amazing, one of my friends has a similar story. She met her husband when she was 14 and they’ve been together ever since, married a couple of years ago with two children now. I believe in HEA in real life but I feel like their rarer than the books lead you to believe in a way.
      Yes that’s a brilliant point about Legend, them meeting again gave them a second chance but also a new beginning. There wasn’t Day’s families deaths in between them or Anden(?). They could have their HEA and you knew it was ever after right? πŸ™‚

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  7. I definitely agree with what you are saying, and I would also add that since all these characters seem to meet when they are so young it gives people who are nearing the end of their teens partner-less the impression there is something unusual about that. I do understand in shorter series it is hard to have a second love story as they are usually only 3 books long! Another great example of more realistic love stories is in the Falling Kingdoms series. The characters all change and grow, and their love interests change with them. I 100% enjoyed that more than the insta-love that often happens in YA! Great post, very interesting topic πŸ™‚

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    1. Exactly, and that’s why representation of different romantic relationships, and maybe even no romantic relationships would be great to see in YA books. Teenagers read them and wonder why their lives aren’t the same as the lives of the people they read about in books, why they haven’t found a boyfriend by the time high school ends.
      I’ve heard of the Fallen Kingdoms series, definitely need to check it out now I know there is realistic romantic representation in this. It’s great to see in books and writing this post made me realise how little there currently is. Thanks so much! πŸ˜€

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  8. I think sometimes they work and sometimes it’s a bit of an eye rolling kind of moment. I HATED the fact that Howard put Alyssa and Jeb together at the end in the human world when it was obvious that she should only have been with Morpheus – I liked Jeb as the best friend/brother like kind of character, but for me there was no spark with Alyssa. I do absolutely love the fact the Maas has developed the relationships within both her series’ in retrospect to the characters’ developments. They definitely come across as realistic and it adds an extra element to the story. There are some stories out there where the first loves actually work throughout the book and you can see that the characters are meant to be together – but then there are others that are just meh.

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    1. Oh that’s a shame about Alyssa and Jeb, I actually kind of liked the fact that A.G. Howard resolved the love triangle the way she did. It certainly made a change from the way love triangles are normally resolved in YA books. Yes for me Maas is the queen at writing romance in her books. The relationships are all so well developed it’s great to see how they evolve over the course of the series.
      Oh yeah sometimes it’s nice to see first loves that do stand the test of time, but I like seeing variety and I think we need more in YA books when it comes to romantic relationships. πŸ™‚

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      1. I don’t know, I didn’t really feel that kind of spark for Jeb, that I did for Morpheus, I felt like Jeb was more the big brother kind of role than a romantic one! And Maas’ relationships definitely feel more realistic!

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  9. Romance in book is not quite so realistic no matter the age, whether is YA or New Adult or Adult…at least in my opinion…But in other genres I guess we have a more ample variety of relationships so you do get to chose more what you would like to read…For me it would depend on the mood I’m in, sometimes I want to read a silly happy ending wit hardly any complication (the typical fairytale ) and others I want gritty, heart wrenching, tear jerking romance…(often filled with not quite healthy relationships)….It’s an escape from reality after all, which is what concern me at times, I get the feeling that we don’t really make the difference between reality and entertainment or the line gets a bit blurred and you end up taking this type of relationships as the ideal and that it’s completely wrong…and dangerous.

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    1. Oh I mainly read YA books so I can’t really say about the romance in NA or Adult books. For some reason it always struck me that Adult books would have more realistic relationships though.
      Most times I’m in the mood for a typical fairytale type relationship, and I love reading the happy, fluffy, happily ever after love stories as well. I wouldn’t change them because like you said it’s an escape from reality we’re all looking for, but sometimes after reading the same relationship format in different books just with different names you start wondering if there should be more diversity in relationships. πŸ™‚

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      1. Yeah! I get what you’re saying, there should be more variety so we can easily chose what we are in the mood for…As for realism in Adult romance books I often found them a bit lacking specially some historicals, they were too over the top I guess…(don’t get me wrong I use to love them) It really comes down to why you’re reading that in the first place.
        I have a thing too but not with relationships per se but with love triangles in YA Fantasy … Must there always be some sort of love triangle there? It’s annoying sometimes.☺

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      2. Yes exactly. There are always going to be times when I want to read a romance book with a happily ever after but times when I want to see more realistic relationships. That sucks, but I think I can see where you’re coming from there, especially in historicals.
        Love triangles are the bane of my existence, and the problem is because YA fantasy is my preferred genre I find loads of them. Definitely annoying, I agree with you there! πŸ™‚

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  10. Great discussion post!
    I personally love happily ever afters and I detest love triangles, however I do agree with your point about Sarah J. Maas’ books. I really loved how she made the characters grow naturally and how that strengthened some relationships and dissolved others. I find Maas’ books tend to have a good blend of “happily ever after” and realism with the romantic relationships she writes which I think is what I like best. I loved watching Feyre fall in love with Tamlin and I loved watching Feyre grow stronger and change and I loved watching how Tamlin no longer fit into her life the way Rhysand was starting to.

    Diverse romantic plots I think are very important (no matter how much I love my simple happy ever afters haha) because I definitely know that as a teen I was wondering why I hadn’t met my soulmate yet (but then again I was also a bit bummed because I wasn’t saving the world or battling dragons either lol)

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    1. Thanks so much Angela. πŸ™‚ I’m a huge fan of happily ever afters and detest love triangles as well, but after so many books of the same relationship playing out over and over again with just different names I did start wondering where the variety is you know? I love the relationships in Maas’ books, they’re all well written and it feels realistic, the feelings Aelin has for Rowan aren’t seen as less than her feelings for Sam and her feelings for Sam aren’t seen as invalid now she’s with Rowan. It’s the same for Tamlin, Feyre and Rhysand. πŸ™‚
      I wondered that as a teen too. I was always more disappointed by my lack of adventures fighting dragons than by my lack of a soulmate though. πŸ˜€

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  11. Aaah, I wanted to read this all the way through but I haven’t read all those books and gah spoilers. So I skipped the details like a loser and I’m still going to try and comment.

    The romance in YA drives me crazy.

    There’s a lot of love at first sight (from one side or the other). There are STILL love triangles which I am so tired of, I could tear my hair out. There’s a lot of “there’s no actual reason we’re in love, it’s just that we’re cute together from the outside!”. I would really like to see some difficult relationships. I’d like to see the MC fall in love with someone embarrassingly and that person be TOTALLY not into them. I’d like to see more YA books without romantic relationships.

    THE GOOD THING THOUGH is that YA is really going through some evolution lately. Stories are getting deeper, hero(ine)s are getting more complex, and we’re adding diversity! WHICH IS SO EXCITED. I have faith that the romantic relationships could evolve, too.

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    1. Oh thanks for commenting anyways. I wouldn’t have wanted to spoil the endings for these series for you because the joy is discovering it for yourself right?
      I’m tired of love triangles as well, in fact along with insta-love (which is potentially the same as love-at-first-sight I guess) it’s one of my most hated tropes in YA fiction. There needs to be more development in those kind of relationships, and yes everything you said I’d love to see in YA books. We need different kinds of relationships rather than the same old same old.
      Yes there is a lot of evolution. We’re certainly seeing more diverse books which is great, I’m keeping my fingers crossed more kinds of romantic relationships are next on the list to evolve. πŸ˜€

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  12. YA romances are SO NOT realistic, well mostly not. BUT I STILL HAVE SHIPS OF SHIPS AND LIKE OTP’s because some couples are just SOO CUUUTE! But I definitely think we need to have romances develop or maybe have a high school book with no love interest? Like I feel every character in high school ‘is pretty’ and has a bf/gf. And I’m just like…bruh, you’ve been in this school for 2 seconds.

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    1. Oh I’m the same, even if the romance isn’t realistic I still love reading it and wouldn’t really change much about it. I have my ships and can’t imagine them being torn apart through heartache. πŸ™‚
      Ohh, yeah that’s a good point. You don’t need a romance in a YA book to have a good story and great character development. In fact it would be interesting to see books where characters don’t end up with someone. A nice change from the usual. πŸ™‚

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  13. I don’t read a lot of YA, so I can’t say much about it, but I’d imagine that most YA books end while the characters are still young, so the relationship is not shown to last for years and years. If it’s a series, that’s different of course. x

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    1. Yeah that is true, and if it’s a contemporary book and a standalone then it would end while the characters are still young so I guess we never know how it ends. It’s just something about it that feels final you know. Even if we have no idea where the character’s life will go after the last page of the book. πŸ™‚

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      1. Yeah, I know what you mean πŸ˜… I guess I could talk about Percy Jackson – the characters start dating pretty young and stay together, but then again they go through a lot and get to know each other quite well.

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      2. I think with the Percy Jackson series Percy and Annabeth are friends before they’re anything else. Kind of makes their relationship feel more real because you see their development throughout, and yeah like you said they go through so much together. πŸ™‚

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  14. Haha. My first reaction when reading the title to this post was: WELL OBVIOUSLY NOT. So there you have it. ALTHOUGH. I did end up with my high school boyfriend (7 years going on 8 now omg I am OLD EFHEJΓ–EKKF) BUT I did like that Alyssa still had the chance to be with Morpheus because he is my bae. Although it might have been more satisfying if she had ditched Jeb because #realistic and also it kind of felt like cheating to be like oh, JEB I LOVE YOU but once you’re dead me and Morpheus will be living the life!
    I like me a healthy helping of both types of relationships. There is just something so satisfying about that ‘Happily Ever After’ vibe, you know?? But also I revel in heartbreak so I need second relationships too!

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    1. Ha, no I don’t think romantic relationships are realistic either. Honestly I don’t think I’d enjoy reading as much if they were all realistic you know?
      Yeah two of my friends are still with their high school boyfriends, but I think they and you are probably the exceptions rather than the rules.
      I have to say I did like the way A.G. Howard chose to resolve the love triangle between Alyssa, Jeb and Morpheus. It was a unique way to do things and it meant Alyssa didn’t need to choose, kind of a nice twist on how the trope is normally resolved.
      You can still have a happily ever after with a second relationship, that way you get both the sweet ending and the heartbreak in one book/series! πŸ˜€

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      1. We need a little drama, and yeah I get what you mean about Alyssa, Jeb and Morpheus. I guess both Jeb and Morpheus were aware of each other, and they accepted that Alyssa loved them both, so in my mind that made it a little better you know? πŸ™‚

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  15. Great topic, Beth! I wholeheartedly agree. Maas’s books are such wonderful examples of stories that feature characters who carry on relationships that come alive, evolve, dissolve, reform, and take on new life. Her characters grow out of their old selves and establish new relationships along the way. While the idea of a high school sweetheart being your one and only is a sweet topic, I can’t say that it’s a completely realistic portrayal of love and romance. I absolutely adore how Marie Lu handled Day and June’s relationship. In their youth, their issues kept them from being able to hold on to one another, but upon their reunion, they’ve healed and matured and found themselves in a completely new situation in life. While it was open-ended, I felt as if their relationship was even more defined than other teenage forever relationships I’ve read way too often haha. I’d LOVE to see more of these relationships play out in YA. It’s more realistic and relatable. While it’s nice to escape with these happily ever relationships, it’s even more wonderful to be able to read about relationships we might experience more often in our own lives.

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    1. Thanks so much Azia. Yes Maas is incredible at developing relationships, it feels so realistic as well the way Aelin and Feyre moved from their first loves to their second as their own characters developed as well. Aelin changed so much throughout the series it wouldn’t be realistic for her to have remained with Dorian all throughout the five books.
      It’s not in my opinion, while some of my friends are still with their high school boyfriends no one I know is still with their first ever boyfriend, and I think it’s rare that people do remain with someone they dated in high school.
      Exactly, in the ten years both June, and probably Day as well we didn’t get as much information on what he’d been doing over the course of the ten years they were apart, had grown into the people they were always going to be. It means they can come back to one another with those experiences and have a more solid relationship. At least that’s how I feel. πŸ™‚
      Exactly, it’s important to have realistic romantic representation in YA books. As much as I love the happily ever after relationships we need to see other kinds. πŸ™‚

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      1. Yes, I love the way Maas’s characters grow into themselves and into their relationships. It is pretty rare for high school sweethearts to remain together. I really enjoy reading about those types of relationships, especially since I didn’t have one like that myself, but I think it would be more effective for authors to explore the not so ideal relationships we experience on a more regular basis. Rainbow Rowell does a good job of this actually. The ending of Fangirl may not be my favorite, but I like how Cath and Levi’s relationship doesn’t feel final. It’s left mostly open-ended. They never made plans to stay together forever. Rather, they were enjoying the relationship they had at that moment, despite how they may end up in the future!

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      2. I didn’t have a relationship like that either. That’s both why I like reading books with happily ever afters for teenagers and books that are like Maas’s where the characters grow out of an into different relationships.
        Oh I never thought that about Fangirl, I guess I can’t really imagine Cath and Levi with anyone else so for me they got a happily ever after. Still you’re right it’s left open so you could imagine any ending for them you liked. πŸ™‚

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  16. Ah, I love this discussion! I totally agree! I’ve always loved the way SJM handles relationships, especially since Aelin heavily evolved throughout the series, so it would make no sense for her to have the same love interest every time! And I also loved the same thing in ACOTAR, since it was both realistic, but also great to see her switch from someone who was abusive to a better guy. ❀

    Day and June are great as well! I think their relationship is also realistic because even when they were together, they still fought and had a lot of ups and downs, which is rarely seen in YA, I think!

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    1. Thanks so much Mikaela. Yes exactly, Aelin has gone through so much development over the course of the series, in book five she is a completely different character almost to the girl we met in book one, so it would be unrealistic for her to still fit in a relationship with Dorian. I feel like one thing we can count of SJM to do incredibly well is write realistic and brilliantly developed romances. I loved Feyre with Rhysand, he was definitely a better fit for her than Tamlin was. πŸ˜€
      I thought it was good how they separated for ten years, despite the ups and downs they experienced when they were together, which I agree were well written, they were still only 15 when they met. The time apart gave them time for fully develop before finding their way back together again. πŸ™‚

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  17. Good god yes! Recently, I read two books classified as romance. One was an adult, and one was a youn​g adult. The adult one, seemed a little more realistic relationship (although I still had issues with it), but the young adult one seemed to buy into several rom-com tropes that I didn’t appreciate. I don’t romanticize in real life. The only relationship I could even attempt to call a relationship ended before it began, but relationships and love do not unfold the same way, and we do teenagers a disservice when we box them in.

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    1. I feel like adult novels do have more realistic representation of romances, possibly just because of the people reading them. Teenagers are more taken in by the idea of happily ever afters with the first boy they love than adults are. No I’m not a fan of a lot of tropes either, and I completely get what you mean. Nearly every contemporary book I’ve read has the same-ish formula for the way the relationships unfold and it’s not realistic, we need more variety.

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  18. Lovely post Beth! πŸ˜€ I think we can all agree that life is more than happily ever after. For teenagers especially, they think it’s the end of their lives if they don’t end up with their crushes but we all know thats bullshit hahah I like my romance novels to have a little bit of both, the happy and passion side combined with struggles and little fights you know πŸ˜€

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    1. Thanks so much Trang. πŸ™‚ Yes life is definitely more than happily ever after, and definitely more than the first boyfriend you have in high school. Exactly, it would be nice for teenagers to see examples of how their first love doesn’t have to be their last, and that if they do end up breaking up it isn’t the end of the world because there’s someone else out there they can grow into you know? πŸ™‚

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  19. I do think we need more break ups in YA. But ones that lead to another romance later on, not just heartbreak. I do remember being in high school thinking that my HS boyfriend was the one I would be with forever. It’s hard to see past that when you’re a teen. So some of the relationships in YA really are realistic. You think that person is everything and the one. But since it’s rarely true, I would love to see a variety of different relationships and ones where the boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t their whole world (though I know we feel that way at the time).

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    1. Definitely, it’s nice to see characters move on and realise that the partners they had in high school don’t have to be the be all and end all. Like you said it can be hard to see past those relationships but I think it would be nice to see more representation in YA books of characters moving on and being happy with second/third/etc. loves. Basically we need more representation of different relationships in books. πŸ™‚

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  20. Yes yes YESSSS. I love this post, Beth! I so agree that a lot of romances in YA aren’t very realistic. While I love my ships and I don’t want them to break up, it’s just SO much more realistic that they do. Of course, it’s probably more realistic to have one (or zero :P) relationship versus two, but in the long run, you’re likely to get together with many people before ending up with your “true love”. And I love the point you made on Legend — while I didn’t really like June’s relationship with Anden and also the fact that DAY DIDN’T KNOW HER FOR LIKE 10 YEARS, it definitely made it more realistic if they ended up together for the rest of their life! Love this post. ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much May. No I can’t imagine any of my ships being broken up either, sometimes in books the characters grow through too much together you can’t imagine them not being together you know? Still it’s nice to see characters move into other relationships, to grow into new people and discover new relationships while at the same time not invalidating the feelings they once had for their first loves.
      Yeah that’s one thing I loved about Legend, as much as I love June and Day together if they’d have stayed together from 15 it wouldn’t have given them the chance to grow as characters before finding one another again.
      Thanks so much May! πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I would 100% agree with you that we need more varieties in the romantic relationships that we encounter in YA and I would absolutely love to read more stories about someone’s second love and how important that was to them, rather than constantly reading about first loves! I remember reading Heir Of Fire for the first time and being 100% set on Aelin and Rowan just being friends and I loved it so much but once it became clear they were headed in a romantic direction, I jumped aboard that train too! I would also really love to see these types of relationships more often in books where people become good/great friends first and THEN fall in love with each other – we get too much of the love at first sight trope!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It seems like all books have are characters who have the love of their lives being their very first boyfriend, and it makes it nice to see in books like the kind SJM writes characters discovering their second or third loves and having them be just as important without invaliding the feelings they once had for their first loves. I was the same in Heir of Fire, I saw Aelin and Rowan as friends first before shipping them, but that’s the way it should go, if you’re not friends with someone you love you’re writing your characters wrong in my opinion.
      I like the love at first sight trope too, but yeah more friends to lovers is definitely needed. It’s nice to see those strong friendships grow into something more. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

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