As it is Valentine's Day I felt I should write a little about romance especially as I will be writing about serial killers later. Generally I'm in favour of romance in novels but I'm not a fan of novels which are just 'will they won't they' stories and I can't stand romance that feels unconvincing. I prefer when the romance seems to happen amongst the chaos of everything else in the story. Obviously the writer knows what they are doing but it's much more enjoyable for the me if the romance is part of the story not the purpose of the story. A good example of this is one of my favourite book series Outlander in which 20th Century nurse Claire Randall accidently travels back to the 18th Century and is forced to seek protection from an English Army Captain by allying herself with a Scottish highlander James Fraser and she finds herself falling in love with him.
However I specifically wanted to talk about Romance in Young Adult fiction. Firstly because it's especially important that Young Adult fiction is more than just romance and because it's important for readers to see romance portrayed realistically and sensitively.
I was asked my thoughts on this very topic by Irish writer Claire Hennessy for an article which appears in today's Irish Times online. You can check it out HERE
I mentioned Eleanor and Park as a good example of Young Adult romance and My good friend Maera Black of https://inkandpaperhearts.wordpress.com/ mentioned Graceling and the relationship between Katsa and Po, which is a real favourite of mine. I would also like to mention Resonance by Celine Kiernan as there are a number of beautifully portrayed relationships but Tina and Joe are particularly well done as they are tested to their absolute limits and not found wanting.
"The title characters in Rowell’s Eleanor and Park similarly work well for readers. Children’s bookseller Lisa Redmond describes them as “a wonderful couple: awkward and embarrassed at first but you really root for them. Their shared interest in music gives them a connection and a way of communicating without words.”