Love triangles. Stupid choices in partners. Pointless trysts. Unfaithfulness. In other words, the stuff of which most ‘teen’ and ‘adult’ books today consist almost entirely of—particularly certain super-mega-sensations that…well, I'll let it go at that.
Why is romantic blundering so wildly popular? Beats me. I hate it. Idiotic romantic entanglements are one of my biggest turnoffs when it comes to entertainment.
For one thing, it showcases just how mind-blowingly stupid people can be. “You’re going to choose him? How stupid can you get???”
For another, it shows just how deranged society is becoming. If your book doesn’t include copious amounts sex and profanity, it’s pretty much automatically relegated to the ‘young adult’ category. Which implies that ‘adults,’ so-called, are incapable of enjoying a good story that isn’t loaded with crap.
I love how they call it ‘mature’ content. Shouldn’t it be called ‘immature’ content?
And by the way, I used the word ‘copious’ because, unfortunately, ‘young adult’ now also includes sex and profanity—just not as much as ‘adult’ fiction. If you don’t use either, you might as well head for the children’s section.
It irritates me how characters these days seem utterly incapable of making wise choices. Stories consist pretty much entirely of characters blundering about in one bad relationship after another, completely blowing relationships that could have been good, and generally acting completely brainless and morally bankrupt. Oh, and there may or may not have been some other thing they were doing during the story, too…some kind of mission, or a quest, or something…but I can’t remember for sure because all the bed scenes have kind of muddied the waters too much.
Even if there’s no sex, brainless romantic blundering still puts my teeth on edge. I really, really hope that people (girls in particular) aren’t as dumb as literature makes them out to be. Given the choice between a good guy and a bad guy, the girl will almost always go for the bad guy—at least at first, until she’s had enough hard knocks to realize what a stupid choice she made.
Anymore, though, even that tired old story is going the way of all things. Now, instead of being presented a choice between a good guy and a bad guy, girls are increasingly being presented a choice between two bad guys—one of whom may or may not be quite as bad, or is at least bad in slightly different ways.
Again, I’ll refrain from giving specific examples.
As always, though, I have to include the disclaimer—these things aren’t always bad. I use romantic misadventures myself on occasion. (Except for the sex stuff. I don’t do that. Ever.) The difference is, I don’t use them incessantly. Believe it or not, my characters tend to mostly make decent choices in partners, and they (gasp!) also tend to be faithful to each other (shocking, I know). Yes, that leaves out a lot of potential drama and mayhem and all that crap that makes stories ‘literary,’ but that’s why I do it! I don’t like including ‘literary’ crap just for the sake of including it!
Going hand-in-hand with the Universal Law that forbids characters from having happy relationships is the law that all characters much cheat on their partners, along with the law mandating that all characters who fall in love must jump in bed with each other at the first available opportunity.
Hmm…unfaithfulness, extramarital sex, unhappy relationships. Wow, is that a correlation I detect there? Nah, couldn’t possibly be…
So if you like books that are clean, have appropriate relationships, and whose characters are (mostly) smart about their choices in the romance department, mine might just work for you. If you prefer the ‘other’ kind, go read…well, I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding that kind of stuff.