It was about a scene in The Dream Thieves. I don’t want to be spoilery, so I will just say it goes like so: Boy wants to kiss Girl. He asks her. Girl says no, even though he asked nicely. She does not want to kiss him, Girl says. He does not kiss her….
I’d like to conduct a totally informal and wouldn’t-stand-up-to-scientific-scrutiny poll about romance in YA novels.
Serious inquiry: if you are a person who’s bothered by “too much” romance in YA stories that aren’t specifically marketed as “YA Romance,” then:
1) What is “too much” to you? Do…
1. I am an avid YA reader, mostly fantasy but some contemporrary
2. I am not bothered by “too much” romance in YA stories. I am sometimes bothered by how that romance tends to be played out.
3. I like romance that does not shorthand physical attraction for real love. I like romance where the people involved are aware of wider issues in the world around them (especially but not only if the book is not specifically marketed as a romance). I like romance where the characters care about each other, and about consent, and are respectful of comfort levels and boundaries.
4. I do not like romance where the characters are so involved with each other that they are unkind to the people around them. I do not like romance that relies on cliches and tropes to work.
5. Some of my favorite YA romances are in: The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope, The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, The Blue Sword by Robin McKInley, The Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan.
6. I would love to see romances that do a better job of thoughtfully and respectfully showing the diversity of our world. It exists already. We should be showing it.
7. All of these things are my opinions and preferences, not moral judgments on people who like other ways of showing romance in YA. I feel them pretty strongly. On the other hand, I’m an adult reader, which means that in some fundamental sense I don’t get a say, because YA is for teens. And sometimes first love is totally self-absorbed and unkind to the people around it and that’s what happens. I don’t like those stories, but for someone else, they’re important.
Kari Sperring grew up dreaming of joining the musketeers and saving France, only to find theyâd been disbanded in 1776. Disappointed, she became a historian and as Kari Maund published six books and many articles on Celtic and Viking history, plus one on the background to favourite novel, Theâ¦
"To justify ourselves, we need a history full of successes: we must answer the questions well – see our female Shakespeares (Lady Murasaki, Aphra Behn), our female politicians (Emma of Normandy, Matilda of Flanders, Wu Zetian), our musicians (Hildegarde, Fanny Mendlesohn) and artists (Frida Kahlo, Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun) and astronomers (Caroline Herschel). We don’t have space for the silent or those who failed for whatever reason to shine. We can’t afford them, though histories worldwide are full of undistinguished men. For women, even now, only the best will do."
Omelets can take a thousand forms. They can’t, though, very well be made with a single egg: they are good made with two eggs, and at their very best made with three. Two eggs in the morning is a hearty breakfast, but three is an orgy.
Tamar Adler, An Everlasting Meal
I am loving the way Adler writes—with gentle humor, straightforward instructions, explaining the why behind everything. She’s not afraid to say when she thinks conventional cooking wisdom is wrong, and yet the whole thing is filled with a sense of doing-what-works-for-you, which I really appreciate.