Monday, April 19, 2010

Romance--The Paranormal Way

Oh, paranormal romances in the YA market...

How you torture me! How you force me to live up to impossible standards of awesomeness! Why, oh, why?!

*takes a deep breath and stops stomping the floor*

So. YA paranormal romance. Fun stuff, right?

I can't get enough of it, although there are certain aspects that make me cringe. Actually, just one in particular: the romance.

I know what you're thinking: "Why would she read paranormal romance if she doesn't like the romance???? Is she brain dead?"

Nope. Not brain dead. Yet...

Anyway, let me explain myself. I don't dislike reading about romance. I do dislike reading a romance between teens who have recently met and fall head over heels in love in a span of ten pages. Maybe even less.

To me, love is something that takes time. Attraction is different. If you like the way someone looks or behaves, attraction knocks on your door pretty quickly. But love? Quite the snail, if you ask me... That's why today I wish to share an example of how romance can take its sweet ol' time. An example that is near and dear to my heart: Daniel Meade and Betty Suarez.

For those of you who don't know, these two were coworkers and best friends on the recently departed TV show, Ugly Betty *wipes tear from cheek*. Throughout four seasons, Betty fell in love with other dudes while Daniel slept around like a whor-

Well, you get the picture...

So when the show was abruptly (and unfairly!) cancelled, fans were clamoring for a Betty/Daniel hookup. I, of course, was on board for the relationship to finally happen. But then I watched the finale, witnessing how Daniel got the clue regarding his feelings for Betty, and how she chose a career over everything she'd ever known. They never got to say goodbye at all--Betty just left for London and didn't hear a peep from a grieving Daniel.

Until she bumped into him over there.

And he told her that he'd quit his job to "find himself" and start from scratch... with her by his side.

Sucks to say that Betty didn't end up smooching him or telling how much she loved him, too. Wanna know why? Because she didn't. Yet. But the finale suggests an eventual relationship between them. They stayed together in the end. Fans just didn't get to see it.


Because it would've felt rushed. Betty needed time to see Daniel like the soul mate he really was for her, even though he already knew that she was the one for him.

I know TV and YA books are two different things, but sometimes I see a clearer picture in HD resolution. Romance, the real kind, doesn't happen overnight. Physical attraction can lead to a deeper connection, but writers have to make sure that the connection isn't just a product of how hot the supernatural dude is. Make the MC care about hot supernatural dude for other reasons, which reveal themselves cohesively throughout the book. Let true love feel as real as you felt it when you experienced it for the first time. But never rush into something without a good reason why.

Nuff said.


  1. Great post. I wholeheartedly agree. How can you believe in a romance when it's so fast? That's infatuation. Love is different.

  2. I'm pretty sure some teens disagree, especially since they experience emotions more intensely (according to them...). But I'm glad to see you're a romance-takes-time believer, Lydia!! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Great post. I prefer romances that build. Some tension, some lingering looks and then get to the good stuff. Not a see him/her across the room and know you love them.

  4. Agreed! Especially when two people get together overnight and know nothing about each other, plus one is usually the shy, awkward new girl (cough, cough, Bella..)

  5. Well said, and I completely agree! Although I am a sucker for a good YA romance :)

  6. Lindsey- That's a great way to put it! 'Romances that build". Get the memo, YA writers!

    DaniSue- *cough, cough* I totally agree with you on the Ms. Swan reference. It's her fault every other heroine falls in the blink of an eye! Hahaha. Still love Twilight, though. Just saying, there's only one Bella out there. Please don't make any more.

    Crystal- I'm a super sucker for YA romance, especially when it's done right. Hopefully we'll all get our hands on some awesome new stuff in the future, right? Cross your fingers!

  7. Very good points here. I also hate that. Now a good book with some romance that builds and builds and builds with tension. Well - I'll take that any day.:)

  8. My favorite romance stories are where they think they hate each other until the very end. I blame Pride and Prejudice.

  9. what an awesome post -- i love how you tied everything together!

    great examples!! :D

  10. Hi Amparo! You made my day with your sweet and awesome comment. Thanks for stopping by and for the well wishes! Sparkly well wishes sent your way, too!

    Annnd great post! I completely agree. *off to make sure my characters don't fall in love in under 10 pages*

  11. I agree absolutely! Not only do I not enjoy reading rushed romance, I also think it gives impressionable teens the wrong idea of what love is. Thanks for following my blog. I've done the same.

  12. Absolutely! I've never been one for too much mush, either. I like it when romance is sprinkled into a complicated plot, and when it's believable. I'm thrilled to have found your blog!

  13. You guys are ALL AWESOME, and would never rush a romance in ten pages or less!!! Thanks for supporting my rant. I really thought I was the only one ;)

  14. I can not stand rushed romances when reading or watching. Probably because in 'real' life, my life that is, I rush everything. Fast and furious. You're in...okay, it's time for you to go now. Buh-bye. Next!

  15. The instant fated loves always disappoint me in romances. I like to see a romance build, too. Anything else just feels sort of false and disappointing.

  16. You are so right. Instant love is like "Shake n' Bake" completely for commercial purposes. It's ridiculous though it gives people unfair expectations and only leads to a HUGE let down.

    I love your blog btw, I was reading over some of your previous posts and about me section.


    Please tell me you watch Supernatural!?

  17. G- Fast and Furious: The Real Life Edition. Love it! Hope you get a chance to enjoy the good moments, though ;)

    Guinevere- I like the way you put it. 'Disappointing' is definitely the word I'd use, too. Nothing sucks more than not being able to relate to a character's emotional development :(

    T. J.- Where have you BEEN all my life???? Jensen is my husband, although he doesn't know it yet... And I'm quite the faithful wife, actually: you can find me sitting in front of my TV every Thursday! Thnaks for sharing the Jensen love!

  18. Great using "Ugly Betty" as an example. It's true that most relationships take time. I'll take a leap for a good paranormal romance, but I hate when the books offer little else than the relationship. If it's all about two people with no substance, I can't get on board.

    I have one WIP where the two fall for each other quickly, but many obstacles get in the way and there's no profession of love for a long time. Then I have another manuscript where they're best friends and it takes the girl forever to see what the boy has felt all along. She has to grow up first.

  19. Ha anyone who has seen Mr. Ackles will fall in love with that gun wielding, brawny hunk of a outdoorsy boy!!!!!! Ugh. I want him ahaha. I def have the first 4 seasons of supernatural in my DVD collection and try to get my hands on anything he is in but i have to admit that My Bloody Valentine majorly sucked! he was the only thing worth watching lol. Did you know that he appeared on an episode of Wishbone once? Totally caught that on YouTube. Wow i'm a creeper.