Tag Archives: relationships

Friendship is Magic, So Where’s It All Gone?

'Best Friends' heart necklace

Shot through the heart…

(Also published on Feminspire doot doot look at me go)

Over the years that would fit into the Young Adult section of the bookshelf of my life, I received most of my drama from my platonic relationships. Friendships blooming, crashing, tearing themselves apart from within and being hacked to pieces by outside forces formed the basis of the emotional plot of my pre-teen and adolescent years, much more so, in any case, than the stories created by crushes and romantic entanglements. I have little doubt that this is true for a lot of people, too—which is why I find it strange that so many stories aimed at the YA market choose to completely avoid friendship as a source material.

Most books have a romantic element, this much is true—the addition of a love story intertwined with (or shoehorned into) whatever other plot that is going on adds a more human and emotional element to the story, giving the readers more opportunity to empathise with the characters at hand and add the wonder of how their relationship is going to end up to their emotional hook to the story.

Now, this is all well and good on its own, but there seems to be a recurring trend where these love stories are the only relationship-based plotlines for the main characters. Which is odd. How many people can say that their boyfriend or girlfriend is the only major relationship in their life? What about their families, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters? There’s plenty of room for growth and plot there. And most prominently, what about their friends? Continue reading

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It’s Not Love Unless It Transcends Space and Time

Aww a stock photo of lovers in a field

No, the title is NOT a sly, shippy Madoka reference

Can’t we just let characters enjoy their relationship without having to have it be The Greatest Love in the Universe?

People are obsessed with the concept of True Love. It’s a hangover from the reign of fairy tales, I suppose, where that was the basis and endgame of all things (well, in the less horrifying more modern versions, anyway). But, like all hangovers, it’s starting to stink up the place and give fiction a bit of a stale air.

I’m mostly talking about teen fiction, which has taken to promoting the idea that young love is RIGHT AND TRUE AND DEFIES ALL ODDS and is sweet when done well, but when not handled gracefully plunges the characters and their romance into Special Snowflake territory.

Special Snowflake (n): someone who believes, or is expressed to be by their author or creator, even more unique than every other infinitely unique human being on the planet, much like a snowflake in a blizzard wherein every flake has a distinctive shape, but still shouts that they are the most distinctive as they whirl towards earth and annoy the rest of their frozen-water buddies.

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