For years I’ve joked that I am going to write a book entitled something like, “How Romance Novels Ruined You.” The general gist of the book would focus on how reading all these lovely dovey romance books in high school and college distorts out perception of what real love is all about. I’ve seen it time and time again with friends and family. They expect love to be all about the romance, the flowers, the amazing dates, the feelings, and emotions. And then it’s like being hit upside the head when they realize love is hard work – really hard work.
After skimming through the current best selling young adult books on Amazon I’m even more convinced this is a book that needs to be written; especially because the concept of true love is being highly distorted thanks to a new genre that is being called ‘New Adult.’ New Adult, which targets the same audience as young adult, is what some consider literature for the current hook-up generation. The New Adult books all have descriptive sexual encounters between the two, usually high school-aged, main characters, which of course is a defining moment for the relationship.
And if that wasn’t enough to make the discerning reader cringe, there is a predominate theme in literature today – good girl falls for bad boy and he changes his whole life for her while still swaying her away from her virginal standards. I’m sure in real life there are a few examples of this happening, but most of the girls I know who have fallen for the bad boy (even married him) hoping he would change for her wind up highly disappointed when he doesn’t change.
But now, thanks to books like Easy, The Perfect Game, Beautiful Disaster, Tight Knit, Crash, etc… girls everywhere are dreaming of taming the bad boy. Recently, a friend was extolling her love for these books and the exciting danger of the bad boy. Her comments got me thinking… if one of these stories was real life and a close friend was the girl caught up in the mess wouldn’t you do everything possible to get her out of the relationship? In real life it is not romantic to be with a violent person or someone who sleeps around with every available female. But these books would have readers believe the opposite.
I understand reading can be a needed escape from reality. But I wonder what all these New Adult books will do to the minds and hearts of girls around the globe.