I've been reading a certain YA novel (which shall remain unnamed,) and there's much I enjoy about it, but one thing is driving me crazy. Early on in the story, the main character falls madly in love with the requisite Bad Boy, and the only reason I can see is that he is so dangerously hot. It's really bugging me. I keep asking, "Wait, why do you like him?"
This is a somewhat disturbing trend you see in YA these days: main girl goes ga-ga for the kind of jerky, but oh so gorgeous hottie. I suppose they think it's "realistic" but I think it's actually selling teenagers short. Are there shallow girls out there who only like the hot guy? Of course. But is that how all teenage girls are? No way! In fact, I would venture that the kind of girls who are avid readers are the intelligent, well-rounded types that look for more in a guy than a six pack and big biceps.
Ladies, what attracted you to guys when you were a teenager?
I know for me, it was NOT only looks. Did a gorgeous pair of brown eyes make me melt and think I might be in love? Sure. I can admit that. But was that the sole reason why I liked a guy? Uh-NO!
I was attracted to talent. Intelligence. Humor. A guy who was genuine and not stuck up. Where are these qualities in our YA male love interests??? They are there, but falling sadly by the wayside. I want to see these kind of guys overpower the Gorgeous Bad Boy. I want to see our female protagonists develop feelings for the guy who will treat them with respect and like them for their personalities as well. Isn't that SO much more helpful to learning how to develop real, mature love?
I say, down with the hot Bad Boy! Who's with me?!