Romance in YA—What It Needs to Do Better (Because It #FailsAtLife): A Collab with Abigail @ Ups & Downs!

Who’s back with another collab???

Obviously me. But when Abigail @ Ups and Downs asked me to join her in writing a post on some tips and tricks to writing romance, I couldn’t say no to this1) I’m a bad romance writer so maybe this would help me??? and 2) I must spread my knowledge to all so that they will not fail at life like YA romance does. #kind

This post will only be featuring only THREE of the points, so make sure to head to Abigail’s blog and check out the rest of the things we came up with! (Or your mango supply will be taken away and who wants that hmm???)


1. make sure there is time to develop the relationship

Time for May to have a May Rant™.

INSTA-LOVE IS MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE IN NOVELS. LIKE EVER. Even worse than love triangles/squares, or annoying plastic-head characters, or even death of a character I love. (But maybe that’s less of a pet peeve and more of a sobbing-forever thing???)

I HAAAAAAAAAAATE insta-love because it is so unrealistic, and it irritates me!!!

To those ignorant ones who don’t know what insta-love is:

Basically where two people develop feelings for each other… without ACTUALLY DEVELOPING FEELINGS. (Meaning that they get into a relationship before feelings are even developed.)

You can be ATTRACTED to people at first sight, but you won’t IMMEDIATELY FALL IN LOVE with them at first sight. That’s 1) judging by appearance and why would you do that???* and 2) so so SO not going to happen in life and therefore unrealistic.

You need to let the characters develop feelings for each other, and THEN put them together. Insta-love is the exact opposite of that and I 14392% recommend that you STAY AWAY FROM INSTA-LOVE because it will cause readers (me) to 1) scream, 2) sob, and 3) destroy the universe with my ultimate tantrum.

Image result for tantrum gif

An example of insta-love that I’ve read recently is Strange the Dreamer. That (and something else) RUINED the book’s chance of five stars for me, which makes me so so sad, because it was such a good book!

They start feeling things for each other on their first encounter (which makes sense), but then the second time they meet, it’s like “omg my feelings have all developed and I love you so very much I would do anything for you” and I’m like WHAT NO.


Pixlr saves me for all the physical books I do not own.


ANOTHER example is Wink Poppy Midnight. I read that quite recently** and I cringed when they kissed the first time they’d really met. BUT I get that it was part of the girl’s personality??? But still. I’m annoyed.

But, a great example of a good, developed romance is A Darker Shade of Magic. Or more specifically, A Conjuring of Light***, but I ONLY OWN ADSOM OKAY. Basically, the characters don’t get together until the END OF THE SERIES. Torture. Developed, much?

NOTE: (This will help you with my viewpoint on insta-love so here I go.) I do think that kissing on the first date is all right, BECAUSE they (probably??? most likely??? hopefully???) developed feelings for each other BEFORE the date. Whereas kissing the first time they’ve ever met…

*I’m totally not thinking of all the ugly covers of books right now why would you think that???
**All of these are recent reads because I literally cannot remember what I read before this week.


2. don’t put a couple… just to have a couple

If there’s going to be romance, there better be a reason.

And not just “I love you you love me we’re best friends like family*”. In my opinion, the romance better be there for moving the plot forward, OR developing the character in a major way.

On moving the plot forward: This applies to romance as a subplot (instead of romance as a genre), but still. If the romance subplot has NOTHING to do with the main plot, what is it doing there???

On developing characters in a major way: If the romance isn’t ESSENTIAL to the character arc/development, it probably isn’t needed??? (This does not count the characters improving/getting worse from the relationship.)

Basically, if you put a relationship in the story JUST TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP…

Image result for whyyyy gif

There is absolutely NO OTHER POINT than just saying “There should be romance in this book so SHIP”.

I mean sometimes it’s difficult to accept because YOU SHIP THE SHIP HARD… but is there a point to ship them??? Besides them being the OTP who will always be your babies and your hearts and souls.

As a reader, it makes me think, WHYYYYY IS THIS EVEN HERE. NOTHING in your novel should be pointless—there should be a point, reason, and use for E V E R Y T H I N G.*

An example with a useless couple is… um. Let’s see. I can’t think of one???

But I DO know a novel/series that has couples that are very point-ful. The Lunar Chronicles has MANY couples (not that I’m complaining??? SHIP SHIP SHIP), and all of them are there for good reasons! One of the easiest to talk about is probably Cress and Thorne. (BTW This is not a spoiler because it is SO OBVIOUS.)

Cress is not good at socializing… or human interaction in general. Thorne is pretty much ALWAYS about looks. But because of Thorne, Cress gets better at talking with other people and is “normalized”. And Thorne learns stuff about himself (I forgot what exactly) and also learns that NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT LOOKS.

See. Healthy relationship right there.

*SAY HELLO to your Barney trash two-year-old child.
**Especially character deaths. ESPECIALLY.


3. create conflict and flaws in the relationship (but still have respect)

Let’s say a couple has been together for a few months.

OBVIOUSLY they have never ever fought or disagreed about something (like restaurant food choices) in the course of their relationship.

Image result for wrong trump gif

ARE THEY EVEN HUMAN is the question we should be asking. Because what kind of human being has NO conflict whatsoever and DOESN’T FIGHT with anyone* and gets along with everyone and everything???

A dead human being that’s what.

But seriously, people are full of flaws and so are relationships. We are also full of our own opinions and think we are right (in the case of “mangoes > vegetables” I AM RIGHT) and people DISAGREE with our opinions and think THEY’RE right.

Image result for you're wrong i'm right gif
This gif is too visually close to the one above BUT THEY’RE 10/10 AND I CAN’T CHOOSE OKAY.

We live in a twisted world, folks, a twisted world.

But you have to let that show in your character’s relationship too! Whether it be “omg I saw you near your ex-girlfriend and now I’m jelly what are you doing with her” or “why didn’t you make me a sandwich when I very kindly asked you to???”, there HAS TO BE CONFLICT.

That also relates to flaws as well. I’ve talked about how flaws are important parts of characters. AND IT’S IMPORTANT TO RELATIONSHIPS TOO.

Basically, the conflict(s) is the flaw because they may not trust each other or may not listen to each other or maybe they’re too clingy or whatever but the flaw causes the conflict. Or it IS the conflict. I honestly don’t even know anymore.

But even though there is conflict, make sure that the characters in the relationship STILL RESPECT EACH OTHER. Disrespect in a relationship is a DISGUSTING (imo) thing to read. So just… don’t.

One GREAT example of flaws, conflict, and respect is Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2). The relationship between Kaz and Inej is BEAUTIFUL. As in, one can’t touch others because of tragic past events, and the other can’t be touched. HOW IRONIC AND GORGEOUS AMIRITE.

*Amelie I’m looking at you you little fight-seeking scary pear.


So this was literally just a very ranty post??? BUT it was very helpful and gif-filled so it is automatically 16043% better than a regular ol’ ranty post. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Image result for you're welcome moana gif

I had so much fun with this, though!!! And definitely not because I got to rant and 99.9% of my life is ranting!!! Definitely make sure to check out Abigail’s post over on Ups & Downs, to see more of the points we came up with! (If you don’t I will hunt you down.) Also be sure to follow her lovely little blog. 😉

shall we chat

do you hate insta-love too? what about useless relationships? and perfect relationships? what do you want to see more in ya romance? have you checked out the other three points in our collab yet? and are YOU a fight-seeking scary pear??? (i’m sure amelie will fight you if you say yes.)

sign off 2.0


166 thoughts on “Romance in YA—What It Needs to Do Better (Because It #FailsAtLife): A Collab with Abigail @ Ups & Downs!

  1. I completely agree with what you’re saying! Insta-love is absolutely awful. I don’t understand why authors keep putting it in their books. I’m currently reading Strange the Dreamer, and I’m obsessed with it, but eww no I hate insta love! Also, I want to read A Darker Shade of Magic…should I?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I KNOW??? LIKE WHAT IS THE POINT??? Strange the Dreamer would’ve been five stars for me but the INSTA LOOOOOOOVE. *cries* Yes yes yes PLEASE read ADSOM!!! It was slow to me, but the rest of the series is SO worth it. ❤


  2. I don’t read YA romances. The only romance I’ve ever read was Pride and Prejudice (and that wasn’t YA). But both in fiction and in real life, I don’t believe in insta-love. It doesn’t make sense to me. 🙂 So I’m with ya there.

    I agree that relationships need both conflict and respect. That’s a really good point, May! But not just in romance – I think all relationships in stories need to have conflict. Conflict is an inevitable factor of life, but respect is such an important thing to have in a relationship.

    Respect is also a really good character trait when you’re developing your characters. You can ask yourself: How RESPECTABLE is this character? How valuable is it to earn THEIR respect? (I capitzlied those words because I can’t italicize. 😉 ) I like to explore the differences between respect and love. I believe you can have one without the other in a relationship, but it’s not nearly as healthy as having both. When someone you love is hard to respect, you need to focus on their strengths and not their weaknesses, because the problem you’re having respecting that person is usually you, not them. Humbling yourself so that you can see what that person can do better than you is a step towards respecting them better.

    Those are my thoughts. Sorry they’re not entirely relevant to the YA romance issues. Again, I haven’t read any YA romances but I was interested in the respect and conflict point you brought up! I enjoyed the post! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was going to say “YA romance is like other romance!” but no it’s really not. XD Insta-love is a huuuuuuge turn-off of mine. Even if the book was good, I’ll probably take off half a star of the rating.

      Oh yes, conflict and respect are needed in not just romantic relationships, I agree!

      Respect and love are SUPER interesting, especially in stories of physical/mental abuse. I like to write a lot of abuse? Not because I want to abuse people, but because it’s so intriguing to see where the love and respect continue or die.

      Haha, no it’s okay! I’m glad you could relate to the post in other ways. 🎉

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yeah, insta-love has never made sense to me. It’s not so perfect as it sounds. I read a huge literary masterpiece, Les Miserables, in which there is a love story as a sub-plot. There was “love at first sight”, which bothered my book club friends a bit 😉 , but I thought it was so amusing how the author justified his decision to include insta-love [and this book was written nearly two hundred years ago XD]. Here:

        “The glance has been so much abused in love romances that it has finally fallen into disrepute. One hardly dares to say, nowadays, that two beings fell in love because they looked at each other. That is the way people do fall in love, nevertheless, and the only way. The rest is nothing, but the rest comes afterwards. Nothing is more real than these great shocks which two souls convey to each other by the exchange of that spark.”

        – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

        So apparently insta-love is an age-old thing. 😀 I love how this author justified his use of it.

        Abuse is a pretty heavy topic to be writing about, May. I’m sure it’s really good for helping you grow in your skills of writing more complex characters – people with both good and bad. That WOULD be intriguing as far as love and respect, I can imagine. You have a really good perception and understanding of character development, from what I can tell from your awesome posts!


        Liked by 1 person

        1. LES MIS! I need to read that book. I totally get that a glance is how we “fall in love”… but I personally think that that’s just the first step, and there are many other steps to love after it. But yay Victor Hugo for explaining that! 🎉

          Abuse is really heavy, but also super interesting. (Wow that sounds bad.) It totally helps with writing complex characters, and finding that thin line where good and bad, love and respect, is!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, it’s true! I totally think you should read Les Mis! It’s amazing – one of my favorites. There’s also a Broadway musical that has the most incredible soundtrack. I’ve always dreamed of seeing it in New York City – in the greatest city in the world! 😉

            No, I hear ya. I agree that it’s interesting to explore that thin line. Les Miserables is a great book because its characters are extremely complex. Even if their motives are extreme and you think “I would never do THAT,” you have to believe them. So again, you should totally read it! 😉

            Liked by 1 person

              1. It’s a pretty long book. As in… mine weighs a couple pounds. XD Maybe you want to look into the abridged version first? There’s a lot of rather slow content in the full version – such as the battle of Waterloo, or information about royalists, or slang – ya know, hard-to-read parts. 😉 It’s all good, though! So it’s really about the size of the adventure you want, in a way. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. I read it with a book club this past year. It took us nine months, but that’s because there was lots of cancelling, small portions at a time, etc. Plus I read tons of other books in between. XD

                    The best idea is to set a goal of seven or eight months. That way, you can read it slowly, but with a goal in sight. 🙂 But if you read it this summer, that’s a HUGE thumbs-up from me, lol.

                    I Dreamed a Dream is one of the best songs in Les Mis! It’s pretty much the Les Mis equivalent to Burn in Hamilton. 😀 Whenever the book got hard to read, the amazing soundtrack was a good motivation. 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

  3. OHHHH MY GOD. YES MAY. YOU KNOW IT *points finger*

    I am LIVING for this post because #relatable and I agree with everything you said! AND THE GIF USAGE IS SO ON POINT I WAS LAUGHING SO MUCH (especially that Donald Trump one dkfkgkgfl it’s so funny and so fitting!)

    AND THIS LINE WAS SO FUNNY “Basically, the characters don’t get together until the END OF THE SERIES. Torture.” (my phone can’t cross out things but torture was crossed out so use your imagination BUT YEAH THAT WAS THE REASON IT WAS SO FUNNY… anyway)

    Insta-love is one of the WORST things to happen in a book like EVER. I lovelovelove romance in books and I’m all for OTPs and feels and angst BUT DON’T MAKE THEM “FALL IN LOVE” WHEN THEY FIRST MEET. AND DON’T MAKE THEIR RELATIONSHIP PERFECT LIKE??????? HAVE YOU NEVER FOUGHT/DISAGREED WITH SOMEONE?????

    Ok sorry, I’m calm I’M CALM. I didn’t mean to turn this into a rant-y comment but your rant COUGH I MEAN POST kind of inspired me 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *shimmies shoulders* (i need to find a gif for this)

      I READ THE POST YESTERDAY (I forgot what it said since I wrote it like a week ago XD) but omg I am proud of my gif usage. 👌

      (You can actually use coding to make the delete thingy BUT NO ONE CARES AHEM.) And really??? You thought that was funny??? OKAY MAYBE A LITTLE. XD

      Yes yes yes I LOOOOVE romance in books!!! (But not as the whole plot lol.) But insta-love ruins it AGHHAH. I WILL TAKE A HALF STAR OFF (at minimum) FOR INSTA-LOVE BECAUSE IT PEEVES ME THAT MUCH. And ikr! I hate when my OTP fights but it’s NECESSARY.

      It’s okay Jackie. I’m sure we all have our complaints with YA romance. XD

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I MEAN I GIGGLED SO IT HAD TO BE FUNNY. I love when you do that like when you say something and then you have something ridiculous crossed out (if you know what I mean) IT’S HILARIOUS!!!

        Yes that’s right! I need some (a lot of) action in a book but there HAS to be a bit of romance too! AND YES. EVEN IF A BOOK IS LIKE REALLY REALLY GOOD AND IT COULD BE A 5 STAR READ I’LL STILL TAKE A HALF STAR OFF IF IT HAS INSTA-LOVE.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. 1) giggle is such a weird word XD and 2) CROSSING THINGS OUT IS SO FUN OMG.

          I can’t read a romance novel because it’s like AGDHFKSKA. But then action with romance… 👌 Although sometimes people should only be friends and have platonic relationships???

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I actually really like the word giggle because I LOVE GIGGLING and it looks really funny XD giggle. giggled. giggling.

            I only like romance in YA because in adult novels it’s all erotica and usually with naked people on the covers and I’m like NOPE, I DON’T LIKE THIS *cries* my eyyyeeessss 😭

            That’s true! I need to read This Savage Song because that one has a platonic relationship and apparently it’s super good!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. It sounds so weird to me tho! Giggle. Giggle. Giggle. Giggling is the best tho. XD

              IKR. I’m just like haha you have your fun while I slowly back away… *shields eyes* XD

              YES IT DOES! I mean I ship them romantically but then I also ship them platonically. So it’s complicated??? But good. XD

              Liked by 1 person

  4. My least favorite thing is love triangles, but insta-love is second-to-last. Gah. When they’re together…urghhh it’s annoying. The problem is, I think they appear so much in YA that it doesn’t bother me as much anymore, and then they start sneaking into my writing and I’m like NO I DID NOT MEAN FOR THIS TO HAPPEN WHY ARE YOU HERE. (Not really insta-love, more the weird love triangles that I didn’t mean to happen. Maybe I should just accept it, just like I should accept the fact that Enhanced is actually dystopian and not science fiction….but NO. I SHALL fight it forever. Or deny it. One of the two. 😛 )

    I would love to see more romances where they already fell in love and are trying to figure out their relationship now or are struggling/fighting but while still trying to make it work. Because like you said, not everything is perfect.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Really? My least favorite is insta-love and my second least favorite is love triangles. XD DUDE I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN. I was thinking about my old novel and the couple that I was going to put together… when there was actually no time to develop their relationship because the girl was imprisoned most of the time??? XD WELL IT CAN BE DYSTOPIAN SCIENCE FICTION WOW LOOK AT THAT.

      Omg that would be so cool! I haven’t read it yet, but I know that in The Hate U Give, the main character already has a boyfriend. Idk if they’re struggling to make it work though haha.


      1. We’re the opposite then. 😉 And yeahhh, hehe, I guess we can improve in revisions and in new novels! WELL YEAH, I GUESS. I just really don’t like the connotation that comes with dystopian novels. It’s not a female, first person narrator who is somehow special and then has this weird insta-love love triangle and ends up overthrowing the evil government…. Okay, they might be trying to overthrow the government, but it’s not necessarily evil (at least to some people), and the world isn’t trying to be a utopia, it just has it’s weird problems like ours does. And there’s multiple MCs and 3rd person POVs and several books and a developed (ish) world and a series…and agh. Maybe I should call it the the epic dystopian-but-way-better series or something. Which is why epic sci-fi is easier to say. (Okay, sorry for ranting a bit there. Oops.)

        Ooh, that sounds cool! It’s okay if they’re not struggling…it’s nice to have a stable relationship in novels sometimes, too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, I totally get what you mean! My old novel (IMS) was sort of dystopian but also not — like you said, whenever you say dystopian, people are always like UGH but it’s not completely dystopian??? AGHAGGA GENRE PROBLEMS.


  5. Ugh, inst like be is so annoying. I mean, you can think someone is attractive, but you can’t actually love someone without getting to know them well. Because love is a choice. And they have to have conflicts. I mean, no matter how much I love someone they will at least get on my nerves from time to time.

    ~ Pip

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, exactly! You can be attracted to someone immediately, but you don’t know you love them. And hmm, I don’t think it’s really a choice??? I mean you could fall in love without meaning to. But I guess some part of your brain is choosing to let in love. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I mean I love my sisters, but I don’t always feel like it. You know? I choose to keep loving them anyway. It would be the same way with a romance. You have to work really hard for love. You must be patient. And so that’s kind of why I think love is a choice, not just a feeling. Sorry if that didn’t make any sense. I’m just rambling at this point.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. In that case, I agree! You have to choose to KEEP loving. But for me — do you choose who you’re going to love and hate (at first)? Not really. It’s just something that comes up — but then you keep choosing to love or hate. But that’s just my opinion!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU. This is PRECISELY why i have such a massive issue with YA novels – the romance is so so bad😭😭😭. Another big issue i have with them is all the really anti-feminist tropes like everyone but the mc being a slut or a bitch and the main guy. I’d strongly recommend the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout I loveddd the way their romance developed!(also a court of thorns and roses book 2 is probably one of my all time favourite romances ever) x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha I love this so, so much. I agree so much about the romance needing DEVELOPMENT and great one, I am a bit sick of insta-love to be honest, it just makes me really mad because it doesn’t happen and I root for my bookish couples so much more when I see the feelings grow ❤ ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I VERY MUCH DISIKE INSTA-LOVE but I WILL PROBABLY STILL SHIP IT and if it’s in a fantasy book, peeps are like it’ unrealistic’ BUT ISN’T ALL OF FANTASY (no offence…) SO I don’t MIND, like it’s kind of acceptable, to have insta-love SOMETIMES in fantasy book. Not llike strange the dreamer, but if there’s a premise where people were like MADE for each other, then it would be okay because THAT IS THE WORLD. It doesn’t completely ruin the book for me but just bugs me a little. But I LOVE HAPPY COUPLES, they’re so sweet and real but obviously we need conflict. I hate couples that JUST KEEP ON FIGHTING over like nothing, again and again, LIKE THIS IS NOT DRAMA, I’m bored!
    Your second point…hmmm? I feel like in contemporary, it’s trying to rep real life, right? And in real life, does a relationship have a real purpous. DO you purpousely fall in love with someone so your character can develop…not really? SO YOU CAN HAVE A couple that are just plain crazy over each other (NOT INSTA LOVE) and still be something on the side…right? Though it usually brings the story forward but it doesn’t have to?? BUT a flaw I find with most books is it starts off AMAZING and then this romance comes in and i’m like ‘’ and then suddenly the plot just dies and all I care about si the romance and I come out of the book like, WHAT HAPPENED? all potential wasssteeed.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I probably will ship it too honestly. BUT ONLY IF THE BOOK WAS WELL-WRITTEN (and also the romance, besides the insta-love). Well, in the book, their fantasy world isn’t unrealistic??? But insta-love still is??? Depends on how you look at it lol. OH YES if it’s how the world’s system works, I TOTALLY get that (though they probably would be matched and not fall in love with each other immediately).

      OH YES IT HAS TO BE MEANINGFUL CONFLICT. Otherwise I claw my eyes out at this drama.

      Well, obviously you don’t (usually???) get into a relationship for a purpose, but in books, wouldn’t it be SLIGHTLY ANNOYING if these two random people had been falling love the whole time when they were incompatible and meant to be friends??? Just to have a romance??? I personally do. XD WHY IS IT THERE FOR JUST THE SAKE OF ROMANCE UGH.

      Omg yes when romance takes over the plot, I scream. Inside. BUT WHYYYYY THE PLOT WAS GREEEEEAT OBVIOUSLY I SHIP IT BUT NOOOO.


  9. This is a great post May, and I agree with all of your points as well! Insta-love is definitely a pet hate of mine as well, it’s up there with love triangles and I feel like I’ve spoken a lot recently about how I’m not a fan of them. 🙂 V.E. Schwab writes relationships so well, I loved Lila and Kell in ADSOM, but also I loved the way Rhy and Alucard’s relationship developed in ACOL. 😀
    Also yes romance for the sake of romance is another thing I don’t like seeing in books, sometimes it feels like people know romance sells so they want it in every single book on the shelves regardless of whether it fits with the story or the characters.
    Basically I’d love to see more books where a romance is developed slowly, over the whole series rather than just the first book, but also books where there’s no romance if it’s not needed. We don’t need two characters falling in love in everything we read do we? 🙂
    Again great post May! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, yes, insta love and love triangles are my least favorites! OMG YES VE SCHWAB IS AMAZING. And Alucard and Rhy. ❤

      Oh YES. I definitely see romance being used as a market ploy! It annoys me so so much because the romance is there… just to have romance?

      Haha I'd be fine if it developed in the first book (because it's torture waiting for your OTP to get together), as long as it's not insta-love! And YAS FRIENDSHIP WE NEED MORE FRIENDSHIP IN YA.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. V.E. Schwab is one of my favourite authors when it comes to character development (then again she’s one of my favourite authors when it comes to everything!)
        It seems like such a waste, and if a romance is forced readers can obviously tell and they’re not going to enjoy or ship it or anything. I’d rather see strong friendships than forced romances any day. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. SAME! I hate when the characters,Have love at first sight! If that was a thing,nobody would be single!!! I loved this! check out my blog at- and

    Liked by 2 people

  11. MAY HALP ME. (oh look i’m begging for your help again. some things never change.)
    *ahem ahem* For my word sprint post, which I’m getting ready to do as an announcement, I can’t think of a title/name FOR THE LIFE OF ME! Do you have any suggestions or ideas?
    Thank you dear! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

        1. AYYY SATURDAY THE 22ND IS MY 6-MONTH BLOGIVERSARY! What no May did not explode with excitement what.

          Hmm, the 22nd is sort of near the end, so it’s like a little “picker upper”. Um cringy idea: Pick Up the Pace and Sprint. (No.)

          Pick Up a Pen Start Writing. ( 😛 Too long though.)
          The Scrawler’s Sprint.
          R3volution Writing. (I have NOOO IDEA where that came from. XD)
          Charis Rae NaNoWriMo Word Sprint. XD
          Writing Regularly Initiates Terrific Excellent Skills. (Sorry I just wanted to make the acronym WRITES. XD)
          Furious Laughing and Writing Sprint. (Acronym FLAWS. But the laughing part is weird.)


          Liked by 1 person

          1. WHAT THAT’S AWESOME. You are like legit the most successful blogger eva. How many followers do you have now??
            And I love your name ideas! I especially like the Hamilton Reference, but it is kinda long.
            Do you think even just saying “Camp NaNo Wordsprint” with the tagline “Write w/Me” would be okay, or is that kinda meh?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. WHY THANK YOU. You’re an amazing blogger too. ❤ About 640, I think. Around that. XD (BTW love your new profile pic! You're such a cutie. 😛 )


              The Hamilton reference is great but long, I agree.

              I think the title would be fine, but maybe make the tagline a little "funner"? Maybe "write w/ me or die" XD or "where writing and fun collide". Actually don't do that last one it's cringy. XD

              Liked by 1 person

              1. AW you’re welcome! And thanks! ❤ (Aw thank you! Yours is also adorbs…do you wear glasses?)
                YES ISN'T IT AWESOME. I remember reading your first post and being like "aw this chica's amazingness." XD ❤

                Good idea, LOL! I'll think of some things along those lines. 😉 Thank you!

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Yup, those are my glasses haha! You don’t wear glasses, right? AND OH HOW ARE THE BRACES?

                  AW YOU’RE SO SWEET. ❤ I remember scrolling through all your old posts before I started blogging and getting excited. XD

                  No problem! Glad to help. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. That’s so cool! No, I don’t wear glasses, but I popped out the lenses from 3D glasses from the movie theater and use them as my “nerd glasses.” XDD
                    And actually, I don’t have the braces yet ’cause the scheduling stuff takes a while, but hopefully I will soon (not reallyXD).

                    AW HOW SWEET. <333

                    Liked by 1 person

  12. I totally agree!! I HATE insta-love so much! And it drives me CRAZY when there’s a totally unnecessary romance, like, there doesn’t need to be a romance in EVERYTHING!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. this is such a lit post !!!!!! my problem is, is that 90% of the time i love one character in a relationship twenty billion times more than the other one. my favorite example of a good ya relationship is ari and dante (amelie, you may be asking, will you ever stop bringing up ari and dante? the answer is no.)

    i just don’t like 99% of romances in general though so if you convince me to like one with your writing wow it’s an accomplishment.

    i hate romance. thank you for reminding me that i hate romance.

    thanks for the mention wife :’^)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. i probably don’t have that problem because i’m nice™ and love everyone™. (look at me ™ing everything!!! are you proud???) and ari and dante are so pure. ❤ also did you know that lin narrates the audiobook for ari and dante???

      well i'll probably stay away from romance in my writing okay then bye.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. i did :’^) and yes that is true you are great and i am proud.

        i don’t like romance irl either. the only way i’m getting married is if i can marry like a bath bomb. because bath bombs are lit


        Liked by 1 person

  14. Okay need to check out Abigail’s blog (I don’t THINK I have…), and, maybe I’d already know it though if it wasn’t for my poor blog hopping skills. #bloghoppingisasport WHAT IT’S A LOT OF TIME ON TOP OF THE USUAL GOING THROUGH READER AND WRITING POSTS AND ALL. What your probably thinking: and through all that she STILL HAS TIME TO RAMBLE THIS MUCH. He he he…. So ONTO YA ROMANCE: I think that the first ya book I read without romance in it was Scythe. WHAT. 😟 Anyways, I can’t exactly say I DONT LIKE ROMANCE 😏 (I sound creepy) but when a book says say YA fantasy/adventure IT ALSO MEANS TO SAY ROMANCE. And fic romance has thinking about Feyre and Tamlin in ACOTAR and I KNOW I KNOW that guy Rhysand is supposed to fall in love with her later but for the time being…WAIT have you even read that book?😂 they just swam in a pond of starlight and I’m melting. I probably sound crazy if you haven’t read it hahahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Abigail’s blog is on Blogger, which is probably why you haven’t heard of it! I CALL COMMENTING ON ALL THE POSTS IN MY READER “BLOG HOPPING” so there you go. XD Actually, I think Scythe is headed towards a romance??? Idk we’ll have to seeeee. OMG YES. Just because it’s a certain genre doesn’t mean there will be romance! Well it should be that way. XD NO I HAVEN’T READ ACOTAR AND I DON’T PLAN TO. 🙈👍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. AH YES IN THE SEQUEL! Thunderhead I think?? AND OMG YOU SHOULD READ IT. Wait I’m pretty sure I read your review for ADSOM a while back but is it WORTH reading? I mostly just need to know if it’s a slow paced books because I can never ever finish those XD

        Liked by 1 person

  15. all of this is so true. I hate insta-love (unless I’m just really in the mood for some pointless romance because #warmfuzzyfeelings ) haha But when the characters have TIME to get to know each other, it’s so much more satisfying. And they should have conflicts. No one is perfect. I question their sanity if they never fight >.< Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely HAAAAATE insta-love! It just annoys me and frustrates me and makes me want to pull my hair out. XD No one nor relationship is perfect, and I’m definitely questioning their sanities with you if there’s no conflict!


  16. To answer your questions…
    do you hate insta-love too?
    Ya. duh.

    what about useless relationships?
    *eye roll* kill the useless ones. (ME VIOLENT NO NEVAH)

    and perfect relationships?

    what do you want to see more in ya romance?
    tbh more like… idk, serious people falling in love and getting to STAY MORE SERIOUS AND INTROVERTED B/C WHAT THE HECK A BOY DOESN’T SUDDENLY CHANGE YOU NORMALLY?? but idk, i’ve only had one crush ever outside of fiction so…

    have you checked out the other three points in our collab yet?

    and are YOU a fight-seeking scary pear???
    No, I’m a dragon-riding night-stalking crime-fighting queen. you know this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. also the trump gif omw *dies laughing* his facial expressions are so comical. TBH the only reason i watched the news for a while was to see him and hillary make faces at each other. i like, muted it and just watched their expressions. :p I’m not normal.

      Liked by 1 person

            1. Picture Trump looking in a mirror like, smoothing his weird hair over and making the duck lip face like “I look good.”

              Now picture Hillary looking in the mirror and doing her angry pursed lip thing like “I look on fleeeeeek guys.”

              *falls over laughing*

              Liked by 1 person

                1. YESSSS AND THEN TWEETING IT LIKE LOOK GUYS MY HAIR LOOKS GOOD and pence like laughing but then being like “uh-huh, yeah.”

                  XD BUT SHE THINKS IT. She’s probably also like “Dangit my shoes are different color from my pantsuits what should I do??”

                  Liked by 1 person


      And omg yes! Being in a relationship with a popular boy will probably make you more popular, but it doesn’t mean you’ll change completely!!! Imma be an introvert forevah.

      What??? What about Batman??? I thought you were Batman???

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Wow! A much needed post, May and Abigail! My parents don’t like me to read books with lots of romance, as they feel it represents real relationships in the wrong way. There are so many books that sound amazing and that I’m desperate to read, they ALL seem to have romantic themes! It’s so annoying. How long have you been allowed to read books with romance in?

    I thought your tips were great. So true. I’m definitely going to read Abi’s post,it sounds fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, there are some YA books with romance that I’m questioning — but it’s hard to make fantasy romance portray what it’s like in real life haha. YES EXACTLY. ALL THESE BOOKS HAVE ROMANCE WHEN THEY DON’T NEED TO HAVE ROMANCE AND UGH! Hmm… I don’t know? I read Divergent (which has romance along with OTHER stuff) when I was eleven, so about two years ago. My parents don’t really censor what I read??? Only what I watch. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  18. instalove is definitely super duper a million times not 10/10. Would not recommend. also, CURSE YOU FOR GETTING BARNEY STUCK IN MY HEAD ughghg Barney.
    It would be nice to see in YA romance, like you said, more gradual development. Also, it tends to make for a more fun experience for me at least. Instead of slapping the characters together like way too soon I can be over here DEAD because the TENSION I COULD CUT IT WITH MY NINJA STARS OVER HERE. That can be something that makes me keep reading. THAT is something that I want to see the end result of.
    Also, relationships that are healthy and not completely one sided. I’m tired of all these YA boys being dirt bags to the YA girls because that is a NOT GOOD THING TO PROMOTE TO YOUNG ADULTS. I think we underestimate the amount of impact relationships we learn about in stories (TV, movies, books, etc.) have on how we think our relationships should be in real life. It can be damaging and that is not GOOD AND I AM A BALL OF FURY.

    Liked by 1 person


      I feel like as the romance develops, there’s less drama??? And then you have insta-love which gets SO dramatic I die.

      And yes!!! Why can’t GIRLS be the dirtbags towards boys??? Just kidding. But seriously, we can have relationships where they treat each other nicely! And I agree — a negative portrayal of relationships can make us look at relationships irl negatively as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m reading strange The dreamer, and if this insta-love is what I think it’s going to be, it would’t be so “insta”, it’s more of them projecting their dreams onto reality.
    But yeah, HATE insta-love! You can be attracted at forst sight, but it’s not love until you know each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wait what do you mean projecting their dreams onto reality? 😂 I don’t want to spoil anything about the ending… *sobs*

      Yes! You have to get to know someone before you TRULY love someone — and I want to see that more in YA!


  20. Oh, this is a great post and I agree with everthing you said. Especially the “no conflict” thing. I hate when all the couples have perfect relationships where it’s all rainbows and sunshine all the time. I get that most couples go through a phase where everything IS all rainbows and sunshine, but it doesn’t last forever. You’re going to get annoyed / get into a fight with your SO at some point because, guess what, that’s what happens in real life *rant over* 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  21. *agrees with everything you said here*

    *is sorry about reccing Wink Poppy Midnight because all I remembered about it was that plot twist*

    *likes this post*

    I HATE INSTA LOVE TOOOOOOOO. And also I feel like conflicts are important but apparently most relationships have this “golden period” in the beginning where, since they are in a relationship, their brains let them look past flaws so they don’t fight much. BUT they should still fight after like a month. Over food. Because food is life.

    Also I love your gif usage what even.

    A book I recently read has the back cover like “when they first meet, the electricity between them is breathtaking” when it’s literally them meeting, sharing swigs of beer, him finding out she had an abortion and being like :OOO and her “defiant chin sticking out” and her being like “SO?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *glad i’m relatable*

      *the plot twist was the best thing honestly*

      *is “like” for the like button or actually like LIKING something*

      I FREAKING HATE INSTA-LOVE ASDFGHJKL. I’m so sad Strange had it because it really would’ve been five stars without it! And yeah, there’s definitely a stage where everything’s perfect… but then there’s the stage where everything like sucks. YES WE NEED MORE FIGHTING OVER FOOD.

      I know??? I reread the post and I was like omg my gif usage is on point.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. *i am glad you are relatable too*

        *yes i know i loved the plot twist*

        *both!!! i LIKED the post and also LOVED the post!*

        YES I KNOW UGH INSTA LOVE *cries*
        I honestly want a couple to be eating together in a restaurant and person A takes person B’s food and then person B’s like NO DON’T TAKE MY FOOD.

        The book is called The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom (I read it because HISTORICAL fiction and the cover was kind of pretty…)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. *i’m glad that you are glad*

          *that plot twist was great*

          *wowowowow both??? multitasking here huh*

          I include food appreciation in Magic Story™ but I need it in an actual novel??? Like pls get into fights over food. I mean I hate when ppl exaggerate things but like PLS DON’T TALK TO EACH OTHER BECAUSE OF FOOD PROBLEMS.

          Okay I shall never read that. *nodnod*

          Also help I’m going to cry over one character in Wonder Woman.


  22. INSTALOVE! I HATE IT SO MUCH IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY AAAAAH!!! I don’t much care for love at first sight or anything like that. I don’t believe it exists. I mean, I’ve seen guys before and went, “Whoa … he’s attractive/looks nice” but instalove is not a thing! NOT. A. THING.

    Okay, this rant is over.

    And having them not really develop feelings for each other … *growls* I hate when they just gawk at each other all the time and there’s nothing there but, “Gosh, he has such chocolate-y eyes …” and “Wow, that girl is so gorgeous,” etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I always think that attraction at first sight is real, but you can’t fall in love with someone JUST BY LOOKING AT THEM???

      I know right… It’s like hey I know you think they’re attractive but is that the only reason you like them??? UGH.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s like, “Yep … I looked into her head at first sight and say that we have all this stuff in common and she’s so nice and such … obviously she’s not a serial killer or anything …” XD

        Liked by 1 person

  23. These are all terrible but also, unfortunately, way too common in young adult literature. In the recent years I have noticed it getting a little better, but whether that’s due to my choices in books or a change in how authors are writing – I’m not entirely sure.

    I think the trope that gets on my nerves the most, would have to be insta-love. I kind of understand why authors do it? So many readers want romance in books, and it can be difficult to fit an entire relationship within the space that they’re given (especially if they don’t know when they’re next book is going to come along) – but that doesn’t change how much it annoys me.

    Going from admiring their looks to wanting to die for them is not only highly unrealistic, but also extremely unhealthy. Which can be worrying when you consider that young adult books aren’t exclusively for young adults, but can be read by those who are much younger as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s definitely getting better! But like you said, it may be what books we choose to read instead of the authors themselves changing, which sort of sucks. 😂

      Romance is really hard to write! But I don’t think it gives them an excuse to have insta-love, especially if everything else is very well-written.

      Yeah, I know I read YA books as a like an 11yo. XD I just don’t think portraying real life things in an unrealistic way is good for anyone!


  24. Aaaah I’d commented on this post but apparently there was a glitch and it didn’t post???? :(((((
    Anyways insta-love is very very annoying because real relationships don’t work like that. it’s one of the few things about Hamilton that annoys me actually – Eliza and Alex managed to fall in love and get married within five minutes??
    I don’t hate useless relationships (unless they’re just there because “every book needs ships”) because it means more ships!!! and more ships means more fanfiction!!!! and more fanfiction means more fangirling!!!!!!
    And perfect relationships are really boring because conflict is necessary to make it interesting – when in real life have there been relationships with no arguments??
    Also I read abigail’s post and it was 10/10 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stupid WP problems. I just had one where my post had been “scheduled two mins ago”… but it wasn’t published??? Also could you do me a favor and see if a certain post has popped up in your Reader because those WP problems are making me paranoid.

      I HATE INSTA-LOVE!!! And I know, it’s like “two weeks later in the living room stressin'” and I’m like two weeks later what the heck??? Idk if that was something for the era tho lol.

      I KNOOOOOOW. BUT USELESS ROMANCES ARE LIKE USELESS. They’re just there to have romance and to probably also sell better and I slowly die inside.

      I’m glad you enjoyed her post! 👍

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I am VERY LATE TO THIS PARTY! WHY CAN I NOT SEE YOUR POSTS ON MY FEED? (I must read my reader on a day you do not post…) WHAT AN INCREDIBLE POST! I totally agree about useless and perfect relationships. I really HATE insta-love, I can already tell that the entire book will have problems if the main relationship can’t be built properly. I so AGREE THAT THE RELATIONSHIP SHOULD HAVE A POINT… unfortunately readers don’t agree and I find some just want a guy to be a puppet that is there is be the significant other to the female protagonist… this drives me crazy! IS HE NOT A PERSON OF HIS OWN?! And cooing perfect relationships are also so ANNOYING! I do think there is a passage of time in a relationship with new love that can get really icky sweet but that should be to contrast when reality sets in… Love all your collaborations including this with Abigail!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, that’s odd! I post Mon/Wed/Sat if that helps. 🙂 Maybe you accidentally unfollowed? 😂 I hate insta-love as well! It’s just super unrealistic and I’m like UGH NO. And a lot of readers are okay with unnecessary romances??? But I’m like WHY WOULD YOU HAVE A LOVE INTEREST JUST TO HAVE A LOVE INTEREST??? And yeah, there’s always one part that’s like perfect… but then the conflict comes. XD

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Insta love has to be one of my biggest pet peeves too. I admit when I was younger and starry eyed (and waaaaaaaaay ignorant) I used to love books that had insta-love. It was impressed in my head that that’s how love and relationships worked (oh my god so messed up I know). But now that I’ve had time to read other romance novels (the ones with actually well developed couplings) I find insta love to be one of the worst ways to kill a story.

    However I can still admit to reading some books with insta love in it (unless its way too cringy for life) mostly because its kind of a way to prevent my writing from turning out like that. Sometimes I pick up a book that I KNOW is going to get on my nerves with how quick the characters get together, but its to remind me of what NOT to do when writing romance into my plot. XD

    These are all really good points and I completely agree. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reading about insta-love as a child can give you SO many impressions about what love is in real life and it’s not so great. :/ But luckily as we grow older we recognize it… and also learn to hate it. XD

      Oh yeah, as long as you know it’s something NOT to do in your writing, it can be a huge experience! 😛


  27. This is such an interesting post. I hate Insta love what’s with a great slow burning romance there so much more interesting and there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship it’s overcoming conflicts that make a relationship strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I really dislike insta love. I prefer slow burn romance but I just usually don’t like romance in books? I prefer them in Korean dramas. And in the Lunar Chronicles, I liked the romance in Cinder but the romance in Scarlet? I felt that they matched but they got into a relationship way too quickly. Very conflicting thoughts 😦

    I feel that authors should write more about single teenagers and unrequited crushes.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. do you hate insta-love too? YESSS. sometimes i feel like my couple turn out to be insta love but i also don’t want them to be too much of a drag, yknow
    what about perfect relationships? uNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. im still looking for my chuck bass. although their relationship was flawed??? its late i have no idea what im talking about
    what do you want to see more in ya romance? hmm- i have an idea but i dont wanna comment it cause i dont wanna be judged lolol
    have you checked out the other three points in our collab yet? im about to! 😀
    and are YOU a fight-seeking scary pear??? (i’m sure amelie will fight you if you say yes.) im… scary watermelon?? all those seeds- can’t the black oens poison u or somehting? ;))

    Liked by 1 person

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