I refused to write this blog the week of the 14th because that would be ridiculously predictable. But I feel like it needs to be written.
There’s a lot of love going around in the young adult genre. I’ve talked on here before about how people shouldn’t just think of young adult as cheesy high school romance novels. But the truth is, a lot of what makes up these books is romance. I will admit that some of my favorite young adult novels are all about the love. This, I hope, does not change my classmates’ opinions of me as a self-proclaimed literature aficionado. I just can’t help it. I like reading these stories and thinking that if there aren’t tales of love like this in reality, at least there was an author with a heart big enough to create a fictional one to spread the hope of realistic ones.
I’ve always tried to connect books to everything important in my life, and my love life is no different. In the past, when I’d tried to “woo” a girl, I could frequently be heard spouting quotes from things I’d read and trying to see if they a) recognized said quotes and b) thought it was impressive. Literature was and is one of many “useful tools” involved in my feeble attempts at flirtation.
Getting a little more personal this week, I’d like to talk about an event in my life involving love and literature. This past Summer, I was getting to know an important someone for the second time in my life. We had parted ways quite badly, and I was nervously trying to pick up the pieces of a broken something. In doing that, the first thing the both of us looked to was literature. This other person was as much of a literature buff as me, so an experiment was decided upon: we would read a book together. The book we chose was An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. After finishing your collective sigh, I’d like you to note that this girl’s and my mini-book club was the very beginning of my obsession with that particular author. We would connect through our webcams every night and read until one of us fell asleep on top of the pages. It was one of the most intimate experiences I’ve ever had with another person and with a book. Coincidentally, that same person is sitting next to me right this very minute, reading an essay about Comic Sans. She’s probably snooping over my shoulder and reading this as well. That book helped save us at the time, and others are helping us get closer every day, though, I do tease her about switching to ebooks as her main source of reading.
I’d like to end this post by recommending some of my favorite Young Adult love stories to all of you.
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan: A novel written in definitions. It’s a very short read, but dense in its emotional content. It takes readers through the ups and downs and nowheres of a relationship.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: The story of child prodigy, Colin Singleton, as he leaves on a life changing road trip brought on by being dumped by the 19th girlfriend he’s had named Katherine. Expect hog hunting and sad old people stories mixed with complicated mathematics.
Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger: John learns the hard way that you cannot force someone to feel something when he falls in love with lesbian zine writer, Marisol.