My take on classic YA romances

Emily Mears, Editor

With Valentine’s Day here and gone and traces of love still in the air, it’s time to start thinking about the more realistic side of love. Or at the very least, thinking about our favorite YA couples. Here’s my take on some of these popular romances.


Peeta and Katniss (The Hunger Games)

Personally I find this relationship incredibly toxic. Can we just take a moment for Katniss Everdeen—the girl forced into a romantic relationship for life with a man who said cute things like “my nightmares are typically about losing you.” While that is cute, it is only pushing her further into a relationship she doesn’t want to be in. She loved him because she had to, not because she wanted to, and by the time the Hunger Games ended she had no choice but to stay with him because he was the last bit of familiarity she had after being traumatized. Gale is no better, but no worse. #teamKatniss 


Maxon and America (The Selection)

This is perhaps one of the greatest ships in YA. They have their flaws, like every couple, and a few times where I wondered if she really loved him or not, but in the end I loved every second of their love story. Maxon does not try to stop her or tame her—he lets her live the life she wants to. 


Four and Tris (Divergent)

The love story here felt rather real. Despite the throwing knives and the rocky start, I feel it turned out rather well. They learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses, some by choice, others by force. I appreciated that when the whole book was about choices, they chose each other. However, I do feel like a lot of aspects of this romance were forced. The biggest thing is it seems that Four is one of the dark and brooding boys who wants some girl to come along and fix him. It’s not your significant other’s job to fix you. The power complex is tilted heavily in his favor. Their highs and lows are exaggerated, but since they are teenagers, it is to be expected. However, there was potential for them to fix their ways, it’s too bad we never got to see it.


Thomas and Audrey Rose (Stalking Jack the Ripper)

Not enough people have read this book to appreciate the relationship between Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell. Their Pinterest presence does not do their relationship justice. They encourage each other and always have the other’s best interest at heart. The novel is set in 1888 and Audrey wants to go into forensics and Thomas is not only supportive of her dreams, but encouraging. Literally every interaction between the two is perfect. They have sarcasm, wit, and love. It’s just so perfect for them. Audrey supports Thomas just as much as he supports her. They are constantly teaching each other how to become better versions of themselves. It’s just simply perfect. 


Edward and Bella (Twilight)

Once more, I found this relationship toxic. Bella has some (ok, a lot) of issues that she needs to work through, and being with Edward makes all of those issues worse. The fact that Bella became suicidal the moment Edward left was a major issue. All I can really say is that this ship is just one big red flag. 


Rather you love YA romance or despise them like I do Edward and Bella, I hope you can see where I am coming from on these thoughts.