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Happy Valentine’s Day folks! Maybe you love all the candy and flowers or think it’s just another day, the feeling of love being all around us is a little inescapable around February. I’ve been getting in the mood by reading YA and looking back at all the couples in YA novels. Whether you’re reading a high fantasy or a contemporary set in a high school, there’s usually a romance somewhere in the pages.

For Valentine’s Day we thought we’d look into three classic YA romantic tropes and see what the pros and cons of each one might be!

 

LOVE TRIANGLES

What is it?

A love triangle is usually a romantic relationship involving three people (although sometimes more), in which one individual is torn between which love interest to choose.

Examples in YA?

Lena, Alex, and Julian (Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver)

America, Maxon, and Aspen (The Selection Series by Kiera Cass)

Juliette, Adam, and Warner (Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi)

Thomas, Brenda, and Teresa (Maze Runner Series by James Dashner)

Alyssa, Jeb, and Morpheus (Splintered Series by A. G. Howard)

Katniss, Peeta and Gale (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

Rho, Hysan and Mathias (Zodiac by Romina Russell)

 

Arguably the most overdone of the three examples here, I see love triangles get a lot of flack in YA reviews these days. The example list above could have been twice as long, but why are they so popular? They add conflict to a story, especially if both of the love interests are decent people that you can root for. The danger when writing a love triangle is that you might drag it out too long, or it only serves to make your main character seem like some uber desirable special snowflake. That’s when love squares, pentagons and dodecahedrons start to crop up, and you definitely want to avoid that! However, judging by the list above, they can work. There are some really good arguments in defence of the dreaded love triangle, and like most things that have a cliche element to them, the trick is to do them well, to do them differently.

 

FORBIDDEN LOVE

What is it?

A relationship or feelings for another individual that is prohibited, by circumstances or by world-related taboos.

Examples in YA?

Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane, Jace and Clary (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)

Valek and Yelena (Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder)

Penemuel and Michael (Ignite Series by Erica Crouch)

 

I’m not going to lie: I’m a big fan of forbidden love. There’s something really good about the tension that is produced in a story where two people who want to be together, shouldn’t be together. There’s that undeniable pull between the characters and with that a whole heap of tension that makes a forbidden romance sizzle where others might not. People root for forbidden love because it symbolises something really beautiful rebelling against constraint. When it’s done well, it really works, but it can be horribly frustrating, as I’m sure anyone who has read The Mortal Instruments series can vouch for. There’s also the risk of a constant pull back and forth between no-we-musn’t and oh-what-the-heck-*kissing*. It’s important to know the difference between teasing a reader and torturing them.

 

INSTALOVE

What is it?

Instalove describes the quick and often unrealistic romantic attachment that two characters can have for one another.

Examples in YA?

Edward and Bella (Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer)

(I don’t have many examples, because I think Instalove is a fairly subjective topic. What I might consider ‘too fast’ might differ greatly from you!)

 

Instalove is a funny one; readers can accept super powers, and radioactive sea turtles, and one-eyed cyborg warriors out to harvest our spleens, but if two characters fall in love too quickly, it’s unbelievable. Why is this? Is it really that unrealistic that two teens would develop quick emotional attachments to one another? When we consider the raging minefield of hormones we all experience in our teenage years, I think we can all safely say, no, it’s not all that unrealistic. Our choices might be a little questionable too. Personally, I think the issue with instalove comes from the depth of that attachment. If the characters are saying wedding vows by the end of their first day together (and it isn’t somehow plot driven, like they have to because they’re on a planet where the unwed are incinerated), then there may be a problem. But Instalove can work, if you want it to. Be different!

For more YA Romance check out:

Kellie Sheridan’s discussion on romance in YA

and

Erica Crouch’s YA Romance series recommendations

pwpvalentines

We have put together a unique Valentine’s Day Gift Guide inspired by the wonderful books published here at Patchwork Press.


We chose a wide range of gift ideas.These are fun and quirky gifts for anyone or really any holiday. For the most part these can be found on etsy and they are all pretty reasonably priced.

Ignite Series by Erica Crouch

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Poetry Stockingil_570xN.550736557_7pel

Price: $24.90-$33.90 

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Pen, the main character of the series, has an affinity for words, which makes these stockings an item she would adore. Also you can customize these to say whatever you want! Maybe even get a passage from the Ignite series with some of Erica’s beautiful writing.

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 Infinity Angel Wing Necklace

Price: $42 

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This necklace beautifully portray’s Michael and Pen’s relationship. We all ship that one! I love that it is simple and understated yet gorgeous. This is definitely something anyone would love. Dainty jewelry has been more trendy recently and would be a great Ignite inspired piece to wear.

Hitchhiker’s Strain Series by Kellie Sheridan 

Duality-Cover

Guitar Pick Bracelet  

il_570xN.461746186_9gqtPrice: $12.00 

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Kellie Sheridan has written an action packed zombie series that any Walking Dead fan would love. When I found this bracelet I immediately thought of her books. This bracelet is fun and looks like it would be a great edition to any zombie killing wardrobe.

Zombie Gift Packil_570xN.676996530_d5mu

Price: $9.95

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This gift set includes “zombie” soap, lip balm, and this cute draw string bag. It is an adorable quirky gift idea for the zombie fan you know. This packing makes this gift great and I think the characters of the Hitchhiker’s Strain series would have loved some zombie repellent!

Follow The White Rabbit by Kellie Sheridan

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Drinkil_570xN.609531226_jdwf (1) Me Teacup and Saucer 

Price: $20.00

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Kellie is an avid tea drinker and lover of Alice in Wonderland so we thought this teacup would be rather fitting for her Follow The White Rabbit series. This pretty teacup set would be perfect for fans of Alice in Wonderland or just enthusiastic tea drinkers. I need this cup in my life.

il_570xN.645387270_9g0xAlice In Wonderland Book Scarf

Price: $42

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This scarf looks gorgeous. It has illustrations as well as excerpts from Alice in Wonderland. Beyond being the dream accessory for any book lover it would be a great edition to any outfit and could definitely be worn with a casual outfit or a more fancy look.

Four of a Kind by Kellie Sheridan

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Four of A Kind Tank

Price: $14.99

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Every time I hear this title I think of cards. I found the perfect tank for it. I think this is really cute and fun.

Madly, Deeply by Erica Crouch

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Annabel Lee Nail Polish

Price: $10.00

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This etsy shop makes literary inspired nail polish. This one has the same origin as Madly, Deeply and has a similar tone as well. Dark and stormy with a spark that you can’t resist.

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Quote Art

Price: $10.00

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This upcycled art work is beautiful. This one has a quote from Annabel Lee, which Madly, Deeply is based on. I love this quote and I think this is a wonderful gift for any Edgar Allan Poe lover.

Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings

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813szUtlZ3L._SL1411_Once Upon A Time Season 1 Blu Ray or DVD

Price: $20-35 

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This show is great and a lover of fairytale retellings will adore it. Obviously if you have netflix or amazon instant video then buying the dvd set isn’t a great option. If the person doesn’t have those video subscriptions this is a nice gift because you can watch it together.

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Vintage Fairytale book

Price: Not Available

This item in particular was sold on etsy but it is more the idea of it. I think it is really nice to get someone a vintage story book. Especially a children’s one because it can make people nostalgic. If you love fairy tale retellings it is really adorable to see the artwork in some of these older children’s books.

Water by Terra Harmony

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il_570xN.268197439Four Elements Necklace

Price: $10.00

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Terra Harmony’s Akasha series is based on the four elements and when I saw this necklace I knew it was perfect. It shows all of the four elements in not just the traditional sense. It is really pretty and has a cool design.

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Four Elements Bath Salts

Price: $20.00

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I love this idea of the bath salts for each element. Products like this can be something people don’t buy for themselves or forget to buy. I think this is a really nice gift and even fits really well with this series’ inspiration.

The Rising by Terra Harmony

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Silveil_570xN.642622588_ox4s (1)r Shell Necklace

Price: $15.80

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Terra Harmony’s The Rising features a mermaid and this dainty necklace is a perfect match for the book.

il_570xN.663793837_1dahCrescent Moon Necklace

Price: $15.80

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The Rising also features werewolves. So what better represents a werewolf than the moon. What I love most about these two gifts for The Rising is that they could be worn together and look really great because gold and silver combined has been very popular.

Ennara and the Book of Shadows by Angela Myron

9781927940105

Goddess il_570xN.547201889_mmweDiana Cuff Bracelet

Price: $28

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Since the Ennara series is fantasy, I was so excited when I found this bracelet. It screams fantasy to me. It has the intriguing mystery of fantasy as well as the beautiful elegance of the genre.

Dragon Ear Cuffil_570xN.467166974_1vmn

Price: $16.90

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When I think fantasy I think dragons. This pick is based off the Ennara and the Book of Shadows cover. I think ear cuffs look wicked cool and are so fun to see. This one has glitter which doesn’t make it as scary and goes really well with the cover.

Puppet by Pauline Harris

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Vintage Pinoil_570xN.346168773cchio Charm Bracelet

Price: $38

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This charm bracelet is really cute and features all of the classic characters and scenes from the Pinocchio story. It is really quirky and interesting. Any Pinocchio lover will find this to be a wonderful gift.

downloadLittle Golden Book: Pinocchio

Price: $3.99

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The Disney Little Golden Books are my childhood and I think that goes for a lot of people. Something like this can be really meaningful to someone and especially if they are a Pinocchio junkie.

I hope you enjoyed our Patchwork Press Valentine’s Day Gift Guide! This was definitely our quirky spin on the traditional Valentine’s day gift. We definitely hope to do more posts like this in the future.