Tonight as I was reading Isla and the Happily Ever After, blushing along with Isla and developing my own crush on Josh it hit me like a ton of bricks. I know why I love YA romances.
In my world as an adult, in my circle of friends and acquaintances, in the couples that I know who have gotten divorced it's been because the woman has left the man. Almost 100% of them have been initiated by the woman. I often would wonder why because I can't believe they would think something better was out there. I know that the reasons are varied, but the way some of them act right after the separation/divorce leads me to believe one thing: they are looking for is that rush that you get from first realizing you are attracted to someone. And the bigger rush when you realize they are attracted to you.
It's why romance novels are so popular and romantic comedies and cheesy romances on the Hallmark channel and Edward and Bella and Christian Grey and Anastasia. Seeing it played out in someone else's world helps you feel that rush for a little while.
But, when you read a young adult romance novel written by an author who gets it, who can write that first glimpse of love developing from a crush, it takes you to the place you want, even if you didn't realize you wanted it.
Remember seeing your crush walking down the hall towards you? Remember seeing him at his locker with his friends? Remember when your eyes met in the cafeteria? Remember him liking you back? Remember that first kiss? If you want it back, read a young adult romance and you feel it again, I almost guarantee it.
Young adult authors understand that teenagers are beautiful. All of them. I am around young teens everyday in my job and around my house. They are beautiful! And it's not really how they look, its the youth. It's the glimpse of the young men and woman they will become. It's the promise of a whole life ahead of them. It is beautiful. You can see it in all of them if you look--even the ones who are hard edges due to their lives not holding a lot of promise. You can see it in the ones on the fringes and the ones that are considered popular.
If you look you can see it in all of them. Young adult authors see it. And they write it so you see it too.
In young adult romance books, I really want to see the romance blossom, even if in real life I might think 17 is too young for such intense romance. I jump into it wholeheartedly in young adult romances. I blush along with the girls, develop those same crushes, cringe at the embarrassing moments, get upset at misunderstandings, and sigh when it all works out in the end.
I am living vicariously through the characters in young adult romances and I feel fulfilled. I don't have to go search for that rush of being attracted to someone new, because I feel it every time I read a good YA romance. And it's wonderful and I will keep reading them. And I will keep seeing the beauty in the teens around me.