How far should romance go in YA books?

Disscussion time!
In YA books today, nearly every book you read has romance in it. Well, if it didn't it'll probably will not appeal to everyone. There probably will be just be just a few odd parts like a bit of kissing and cuddling here and there or it an get extremely intense by the minute leading on to well sex.

Many YA books, are wholly just based on love. Let's bring Anna and the French Kiss, I just love love this book seriously. The romance between And and Etienne is pure love and just tender. It doesn't go as far as sex but it's so enjoyable to read. Just the way they act toward each other displays their romance and its so cute! *sigh*

Let's move on to Twilight. Well come on, it had to be mentioned! That's one of the most popular paranormal romances there is. I'm a big Twilight fan and yeah I really enjoy reading the books. So, in Breaking Dawn, that's where Bella and Edward do 'it'. I remember when some parents discovered this they most certainly did not like their children reading it. But, Meyer did not go into detail if you know what I mean. It's like one of those movie moments when a girl or boy are in a bedroom and one of them go to slowly close the door. LOL.
Because this is teenage books we're talking about I just don't think that it should be very into detail like going through the love step by step driven by pure intensity. Intensity is okay but not when it goes step by step. I'm just really stressing on the step by step! :P I would give some examples so ya'll know what I'm talking about but I really don't want to offend any authors. I'm not saying romance is overratted. I'm a sucker for romance books but I think there should be some limits? Well that's what I think...
What do you think?


  1. I think it's necessary to accurately portray sexual events in YA books to ensure the book is realistic. Boy and girl meet, one week later have sex? Not realistic. Boy and girl fall in love, discuss it, try it? More realistic. I admire authors who manage to include sexuality in their novels without it being too graphic or explicit for younger readers, but I would be disappointed if an author wrote a couple who had been dating for 2 years and the characters wouldn't even talk about sex, for fear that parents would be shocked or offended. In the growing world of YA literature it's important to have novels on both sides of the table (no sex vs sex) to give a variety of options to readers.

  2. I don't think sex has a place in YA. I saw this considering that YA "officially" is from ages 12-18. 12 year olds do not need to be thinking about sex. (I also feel there should be a sort of disclaimer/rating system for YA books.) Kissing and romance are all good! (I write it into my own novels.) But the kissing shouldn't take center stage in the novel. Too many YA novels are focused on "Are we going to have sex or not?" And the MC is fifteen or sixteen! :(

  3. I actually had quite a lot to say so I wrote up a response on my blog which you can read here...

    Hope you don't mind :)

  4. Oooh I was just typing out my comment and it's huge, so I may do my own post and link back to yours =]

  5. Since I'm not a teen anymore and I do read those nitty gritty adult romances that go step by step I think most YA novels are tame. However for books meant for younger teens, that have the younger teen age range printed on the book, those should stick with things younger teens can read. I know that Aprilynne Pike's Wings Series is meant for younger readers and I think she does a good job at keeping it clean. Something meant for older teens such as the Nightshade Series by Andrea Cremer explores some more sexuality between Calla and the two different guys because it is centered for older teens.

    I think you have to be realistic to who your characters are and the fact of the matter is that teens who are 16-18 might possibly be having sex already. So I feel if the book is marketed for older teens then the authors should keep it realistic.

  6. We agree 100% with what Laura said (and she said it so well!). YA is a reflection of real teen life, and despite what some parents/people might want, sex often plays a role in that.

    As parents (well, 2 of us are, anyway) we understand the concern. But it's our job to talk about that with our kids; it's not the job of authors to pretend sex doesn't happen in teens' lives.

    Furthermore, we don't really understand why sex (a natural, necessary, and often wonderful part of the human experience) has become so taboo, while violence is considered relatively acceptable to portray.

    Great discussion question!

    And btw, that technique of someone going to close the door (or otherwise ending the scene before it gets too detailed) is called fading to black. ;)


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