Just Contemporary: Guest Post with Danya from A Tapestry of Words

All month long, Ashley from Books From Bleh to Basically Amazing and Shanyn from Chicks Love Lit are hosting an epic event entitled Just Contemporary.

There are all kinds of goodies, from giveaways to reviews to guest posts and author interviews. Ashley is also doing a round-up of Contemporary reviews and features on other blogs each week, so get in touch with her if you post anything!

A Backwards Story has signed up to swap a guest post with another blogger on the web each week for the next five weeks.

Here is the third of five guest posts. Week one's post can be found HERE and last week's can be accessed HERE.

Today's guest post features Danya from A Tapestry of Words. You may remember Danya from when I participated in Psychtember a couple of months ago or seen her lurking around in the comments. I was really happy when we were paired up together this week because I totally love this girl (and hope you do as well)!

Now, it's time to introduce her and see why she loves contemporary! If you want to see my thoughts on the subject, just shoot over to A Tapestry of Words!

Romance Do's and Don'ts by Danya from A Tapestry of Words

When thinking about what I should write for my guest post, I started pondering my requirements for romantic relationships in contemp YA. What needs to happen to get me rooting for a romantic pairing? What makes it fall completely flat? The end result: a list of my dos and don'ts for the romance aspect of contemp YA. And I've added some examples of books that, in my opinion, do something right with the romance.

So, without further ado...

Do: Make each character in the relationship a multi-dimensional individual who feels real and can stand on their own, independent of the other person.

Don't: Make the road to true love smooth. In other genres, I can believe it, but this is contemporary. There *should* be bumps and hiccups and bends in the characters' journey.

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle. Laurel and David's relationship develops slowly over the course of the whole book. As I said in my review, "her relationship
with David is believably rocky as it changes and takes on different tones throughout."

Do: Make the characters complement each other in
such a way that the two of them together become more than the two of
them separate.

Don't: Make it all about the romance. I want a plot independent of the romantic relationship — even if it's just character development in some way — to be going on.

Heist Society by Ally Carter. There's a bit of romance, sure, but there's also a heist going on!

Do: Give the characters chemistry. Make me swoon!

Don't: Give them only chemistry. I want attraction on an emotional and intellectual level as well.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Stephanie Perkins gives us the whole package when it comes to Anna and Etienne's relationship.

Do: give me romantic tension that keeps me reading.

Don't: draw the tension out, then finish with a quick resolution that doesn't satisfy.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. Theirs is an incestuous relationship conducted in secret...so you better believe there's tension! Not just in terms of plot, but the emotional quotient is also there in full force.

So...what are your requirements for romance in contemporary YA? Agree with mine? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts!

And thanks very much to Ashley of Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing and Shanyn of Chick Loves Lit for hosting this awesome event!

Also, don't forget to check out MY guest post over at A Tapestry of Words!


  1. I love this lay out for the romance topic! Seriously great! And it's very true! I loved reading your dos and don'ts! :P Excellent job Danya!

  2. @Bonnie: Awww, thanks for your nice introduction - I was super happy that you were my guest post swapper too!! :)

    @Ashley: So glad you liked the layout, thanks! I wasn't sure what I was going to write about at first and then this idea popped into my head so I went with it :D

  3. Oh, I agree with you! Especially with the The Beginning of After and Anna examples. Also, when you're reading about two characters who you know are going to be the couple of the book and you keep reading but you are just not feeling it; if the author doesn't write it right, the book just loses that spark, you know?

    - Mary | Anxirium

  4. @mfay2: I know what you mean, sometimes it's obvious who the author intends to be the romantic pairing, but as a reader the chemistry just isn't there and you aren't feeling the connection. No fun when that happens! :(


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