I will preface this saying that I would love to see a YA novel where there is no love story between two main characters, or with none at all. Maybe with the side characters, but I really want to see a book that doesn’t have love as a main selling point of the novel.
No, not love triangles.
But more love interests. characters falling in love multiple times. Fall in love, heartbreak. move on. fall in love again, and the cycle repeats. I can count on like two fingers where I see the main character go through more than one love interest. Want to guess?
First one: Throne of Glass.
Second one: A Court of Thorns and Roses
There are possibly more, but my mind is crowded by all the OTPs that only had to fall in love once.
And I get some people shit on those books because of how some certain love interests became (which I understand since I can’t say I saw those wild personality switches happening), but I’ve seen others frustrated with the MC because “omg, why can’t they make up their mind?”
Christ, people. Those MCs are 19 – 21. Do you really expect them to find their soul mate that early?
Right now, within the first chapter you’re almost guaranteed to meet the protag’s love interest. And 99.9% of the time, that person is – gasp – their soul mate. Their true love. Their one and only. Their star in the dark sky, their lifeline in the drowning ocean.
But first loves are not the only love stories out there.
What about the ones who struggled to let go but had too, and eventually found someone who could heal their wounds? What about the ones who fell in love, but realized that they had grown and needed someone else? What about the ones who simply fell in love too quickly, too fast, and realized after that they weren’t the perfect match? Where are their stories?
I understand that perhaps multiple loves are not the most fairytale-esque stories, but god do I think they’re still amazing. There is something particularly romantic about going through so many people until you find The One, no?
I don’t want to bash or spit upon all those who found their soulmate in their first love. If you are, I congratulate you, and I admire you. I could only wish for that kind of fairytale. But I would like some variety in these stories of falling in love to show to people – yes, including teens like me – that if you had a fall-out with your first love, that you wonder if you’d ever fall in love again, you will. There will be someone out there for you, and it might take a little trial and error, but they’re there. And they will love you not like your first love, but your true love.
And I realize this is probably the cheesiest thing I’ve ever said, but I don’t regret it, not really. This is something I so desperately want, and I want a less of a negative view on it too. We get so spoiled by having authors give us the first love interest and keep them as their eternal ones that we have a knee-jerk reaction when we realize that’s not how it’s going to play out. I want this to change, please. Give me different love stories. Give me variety. Give me more love interests.