When the Age Matches the Face

When The Age Matches the Face

YA fans are pretty damn weird.

I mean, I would know since I’m one of those weird people. Hell, I love being weird. I own it. We own it. Damn fine too, if I say so myself.

I have accepted the weirdness (and the fantasticness) of the bookish community with everything I’ve got, loving the strange-as-hell conversations we randomly have to the mildly-threatening-but-still-loving ways we push our favourite books onto our friends. It’s what makes the book community amazing. Like, full-of-life amazing. Like, chocolate-cheese-cake-amazing.

But what I’m always perplexed about? The love interests we so dearly support.

Now, back up a bit. I’m not going to point fingers saying ohmigodheissogross or ohmigodwhyHIM? to any of the love interest options out there, but I’m just trying to point something out.

Let me list you some love interests:

  • the Darkling from The Grisha
  • Edward Cullen from Twilight
  • Prince Ash from The Iron Fey
  • Rowan Whitethorn from Throne of Glass
  • Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices
  • Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses
  • Raffe from Penryn & the End of Days

Notice anything? Aside from their massive (or at least large) fanbase made up of screaming fans that support them like hell, they’re also like a billion years old.

These love interests that have so many people swooning, fanning, and just plain loving them are probably five times older than their counterpart love interest. (Also, I’m sorry there aren’t any girls up there. I’m trying to think of immortal/female characters with super longevity, but there doesn’t seem to be many that I can think of.) And almost nobody bats an eye.

I mean, don’t you think that’s sort of odd? I do, and I support half of them on this list.

So what? you say, coming to defend your babies. They’re a hundred years, whatever. They’re still uber dreamy and soooooooo amazing.

Sure. But that’s when they’re looking like they walked out of GQ and haven’t aged a day past seventeen. What if they looked their age?

Let’s take Edward Cullen from Twilight. This dude is like a hundred years old. One fucking century. And he’s falling in love with someone who is basically a child compared to him.

Holy shit, anyone?

Sure, it’s super romantic. Of course it is. A lonely soul, never having found love his entire life until her. Our main character. Someone who is special enough to capture their heart and make them fall into love. Oh sweet, sweet, perilous love.

But again: if they looked their age?

I mean, I guess nobody bats an eye with this whole by-the-way-im-older-than-your-grandpa thing since they all look like teenagers, so who the fuck cares? I certainly didn’t when I loved Prince Ash and Tamlin. They look like they’re teenagers, so whatever, yeah?

That’s why I think it’s really weird. Because I’m really sure that if they looked like their age without all that Immortality4You moisturizer that they all use to look seventeen, and they fell in love with their love interests, I’m quite sure that we’d be a bit uncomfortable. Someone older than my grandpa and looks the part falling in love with a teenage girl? So totally gross! But if you look like you’re seventeen despite your clearly-not-seventeen age number? Ohmigod hawt.

I’m totally not hating against those love interest or their fans. Honestly, some of my faves are up on that list. But I’m just trying to voice out what I’ve been thinking for a while. This isn’t an attack on anyone, it’s just something that’s been swirling around in my brain. And I want to hear what other people think.

so tell me. what do you think of all this? does it not matter to you? would it change your perspective on the love interest if they didn’t look as young as they’ve been written, and instead looked like what they’d naturally look like (or at least what an ordinary person would look like)?

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She likes to think the reviews provided help you pick out the good books from the bad, because it would be a crime to read some of those books, and being the good citizen she is, will try her best to help you steer clear of those books. While she knows that there are many blogs like this out there, as I’m sure you also know, she’d like to point out that her blog is different- you will never find someone quite like her. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you to decide.


7 thoughts on “When the Age Matches the Face

  1. I completely and totally agree with you.
    It is true that we don’t bat an eye when cases like this happen. And some of my ships are on this list. But seriously, why the fuck should it be acceptable?
    Why do authors, YA authors on top of it, take older man (since we still have not thought of a female character) to pair them with teenagers?
    I think you bring up a very important point Claudia. As much as I love Magnus and Alec, it is disgusting to create relationships like that. It is telling the thirteen year old girl reading The Mortal Instruments series that if a man of thirty wants to be with her, it’s okay. Pro lem is, it’s not.
    Age might just be “a number”, but rules remain rules. And those books have broken them. I do not care if they’re-vampires-so-it’s-ok. It is not okay and frankly, those books just lost a lot of appreciation coming from my part.
    Thank you Claudia for bringing this up. Thank you for opening this debate. Authors should be careful with their characters. They might only be fiction, but sometimes, fiction is closer to reality than we think.

  2. This is such a great post, Claudia. I remember people saying about Edward a while back like, OMG BUT HE’S ANCIENT. It’s so strange, though, how if they still look youngish, instantly my brain is like, “Oh, okay, that’s fine.” But if they look too far over 25, then suddenly it’s “That’s so creepy he’s too old for you!” …even though he’s 235. I’m having a hard time figuring out why this doesn’t creep me out, since clearly this guy has way more life experience and could easily take advantage of poor 16-year-old girl MC. But it goes back to Lestat. Yeah, he was from the 1600s, but he was HOT. I guess our brains care more about the looks than the number.

    But it does remind me of a book where the guy got his soul melded into the body of this old obese king, but the girl still stuck with him anyway, and I remember thinking a lot about how I felt about that.

    Sarcasm & Lemons
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  3. Wow. I never really thought of this Claudia, but you are so, so right. It’s scary to see how age is portrayed in YA as far as love interests go, and you’ve shown some really great examples regarding that. Thanks for sharing this and, as always, fabulous & very thought-provoking discussion! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Their Fractured LightMy Profile

  4. I don’t actually know how I feel about this xD It’s not something I really thought in depth about, but yeah, it is kinda creepy when you think about it! I’m definitely creeped out when there’s a much older looking love interest, and it’s interesting how I skim over the fact that the love interest is so much older when it comes to these scenarios! Love the title of the post btw 🙂
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books recently posted…The Keepsake blog tour!My Profile

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