August 16, 2010

YA and the Lust Factor

Within the last four years I first started to take my first tentative steps into the romance genre. With PNR authors like Richelle Mead and Jeaniene Frost as some of my first I'd have to say it was a positive experience. Within the last two years I've really become quite found of the genre. Enough that I've even take a few baby steps outside of PNR and have tried Historical Romance. I'm looking forward to other aspects of the genre as I've posted on the romance challenge I've joined. These steps are some pretty big ones for a girl who would clearly state when ever anyone recommended a romance title, "Let's see 90% mindless tacky sex, with 1% plot attempt." Clearly not a high opinion at all.

After many reads later into the romance genre I apologize to romance fans. Sure there are books out there with 90% tacky sex, and questionable plots, but the genre still has much to offer. Of course that doesn't mean that the genre isn't plagued by annoying stereo types. You know what I'm talking about.

Lone Arrow's Pride
The sad tacky covers that curse the genre, some pretty lame (and yes funny) title names, and the immediate lust factor. Honestly, you step into the genre you expect a heavy dose of all those things. Today my seemingly mindless Babble, is about the Lust Factor. After reading enough books in the genre to say I'm an experienced romance reader--clearly no expert--I have come to accept it. You know, twenty pages (at the most) the main characters meet and it's BOOM! lust. Any book in the genre that manages to hold off until later on gets my applause. I love the build up, where the reader gets to appreciate the desire. You know a little gratification . . .

Now the books I really love are the ones when I feel the love building, but that's not what this Babble is about!!

So, in the end I've come to accept, and with the write author, appreciate the immediate lust factor. What I didn't expect was that when I ventured back into my YA Urban fantasy books that what awaited me was the very thing I was trying to escape. After reading two of them it all seemed clear. The lust factor had somehow crept into my YA genre. The books that I had come to take a break from the lust factor, had opened their arms wide and embraced the lust.

Now the books I read were not explicit, they were very clean. What I mean when I say they adopted the lust factor was. That within about 20-40ish pages in, hot boy enters, girl shamelessly lusts and makes a simpering idiot of herself. The books I read were Need by Carrie Jones and Glimmerglass by Jenna Black. Don't get me wrong, I adored both of them and look forward to reading the next books in the series.

Need (Need #1)
Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker, #1)

Both books where very clean, and like I said before nothing explicit. Still both girls where immediately enamored with the leading love interests. In Glimmerglass, I felt that the lust factor was taken a little farther, so I'm going to use it as my main example.

Dana meets Ethan, she likes him immediately. Even though he clearly flirts(or if hints can be taken sleeps) with anything that's remotely female, lies, puts himself on a golden pedestal higher then Mt Everest, and on one occasion uses some of his magical abilities to basically date rape Dana--everything is dandy. She's in lust! She forgives him ever thing as soon as she's given even the slightest reason too. It's like she's not even thinking. Sure I know we can't all control who we lust over, but really give female kind some credit.

This isn't just the two books that I've noted here. It seems like more and more YA have girl meets jerk and there's no stopping the lust. After reading these books and I can't say that any of the girls actually love the guys. In fact the author will introduce the third part of the love triangle and the main character admits she loves him (plus he happens to treat here right). However, the other guy--who just flipped her off and called her a bitch--has a hot bod and pretty eyes. That's the guy for her! (Seriously this was in a book I read, wish I could remember the title.) 

What I really want is to see more books like Kelley Amrstrongs' Darkest Powers series. Sure the same old formal is set in place, nice guy and jerk who will she choose. Unlike the lust factor that I seem to be rambling on and on about, is that as the series goes on the reader and the main character both fall in love with the seeming jerk. (It's a sweet romance and if you haven't read them, I suggest you do.)

So my ending conclusion is when a very experienced romance reader confides in me, she hates reading YA because it's basically teaching and showing these girls that no matter what lust will lead the way! Now that's sad. (Though the same reader doesn't see how any romance titles suffer from this . . .)

What I want to know is if anyone else has noticed this recently? Do your YA titles seem to be lusty clean versions of Romance books? Do females really have no self control to put the foot down and say no?


Darlyn said...

That is great post. While I'm not into romance and YA, I read them quite an amount recently. Mystery and thriller always be my pick, and like you, I'm quite experimenting with Ya and Romance. To this day, I never thought of the lust factor in YA. it is still okay and i don't think it really leads to lust. I have not read the glimmer glass or need yet so maybe I'm not getting to it. However, this is really a good thought. =)

Shera (Book Whispers) said...

Glad to see someone else exploring the reading feild.

In YA the lust factor isn't like in romance. In the case of glimmerglass, it's more lust at first sight. When the reader reads how hot the guy is over and over, there's nothing much to say but, "She's in lust."

Glad you enjoy the post. I tend to Babble so much and get carried away.

Anonymous said...

What I would call it in YA books recently is Lust at First sight. Though, I do get what your saying.

Shera (Book Whispers) said...

Hmm . . . you're right, it is a lot of lust at first sight. Though, it's a rare one that actaully develops it into something more.