I’ve noticed that in young-adult romance novels—either in a book with a romantic sub-plot or a romantic plot—the girl always asks why her boyfriend likes her; she wonders why he’s not with somebody more “worthy.” This blog post was partially inspired by Saving Zoë by Alyson Noël, a book I’ve just begun to read. The main character, a girl named Echo, wonders why her crush, a boy named Parker, would like someone like her. And I started to realise that her not feeling “worthy” of his attention was very familiar. This has been too many times before. Need proof? After thinking about it some more, I went through my books and looked at every romance book I have. Below is a list of books where the protagonist—a teenage girl—questions why her boyfriend likes her:
- The Alice Series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
- Evermore, by Alyson Noël
- Faking Nineteen, by Alyson Noël
- House Of Night, by P.C. and Kristin Cast
- Kiss & Blog, by Alyson Noël
- Saving Zoë, by Alyson Noël
- Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
This is annoying, and it makes me angry that the authors portray their characters to have such a low self-esteem. Why can’t it just be like, “Okay, he likes me. Whatever.”? Why does there have to be a reason? Why can’t it just be what it is? I wish writers knew how tiresome reading the “What does he like about me? Why does he like me?” thing is.
The books are good, just not the chapters where the narrator goes on and on, wondering why her boyfriend likes her. And when the character questions why he likes her, she’s really insulting herself.
All the books I mentioned above have a teenage girl protagonist, and a woman wrote the book. I just wish that female writers would make stronger, non-whiny female characters.