View Full Version : Romance in YA...when does it actually become a YA Romance?

02-02-2009, 01:22 AM
If there's romance in my YA WIP, is it considered a YA romance? To what extent does it become romance?

For example, my WIP is about a girl who can't discern fairy tales from reality, who has an emotional intelligence of an eight-year old. (She's sixteen)
So she goes to boarding school, discovers herself, etc., tries all the things her nasty, overcontrolling stepmother wouldn't let her do (no i'm not talking about drugs and sex, more like putting on makeup and feeling good about herself), and...there's romance. Kind of.
She finds a boy who reminds her of herself (ie troubled, self-destructive, but okay on the outside), and they help each other grow up. Well, it's not an overtly psychological story about two outcasts, though it might sound like that. It's more of the popular girl and guy who seem to have it all.


02-02-2009, 01:28 AM
Doesn't sound like a romance to me. It sounds more coming-of-age than anything.

To me, a YA with romance becomes a YA romance when the romantic relationship is the main focus of the plot. However, I don't think labels like YA romance matter all that much. Just YA is good enough when it comes to querying.

02-02-2009, 01:30 AM
I'd say something could be romance if the romance plays a very big part in the plot and in the change the MC makes throughout the novel.

From reading your description, I'd say that your book is romance. A different take on romance (since it's not just about them being together, but their growing up and accepting themselves) but still romance at its base.

eta: LOL looks like Meg and I disagree...

I'd definitely agree that it's coming-of-age, but it seemed like the romance was a huge part of the book to me...

oh well *shrugs* In the end, marketing at a publishing house will categorize it for you, so go with whatever labels you feel work best for now.

Shady Lane
02-02-2009, 02:19 AM
It's true that it doesn't much *matter* if it's romance or not. It will be shelved with general YA. Right now, SFF is the only major subdivision within YA. Everything else is shelved all smushed together (and in some places SFF is shelved with general YA, too)

miss marisa
02-02-2009, 02:41 AM
YA romances usually have a plot that revolves around the actual romance with other sub-plots as an effect. Yours sounds like the opposite.

02-02-2009, 06:51 AM
Thanks for clearing things up. I'll probably label it a YA literary or coming-of-age. Though "coming-of-age" is a tall order for me--I've read ELSEWHERE by Gabrielle Zevin, and her coming-of-age story just made me cry (at school. how embarrassing).

02-02-2009, 10:56 AM
Dude, I really want to read this book.