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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

Sunday, 7 March 2010

False Expectations

(+5 for the contest)

Ive been thinking about this lately. As I keep reading YA and books in general Ive been coming up against the same question over and over again.

Are books (and of course the media) making us have false expectations?

Like an example would be couples in YA. Sure they get in fights, and they brake up, they cry, they cheat, they sometimes even die. But one way or another they always come back together. I guess it teaches us that everything can be resolved at the end if your love is strong enough, but in RL (real life) things sometimes don't end up with a bouquet of red roses and happy music in the background, ya know?

Or let's consider this. You all must know of Twilight right? If not, well, what is the number of your cave so that I can come over and hide with you? Anyways, this series brings a perfect
example. Edward. The perfect guy. He is tender, he is sweet, he is HOT, he wears white bloody armor. Sure he could stalk you a little bit and be super over protective but hey every guy has it's downside. My point is, he is just tooo perfect. The relationships are just too perfect. Who is here going to tell me they have never said "Oh, I wish he was real" or have expected that everything is going to end up with a pretty red bow? I have a couple of times, damn I wish I lived in a YA novel.

Because everything seems like it's destined to be and you just know who is going to end up with whom and that they are meant to be together for ever and ever. Hello that's why we are in love with the Vampire thing. It isn't because of the good looks or the money. It's because when you find that special person you get to be with them forever. And you know that life and those precious moments won't ever end.

But in RL... It's so much more difficult. You never know who's going to end up with whom. There is no "one unique love" because it may not only be one person who may touch your life and leave it like it never was before. It may be two, it may be three. The thing is you never know. How do you know that this is the right one? Answer, you don't. Some may argue that that is the beauty of life, confronting the unexpected and living. But some may just want to buy a magic 8 ball who can help them along the way.

I wish Bones from Jeaniene Frost's novel was real. Oh...Yeah... Or Spades (Also a Jeaniene Frost character)... Or Wrath from The Black Dagger Brotherhood... Or Peeta from The Hunger Games... I could go on and on.

But there is a point you gotta stop trying to make everything perfect like the book and start dealing with what life is right? Are we going to start confusing what's real and what's not? Are we in the path to becoming those women who are in the search for their YA and shiny armor? Or it could include men you know... No comment.

What do you think? Are you suffering from YAxpectations?
*Kind of wrote this at 2 a.m. so please if I made any mistakes tell me so I can edit lol


  1. I admit I may have suffered from YA expectations when I was an actual YA lol, but it was more in the realm of rock stars than books
    I personally think it's a matter of maturity and preference since my idea of "perfection" doesn't really coincide with most of YA fiction lol
    I tend to snark at reportedly "perfect men" in fiction the same way I would deux-ex-machina =P
    plus, I prefer to read about males NOT created for the sole purpose to be boyfriend material and nothing else cuz they're starting to all sound the same

  2. I totally agree with you! I think that's why YA books are so darn addictive - the publishers market the "happily ever after" on purpose. BUT, there are exceptions to the rule, such as the Ugly series that I just finished reading. I don't want to give too much away, but there is one important casualty that goes against the happily ever after rule.

  3. i have definitely had those moments in which ive said "i wish he were real" bones, dimitri and john after are the main ones for that.

    but i dont bring those expectations with me when i go out with people. it would be depressing if i did.

    in saying that my current bf is like he just stepped out of a book, he cares and hes perfect in front of my mother and he makes sure im warm enough and that i get enough sleep when im sick...it actually surprised me because ive never had that before and i only though that existed in books...so maybe we cant completely write it off yet

  4. (pssst. Peeta from The Hunger Games or Patch from Hush, Hush)

    Here's the deal:

    Every love is a unique love. Every time you fall in love it's going to be different, wonderful, amazing, at least for a period of time.

    Novels are FICTIONAL. Usually, they only take you through the fairy tale part of relationships. If you feel like you're going to have a fairy tale life where everything is perfect, you're delusional. The fiction cuts off before the trials in relationships begin.

    I married young. I married a man who I still love with all of my heart after almost seven years (hey, I'm still in my 20s). I was diagnosed with cancer one month after our wedding. Adversity pulled us together instead of ripping us apart. He still opens my doors and pulls out my chairs. He still holds my hand in public. He still grabs me and kisses me just because. He works hard to provide for and support me. I work hard to be considerate of him. I've worked really hard at becoming domestic (it's just not in me!). I moved to a town I hate. The reality is, relationships take work and sacrifice. If it's not worth working for, it's not worth having. Reading YA novels is often an escape from reality into a smile and gigglefest. Please don't think that life imitates fiction, because it rarely does.

    I admire writers like Michelle Zink who let their characters be independent from love for a while, who let their characters develop and learn who they are before they dive head first into serious relationships.

  5. I am 27 years old and I had my fair share of men.Not many,but enough.Let me tell you, no one wasn't even close to resemble any of the guys I've read about in books.Those guys,non existent if you ask me.Mostly because real life gets in the way.For example, no boy can be THAT independent ,THAT overly protective THAT benevolent and most importantly THAT non self centered and THAT considerate of others, at the age of 17 or 19 as are most of the boys in the books.It just can't be.Because real boys have to deal with their families, their studies , everyday problems that kind of get in the way of someone becoming all...Edward-y (for lack of a better word).So let's not be so hard on them.Also don't forget that a lot of guys who are vampires or supernatural creatures of some kind, have been around the world 4 times and have learned so many things in their travels and know how to behave and treat a woman.Most teenage guys haven't even left home(naturally)let alone the state, or the country and they think that maturity is the new club around the corner.Don't get me wrong, there are good and kind guys out there, no question about that.But I doubt that each and every quality they have can match up the extremely exaggerated ones of the boys in the books.
    I had the same thoughts and questions a couple of years ago.But then I decided that whether I like it or not, these guys only live in books and it's great if I could escape reality and think that maybe they are real for a just little while,but when the book ends,so does the fantasy.So,if you're waiting for a guy like that to come along,I think you'll be waiting a looong time!Trust me,I've been there.
    Sorry for being so cynic, but that's just my opinion.

  6. The biggest difference between our book boyfriends and what's snoring next to us is that they aren't as well written and while they may be hot and perfect to start out with, their writers forgot to mention that Prince Charming is going to get older...and...fatter....and possibly balder.

    That being said, real life knights in shining armor do vehicular maintenance, fix the toliet and never complain (out loud) when you want to "just run in real quick" to one more shoe store. And you can live without eternal love, the devastatingly heartbreaking, I-can't-breathe-without-you kind....but you have to have your car fixed.

    I'll take that, provided that he'll also take out the trash and squish bugs over Mr. Perfect Pretty Boy spouting romantic drivel any day.

  7. This is an interesting post. I suppose I don't really fit into that. When I was a teen and trying to find things to read, YA was not as big as it is now. It was a lot harder to find good things to read that weren't idiotic, or that weren't talking down to me as the reader. Instead I read adult fiction so I glazed over that.

    But now I can see how expectations can be too high based on the literature that is out now. My younger sister loves to read, but only YA novels that have "romance" in them. Observing her, I would say that those unrealistic portrayals of love have gotten to her head.

    I did meet my husband in high school, so things like that can happen, but we have worked very hard at our relationship and that is something I never see in YA novels (or romance novels for that matter). Love takes work and that is often overlooked.

  8. What a great topic Taschima!
    I don't think I'm suffering from YA expectations cause I got my own dose of reality in the past. In the form of BF breaking up with me on the phone while he is partying with his friend, announcing me that he got his Ex gf pregnant while we were together.
    That's one hell of a slap across the face.

    But I like to think that it was a necessairy step beofre meeting the man I am in love with now. We've been together for more than 6 years now and even though it's not perfect, I'm happy and I'm hoping will be for still many years to come hehe.
    Well come to think of it, maybe I have YA expectations?

  9. Yeah, I kind of agree with you, a lot of the YA novels make girls have unreal expectations. But I live in the real world and guys in books/movies just aren't like that.

    Have you read either Blood & Chocolate or The Silver Kiss by Anette Curtis Klause? I find that the endings in these two books are a little more "realistic" than some other books out there.

  10. When I read books with alot of romance, I like to think that it is just fiction. Instead of making false promises to myself.

  11. I totally agree with you. I have thought the same as you lots of times, because one day you realize that Edward or Peeta don't exist. So you have to forget your imaginary model and look for a real one.

  12. I have to agree with you on this most definitely. I am lucky enough to be an older YA reader and I have a relationship that is strong, but it took me a lot of trying and failing to get up to this point. When I was younger I always wished I could pop into a book and never come back out.

    After all who wouldn't want to live in a world where everytime something tough happened someone or something came along at just the right time?

    Then I started reading books that addressed hard questions and difficult times and realized that there is a happy medium of both in literatureland...you just have to be on the lookout for them. Sometimes they bring you back down to Earth.

  13. Great post,and I agree that not only YA but romance books in general are kind of clouding expectations of readers. I have a friends who is a romance novel junkie. And whenever she meets a guy she could potential date, she breaks it off too early because she does feel the "spark" or the heart stopping "fireworks" that she thinks is real when most of the time those feelings are limited to books!!! Truth be told I think sometimes YA romances are a little too far fetch, even though thats part of the reason why I read them. Probably no matter where I look Im not going to find my own miniture 16 year old version of Zsadist, but one can olny hope lol!!!
    Awesome post!!! And I Heart Monster, I love what you had to say, keep on being strong!!!

  14. Real life and fantasy are opposits and never will meet. Fantasy is make believe and we wish the good things they did or that happen to them would happen to us. But we do realize life is not programed and you live it one day at a time and accept what you can't change and change what you can. With fantasy you just enjoy the book. In real life you have to live each day and make that day count and hopefully for the good.

  15. oh yes! you aqre in the clouds and when you read it you crash down to the ground! auch!!! It happens ot me all the time.!!!


    OD: im in the ridiculous contest!

  16. I don't think that these YA books cloud expectations of readers. Teens that never read, the ones who only "see" these great books on the big screen(or are glued to the TV "reality" shows) maybe but the ones that take the time and read, do so to escape reality. They know that books are fantasy and as such only make believe.

  17. Sometimes I feel like I compare my life to the books I read. (And since I read historical fiction a lot maybe I should stop that don't want to behead someone haha)But I think it's kind of the points of novels in general to take us to a place or feeling that we may not find on our own! So why yes at sometimes I want to scream at the happy book couples but I have to remember I live in the Real World and while my BF may not be a knight in shining armor I'm no princess either!

  18. YA does create some expectations. I mean, when you pick up a book, you automatically expect the MC to end up with someone right? And every disagreement or misunderstanding gets worked out seemingly quickly because days can go by in a matter of paragraphs if the author chooses.
    In real life there is no guarantee that everything will work out in the ideal way.

  19. I think it really depends on the book you're comparing it too. I know i've read some books that, yes, are just too darn good to be true. like Edward. or Patch. or Peta. but i've also read books where the characters are real, the relationship is real, the romance was real. a good YA book is going to have that. A good book in general is going to have that. and sometimes we want the unrealistic stuff like Edward and Patch. because the reason we read is to escape from reality, right? we need a little dose of perfection. but a realistic novel, YA or other, can be compared to real life.


  20. I think that if you are a teen then maybe YA fiction might create a flase impression of how relationships work. But I think that most teens and adults know that the stories are fictional and that real life doesn't always end happily ever after.

  21. I jsut wanted to let you know that I featured this post on my First Rate Friday meme =)

  22. Agree. There is not a single book where I never said 'I wish (insert totally perfect hottie here) was real.'

    After I read books, I sometimes expect a certain trait from boys, or expect people to be like what it says. Books almost always have happy endings, and you just wish you had one too.

    But that's what books are for, right? Well, maybe not, somehow. But it's somewhere where you can just pretend you're in a different world, where everything's perfect, even if just for a little while. It's like living a completely different life, sorta. When you read, it's like you fall into a different world, where you can live forever, things might actually go your way, and you could find your perfect guy. Well, for me it is.

  23. I definitely have those moments during and after reading certain books where I just sigh and think "Why oh why can't he be real? Why isn't love so simple?" - but I don't let what I read in novels affect my expectations of real life.

    Books are my escape, to be pulled into a fascinating tale and forget about the day to day woes of life. I do believe there are great, wonderful gentleman out there who may very well seem like they've stepped out of a fairytale book. Sure, we've all got our negative sides, but even though I swoon for fictional guys, I like the real life ones with their faults, because they're so much more loveable, relatable and... perfect in all their flaws :)

  24. I second your thoughts! YAs are unrealistic. That is why I,though njoy the book at the time of reading,keep myself distanced from any expectations that may arise from the books! It's a too perfect world-the book world...so unlike the real world!

  25. Great topic! It's been discussed a lot lately I think and I love it when books make people think and discuss.
    Personally I find it very easy to distinguish between real life and a book. When I read a book I'm in a ficitional world and I rarely compare it to my real life, maybe because there's often a paranormal note in the books I read or maybe because I'm rather happy with my real life. I'm not on the watch out for novel-perfect-boys anymore but if I was maybe I'd mix up reality and fiction a little more... or I'd just be very disappointed in real life because I'd think book-boys just don't exist...
    anyway, I don't think that what I read really affects my thinking of the real world, I can separate the two quite easily but I'm not so sure how younger girls (13? 12?) react to all the perfect-love a lot of books present.

  26. I'm like that sometimes, but not exactly about the guys because I truly believe my fiance is one of those guys. (Most of the time, lol. He can really get on my nerves sometimes and make me want to strangle him and I know the feeling is mutual, lol. But I love him to death.)

    But I do wish to be in the worlds of the characters. Even if it has no magic or anything. I really do wish I was in a YA novel because I have such high expectations on what my life at this point should be at from YA novels and it just isnt there and it really depresses me. Which is why I probably drown myself in YA books, lol.

    Great topic and post!

  27. i don't think so... it depends of the person, yeah, they can make us to fantasize & daydream, but, that makes us better persons... or at least, that's what i think!

  28. I think occasionally YA books do lead to false expectations, especially with relationships.I think it depends on how well you can separate reality from fiction, which is difficult sometimes. :D


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