Beam Me Up!
I’ve read a lot of romance in my life, both YA and adult and I’ve probably read at least one book in every genre by now. I think adult romance has a very even distribution over every genre, although in recent years has become heavy on the paranormal/supernatural end. YA romance is not so lucky. Yes, we have the same glut of paranormal/supernatural that the adult section has and lately dystopian seems to be trying to unseat the previous genre as king of YA, but never fret! There’s hope on the horizon!
No, really. Hear me out.
I think YA sci-fi is special. If you were to take a look at my book shelves, you’d probably find this statement a bit odd as there’s not really any sci-fi on it. Oh sure, I’ve read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (and loved it) and Millennium by John Varley (and hated it) but, long story short, I usually find sci-fi difficult to read and, let’s be honest, there’s hardly any romance to be found in “hardcore” sci-fi. In the last few years, I’d begun to notice sci-fi titles popping up in the YA section of my bookstore and so I steered clear of them. However, I actually have Stephenie Meyer to thank for my current love of YA sci-fi. When I picked up The Host a couple years ago, I was reading it solely because Stephenie Meyer wrote it. It was described as “Sci-fi for people who don’t like sci-fi.” It was perfect for me and I ended up really liking it. The main characters play off each other well and the romance has a nice and steady build up.
Later, I found the Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis, which is currently among my favorite YA books, not just sci-fi. The last book, Shades of Earth, came out this year and crushed my soul while simultaneously sending it on a marvelous sci-fi vacation. One of my favorite things about this book is Amy’s (one of the main characters) question about why she loves Elder (the other main character). Is it because she truly loves him or is it because he’s the only person the same age as her on the ship? Since then, I’ve found others such as Amy Ryan’s Sky Chaser series which asks some very interesting moral questions and The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, which is an incredible sci-fi retelling of our favorite fairytales (but it’s so much more than that! Check it out!). Thankfully, there are more sci-fi stories coming out all the time. I recently snagged an ARC of These Broken Stars by Megan Spooner and Amie Kaufman and it was amazing. I’m also looking forward to Avalon by Mindee Arnett and Alienated by Melissa Landers when they come out.
I think the reason I like YA sci-fi romance so much is because of its “realism”. We know that fantasy worlds don’t exist but these future societies could. I also don’t have to learn a new world and its magical rules. It’s like reading a future contemporary novel because science doesn’t change. I’ve heard people say that YA sci-fi is just dumbed down sci-fi. To which I say “Why should I need a master’s degree in engineering to understand this book when I could just appreciate that these kids are having the adventure of a lifetime on board a spaceship?”
What are your thoughts on YA sci-fi romance? Any recommendations? Leave a comment below.