Excited to host YA author N J Simmonds on the blog and share her great Valentine's Day signed book giveaway! Check out the book! "Can love ever be stronger than fate? THE PATH KEEPER is the first book from N J Simmond's thrilling new YA fantasy romance series. When Ella moves to London and meets Zac, she soon realises that he's keeping something from her - little does she know that his secret goes back thousands of years and is about to change her life forever. For your chance to win a limited edition signed copy, simply check out the rafflecopter at the end of this post. For more information, or to buy a copy, visit njsimmonds.com
And check out her great post on why we love young adult romance!
WHY WE LOVE YA LOVE
As a YA writer, the theme of ‘romance’ features heavily in my work. How could it not? Your teen years are when you first encounter True Love - or at least something that closely resembles it. It’s the period in your life when that special someone’s face is permanently branded on your mind. You can’t eat, sleep or think of anyone else. The weight of your all-encompassing crush is immense and your heart is being ripped in two. But the truth is, these feelings are addictive and you’re secretly loving all the feels.
This is the reason why romance and all its associated fairy-tale tropes is so central to all YA novels and why we can’t get enough of it.
Here are the five reasons why we all love YA love!
1. ALL THE FIRSTS
From the risky and forbidden (cigarettes, alcohol, clubbing, sex, getting a tattoo and dating that person your parents hate) to the more common but just as dramatic (being bullied, friendship problems and unrequited love) – these experiences in our teen years are what define us as adults.
The things we do and the things that are done to us, at a time when we are not only discovering the world through young adult eyes but discovering ourselves, are what shape us and help us decide who we want to be.
Whether those firsts are still something you are waiting for, or but a distant memory, they will always remain the crossroads of your life. They are unforgettable moments you’ll think back on forever. Therefore, any character in a YA romance battling with these emotions has our full attention - because we’ve all been there.
Blame hormones or the child-to-adult transition, but the feels you feel during your teen years are intense. Extreme. Mind-blowing. Life changing. Life or death (or at least they feel that way). Reading a YA novel filled with that level of intensity is exciting, it makes a normal love story into a page-turner. This is why YA books are generally a fast and exhilarating ride and we can’t get enough of the love angst, even if it’s in a ‘rather you than me’ way!
Relationships as a teen aren’t easy. Friendships are vital yet can be transient. Parents are adjusting to parenting nearly-adults and girlfriends/boyfriends are hard work. As a teen couple you are experiencing all the firsts in love too, not just the emotional but the physical – first kiss, first date, losing your virginity and your first break up. Plus for teens who are questioning their sexuality during this time in their life, the level of drama and anxiety they experience is likely to intensify. This is why diverse YA romances are so important. Not only so we can get swept away with the ups and downs of first loves but also find our very own literary heroes that are living our lives through the books we read. We need to read about people like us, feeling and experiencing what we are, to teach us that it’s OK to feel what we feel...there are many others in the same boat.
4. CONFUSION Whether trying to decide what studies you need to do to chase the career of your dreams, or questioning your very identity – being a young adult is a confusing time.
Those tumultuous years filled with questions and self-doubt are normal, which is why so many YA romances not only have the characters asking themselves some of life’s hardest questions, but in turn encouraging the readers to ask questions too. Who am I? What do I want? Where am I going? Why do I do what I do? What next?
The typical ‘coming of age’ arc is evident in all YA novels, but where there’s romance it adds that extra feel-good, throw-the-book-across-the-room, smile-through-your-tears dimension. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing I love more than getting to the end of a book and feeling completely wrecked!
5. HOPE Yet, regardless of having YA novels squeeze our hearts until they pop, the best thing about YA love stories is hope.
As a young adult you haven’t yet had the chance to be burnt in love or life. You’re not the cynical or sceptical person you may be in your late twenties or thirties – or the wistful, rose-tinted glasses wearing older adult looking back on their formative years with nostalgia or regret. As a teen and young adult, the world is yours for the taking. It’s full of exciting
possibilities, unknown adventures and hope by the bucket-load. Whether a character in the YA book meets their forever soul mate – or they simply discover that love can be gloriously exquisite while it lasts (pain and all) – most YA books still end with hope.
People ask me why I write for young adults, and the answer is that my heart never truly left those teen years. The drama, intensity, all the firsts, the crazy highs and lowest of lows not only send you into whirlwind of emotions but they remind us all that we are ALIVE!
As a writer, immersing myself in this world of extremes is definitely the most evocative and satisfying. I feel like I get to stay young forever, and as an added bonus I have the BEST readers – YA fans who feel as intensely about my characters as I do. I get to show them that they are not alone, that they are understood, and that everyone deserves love in their life.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! N J Simmonds is the writer of the YA fantasy romance series THE PATH KEEPER, she’s also in the process of launching her first (title not yet announced) contemporary YA novel. For more information about the author and her books visit njsimmonds.com or follow her on Twitter @NJSimmondsTPK
Enter to win a signed copy of the Path Keeper here: