So after all the enthusiasm I got from my Center Stage reference, I have decided to start a new meme about writing lessons I've learned from teen movies. Which means I have to start with the movie that my sister and I saw so many times when we were little that we could quote large chunks of it:
KEITH: I like art, I work in a gas station, my best friend's a tomboy. These things don't fly too well in the American high school.
WATTS: I've been thinking a lot lately about you and me. And I came to a conclusion that I didn't wanna deal with. But now that we talked, I can't hide it anymore. I think we'd get along much better, if we didn't spend so much time together anymore.
WATTS: Because, I'm driving you crazy, and you're driving me crazy. And I'd rather not see you and have you think good things about me, than have you see me and hate me. 'Cause I can't afford to have you hate me, Keith. The only things I care about in this g*dd*mn life, are me, and my drums, and you.
Yes, John Hughes took S.E. Hinton's wrong side of the track OUTSIDERS trope and turned it into movie gold in the 80's. If you look at the common themes in most of his movies, they all tend to revolve around the issue of haves vs. the have nots.
But to me, what made Some Kind of Wonderful stand out is that Keith fell in love with his best friend. So many people complain about "instalove" in YA books that it makes me feel like all YA writers should be required to see SKoW just to remember how real teen relationships work. Writing paranormal books does not give you a get-out-of-relationship-building-free card. Your readers still have to buy it. Yes, there is legitimate insta-attraction between teens, but most teenagers I know in real life have ended up dating someone they were friends with first. THAT is the reality of teen dating.
Which brings me to my book recommendation for the day...the one that got it RIGHT when it comes to friendship and dating.
The great thing about Anna and Etienne is that they spend most of the book as friends. Yes, there is attraction, but the bottom line is that they are besties first and that makes them getting together in the end so believable and wonderful. So go rent SKoW and then read ANNA, and remember that effective YA relationships need a solid foundation, even if they are between bear-shifting angels and granddaughters of earth goddesses.
Now tell me your thoughts on friendship before dating vs. instalove in YA books???