The comedian and resident Twitter hot-girl @danadonly on five YA books that warped her perception of romance.
Document is compiling reading lists with a twist, asking our favorite writers, musicians, and artists for their old favorites and anticipated releases. For Valentine’s Day, Dana Donnelly, writer, comedian and a producer of Funnilingus! gives us 5 young adult “psychotic fairytales” .
I’m Dana Donnelly, I’m a comedian, and I love to tweet about boys, love, and dating. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are the following YA novels that really warped my expectations for love and romance (mainly that by the time I got to high school, I’d have it). These were all my childhood favorites that I read over and over and ultimately, led to a lot of disappointment! In my opinion, we need more books about teens who don’t kiss.
The Ruby Oliver Quartet Series by E. Lockhart
The seemingly “realistic” YA novels are the most dangerous, because they temper your expectations, but only to a point where they still won’t be met. They make you think, “okay, maybe my high school love affairs won’t involve so much sex on private planes, but I’ll definitely have a boyfriend… right?” In my case, wrong! Important to note that on the cover of all these books is a picture of a white teenage girl with brown hair and bangs wearing a quirky outfit. The book’s protagonist Ruby Oliver is the epitome of a manic pixie dream teen. She’s neurotic, pretty (but doesn’t know it), and boys love her. This is one of those series where the teens aren’t sexually active, but they are “kissually active” (they’re kissing).
The Gossip Girl Series by Cecily Von Zigesar
First of all, let me just say, there is no way that the long tan legs on the cover of these novels belong to teenagers! The Gossip Girl books, believe it or not, are far more scandalous than the TV show. Like, my favorite Gossip Girl novel was called Nobody Does It Better… ok, ew? I was in middle school when these came out and my mom refused to buy them for me, so I would spend hours a day reading these in my local bookstore and getting… worked up. Gossip Girl had me believing by the time I got to high school I’d be smoking a carton of French cigarettes after having sex with a hot guy, every single night. Now I’m 24 and the closest I’ve ever come to this is stealing my sister’s Juul and having a one night stand with a guy because of his “good personality.”
Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Ok, admittedly I was super into E. Lockhart. I crown her the queen offender of the almost realistic YA romance novel. This book made me believe that if I could just get my parents to pay $70,000/year to send me to a prestigious east coast boarding school, even an ordinary girl like me could find love.
Faking 19 by Alyson Noël
A 17 year old girl pretends she’s 19 so she can date a cool guy in his 20s. Let me just say that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that if a guy is open to you being 19, he’s probably open to you being 17 as well. I wish when I’d started dating at 18 that I’d known that a guy should not be considered not creepy just because he doesn’t want to get arrested!
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Any book that implies that going through puberty will make guys like you is absolutely a psychotic fairytale. I hit puberty when I was 13, but guys didn’t start liking me until… I don’t know. I guess they still don’t?
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