The time has come again for another discussion post with Nara! And in signature Nara style, I'll include a short quiz as well. Because, why not? It's more fun that way :)
So today, we are going to be discussing villains in contemporary YA. By which I mean contemporary ROMANCE novels, not thrillers or murder mysteries etc etc.
When reading a dystopian or a post-apocalyptic or a paranormal, it's often quite obvious who the villain is. And the villain is almost always power hungry or sadistic or just plain evil. For example, President Snow in The Hunger Games. Or Lord Voldemort. Or the Volturi in Twilight. Or the aliens in The Fifth Wave.
But what about in contemporary romance novels? The villains are almost always much more subtle. Or at least, much more multifaceted than the ones in other genres. They may be mean or annoying, but there is often a reason behind why they are so, rather than them just being evil or ambitious. Often there is a reconciliation of bully and victim. And in fact, would you even call them villains in some cases?
Recently, I read The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine, and there was clearly an antagonist in this novel. This particular character was manipulative and to be blunt, a douche. But would I necessarily label him as a villain? I really don't know. In some aspects, he was, because he was the one introducing conflict and angst and generally just being a bit of a dick. But on the other hand, when I compare him to someone like Lord Voldemort, I don't know if he deserves to be called a villain.
In general, though, what do you think about villains in contemporary YA? Do you think it's necessary to have one in every book?
And now, unnecessary quiz time:
Who are the "villains" in these contemporary novels? Is there even a villain? In some cases, there's not really a right answer, I suppose. And some have multiple "villains". I'd like to hear what you think!
1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
4. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay (not strictly YA, but still)
Click to read my answers- spoilers, so if you've only read certain books, make sure just to read the sections for those books :)