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Starcrossed by Mark Schreiber

Last week, I was writing the date on all of the newspapers in the library, when I suddenly realized that it had been exactly ten years since my very first boyfriend asked me out. (For those of you trying to do the math... yes, I was twelve). My first thought was "I must be getting old"... and my second thought was of how lucky I am that that "relationship"* never worked out.

Which made me start thinking about teen relationships, and how they're depicted in YA novels. I used to get so frustrated with YA romance, when I was a teen** because the novels would normally end with "the first kiss" or some sort of declaration of "love," but no indication that the relationship would actually work out. (And walking the halls of my high school, it was pretty obvious that most of these relationships didn't).

But in Starcrossed, Mark Schreiber starts the novel with the beginning of the relationship. And it's an interesting beginning: Christy and Ben meet for the first time in the waiting room of a plastic surgeon's office, and both are waiting to have tattoos removed, tattoos of each others' names. When they meet again in a bike shop, Christy decides that it must be fate, and takes Ben to meet her astrologer. Ben, with his more scientific mindset (he plans to be an astronomer), doesn't believe in astronomy astrology, but likes Christy enough to go along. And thus begins their relationship, with all its twists and turns.

Schreiber explores many of the themes from Romeo and Juliet: fate vs. free will, love vs. lust, etc... even playing with R&J in the novel's title, and in doing so, he portrays a very human relationship. Even in the end of the novel, there's still no guarantee that Christy and Ben's relationship will last, but Schreiber makes us believe that what they have runs deeper than simple infatuation.

And while we're on the subject of YA romance novels, head over to Becky's Book Reviews for an amusing post on what she looks for in teen romance novels.

*Calling it a relationship is definitely stretching it, when you never go out on a date, never kiss, and he generally hangs up the phone when you call him.

**This is probably why I had started reading adult romance novels by the time I was 13. Of course, this was 10 years ago, and there wasn't nearly as much variety in YA literature as there is now.


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