There is a dark, depressing, and emotionally draining cloud over YA. Books like Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, Veronica Roth ’s Divergent, and a growing host of others all but torture their protagonists only to have them succeed by winning mediocrity. The worst of it is that these characters are happy with their reward, even if it makes Oliver Twist’s pleas for more seem like the demands of an insatiable glutton.
The question is, where are all of the dystopian/ brutal romances? Sure there is the occasional Battlestar Galactica or Firefly where we have our cast of battered vagrants fighting against impossible odds with the sole goal being to survive, maybe even find love. However, in one case you have a show that has yet to be successfully replicated and in the other you have a show that was never able to find an audience when it was on the air and now thrives on a cult following and dvd sales.
Given its success in different markets, why hasn’t Romance caught the apocalypse bug? Is it that the genre isn’t built to handle these themes? What do you think?