YA A to Z: Best Frenemies to Lovers in YA, a guest post by author Molly E. Lee
This YA A to Z post on Best Frenemies, is a little bit late for the letter B (I missed some letters, sorry), but it’s the perfect pre-Valentine’s day post.
Best Frenemies to Lovers in YA
I’m so excited to be here at the Teen Librarian Toolbox talking about Best Frenemies to Lovers!
My latest release, Love Between Enemies, focuses on two main character Zoey and Gordon.
Gordon comes from a humble background and is incredibly smart and dedicated to his future.
Zoey comes from a ridiculously wealthy, business-oriented family, but she’s just as smart and dedicated as Gordon.
The pair have come against each other in academic battles since grade school. The fact that they were always fighting for the same things throughout school always kept them from being close friends. They were rivals from day one, and as they got older, the academic stakes only got higher. The heightened stakes—like a desperately needed scholarship, for instance—only made the stress between them even more heavy. It was all these factors that forced a rift to remain between them, but once graduation happened and they no longer had anything left to fight over…that’s when the real emotion happened. Especially when at least one of them realizes that they could’ve probably been best friends if they weren’t so busy being friendly enemies, or best frenemies, all along.
I find this to be super relatable…the fact that when you let go of all the outside noise, the should and should not, and really take a second to witness another person and what they’re really like and what they’re really going through…you will be surprised. You’ll discover something new. Something that maybe you didn’t know you were missing.
The drama and noise and stakes often keep us from seeing the heart of someone, and that was definitely the case with Gordon and Zoey. They both were desperate for the same goal, and that blinded them to how perfect they were for each other.
Zoey’s sharpness compliments Gordon’s humble nature. His calm approach only helps slow her fast reactions down. And when they actually decide to work together? They become an unstoppable team with undeniable chemistry.
It was such a fun dynamic to explore and there were plenty of moments where I had to stop writing and simply…breathe. Thinking about how many times we’re faced with situations where we may miss truly seeing someone because we’re blinded by the noise produced from the modern day life is overwhelming. It took Zoey and Gordon years of fighting for the same goal to realize they could achieve it and so much more if they stopped and breathed and took a second to understand each other. And finding love beneath all that noise? That made all the hurt and battles before it worth it. Because without it, they would’ve never realized how extremely lucky they were to have had the other pushing them throughout the years to be better.
That is something I never get tired of seeing in frenemies to lovers stories—the realization, the epiphany, the sky clearing moment when the character realizes the person they’ve been fighting all this time happens to be the one best matched for them. It makes the love ten times more authentic because after everything they’ve been through…to find love at the end of it…is something totally magical! And that is what will keep me coming back to the frenemies to lovers trope again and again!
Thank you so much for having me! I loved chatting with you all!
About Love Between Enemies:
Zoey Handler is ready to put an end to her decade-long rivalry with Gordon Meyers. They’ve traded top spot between valedictorian and salutatorian for years, but all that’s over now. Right? But after a crazy graduation speech prank gets out of hand, suddenly their rivalry turns into all-out war. Time to make peace with a little friendly payback.
Step one? Make him believe they’re now friends.
Step two? Show him the time of his life at an epic graduation party.
Step three? Don’t fall for his tricks.
Step four? Absolutely, positively, do not kiss him again.
So what if he’s cute? (Okay, hot.) So what if he’s charming? (Heaven help her, tempting.) So what if he apologizes? (That has to be fake.) She knows the real Gordon. And no matter how much her heart begs her to stop, there’s no turning back.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one epic party, complete with every high-schoolers-gone-bad shenanigan, and two rivals who discover maybe they could be something much more…if only they’d stop fighting long enough to notice it.
About Molly E. Lee:
Molly E. Lee is an author best known for her romance novels, the Grad Night series and the Love on the Edge series. Molly writes Adult and Young Adult contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.
Author Website: mollyelee.com
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Filed under: #YAAtoZ
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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