The YA Dictionary: Bad Boy, Good Girl Syndrome



The YA dictionary is a new feature where I'll define words you usually see around the blogoshpere.  Before you go on here are two things you need to know: 1.There are entirely my opinions, 2. My opinions are always, always right.

P.S: Consider this as the most useless dictionary you've ever came across .

Bad boy, good girl syndrome: is a trope you are bound to come across one time or another while reading/ watching stories aimed at young adult age groups. It is a situation in which the school's most popular guy falls for the ordinary, shy girl. The guy is usually considered "dangerous" in the eye of the girl's surrounding. People will advise her against going out with him because she is far too pure of heart. In certain scenarios, there's also a barrier on the guy's side, as he fears for his reputation if seen with said girl. Although in 99% of the cases, the good girl ends up with the bad boy, the reader might find their selves gripped by the storyline, regardless of it's blunt predictability. There's a lot of variations to the bad boy, good girl syndrome, but overall idea is pretty much the same.

Why the Bad Boy, Good Girl Syndrome doesn't make sense: (most of the time) 

 There is no doubt that this trope is one of the easiest to get the reader connected to the character. Ordinary, shy and not over the top pretty MC is pretty much what most teenage girls think of themselves. The relation between the reader and the MC's own insecurity makes this book a piece of cake. Add to it a swoonworthy guy who erases said insecurities, such a storyline is basically every girl's dream (mine, atleast) However, when you come across multiple Bad Boy Good Girl syndromes in books, the harsh truth sinks in: This doesn't make any sense! I tried to locate one, just one Bad Boy Good Girl scenarios in my everyday life and failed. Miserably. I even tried to imagine pairing one of the bad boys I know with a good girl. I just couldn't see it happening. Here's why:

1. The boring MC.

As a reader, I almost could never understand why the guy would fall for that particular good girl. I have nothing against girls being pure and angelic and all, but if said girl is continuously whining about how ugly, or boring she is, why should the guy see otherwise? I get that the whole point is that she's special but doesn't know it. Umm, well neither do I! Some people have no idea how awesome they are, but as a reader, I should be able to atleast spot the awesome trait  even if they don't mention it themselves. Here's one of my examples: Jace and Clary from CoB. I like them together, I really do. But the thing is, I don't understand what makes Clary so special in order for cynical, hard to please Jace to fall in love with her. Also, I should point out that it works both ways. I should also be able to see what makes the guy so special, but the thing is, I do. A lot. Through long and long chapters of praise for the guy's eyes/hair/personality.

2. The 180 degrees change.

This is the one thing that annoys me the most. I hate to be cynical, but in most real cases, the bad boy remains, well, bad. Or he might change. Maybe. But not the drastic, 
psychitzophrenic change that happens to the guy. Before meeting our MC, the guy is a party animal, womanizer douchebag. But in miraculous ways, our MC succeeds in changing him to this angel who only cares about pleasing her, staring in her eyes and helping her with her homework. No. Just no. I'm not going to even get into how unrealistic this sounds, but this isn't very good character development. I understand how this might happen over the span of a year or two, but in most cases, it's just a couple of months. Also, how come it's always the guy who changes? Why doesn't he bestow some of his bad influence on her? It's the more realistic scenario anyway.

3. It's all about the love 

This actually doesn't apply to all BBGG syndromes, but here's the thing. I don't understand how a playboy, womanizer would simply be okay with chaste, platonic love. These are sometimes the good girl's rules. She doesn't want a physical relationship . And she's 100% completely free to decide that. It's her life. But I don't understand how the YA equivalent of Joey Tribianni will be okay with this. Atleast not at first? Wouldn't it bug him? At all? No, apparently, because it's all about the looooove. Fine, I'm with you, but this is a teenage relationship we're talking about. The physical side of the relationship occupies a significant portion of teenager's minds. Especially boys.  Again, for me, this doesn't make sense.

This is not to say that all BBGG don't make sense. I actually like them. Very much. I weeped the first 5 times I watched A Walk To Remember, even though it has every problem I just mentioned. But then watch movies like these, all I could think of is, to hell with realism. I don't care if characters like Landon Carter exists. I have yet to read a story that handles the BBGG well. Maybe it's because I'm not into contemporary novels that much.

What do you think? Do you like books with BBGG syndrome? Do you find some things hard to believe in those books? Let me know! 


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