5 of the Worst Breakups in YA

1 July, 2012 Musing Musers 38 comments

YA is often about a lot of things, but if it involves love then you can bet it’s usually a very saccharine sweet, innocent love where people only get hurt by bad guys and never by themselves.  Their loved ones are either stolen from them, brainwashed or torn apart by circumstances and forces beyond their control.  But every now and again in YA there comes a dumping of epic proportions – a break up born from old fashioned internal struggle and human reasons that are anything but humane.  They’re so cruel, so ill-timed and unnecessarily painful that they qualify as violating the Geneva convention on multiple grounds.  They teach you an important lesson about how scarring someone for life isn’t just a hobby, it’s art!  And you can learn for yourself from these four examples.

*Will contain spoilers.  Anyone caught complaining about spoilers will be unceremoniously psychically flogged and beaten to within an inch of their consciousness*

1. Rose and Adrian from Vampire Academy

It was pretty much a given that Rose and Adrian wouldn’t make it as a couple.  So it was no great surprise when they did break up – but HOW they broke up brought new meaning to the term Cruel and Unusual Punishment.  Rose doesn’t just break up with Adrian.  She does everything short of taking a razorblade to his cranium in an effort to psychically scar him.  No big surprise since using and abusing Adrian had become the joie du jour for Rose and her pals.  After all, what Adrian does best is be conveniently useful and easily manipulated.

But even for someone foolish enough to open his extensive wallet almost unreservedly for his wayward and distant girlfriend, Adrian gets a particularly nasty break up.

It starts after he risks himself to break Rose out of prison so that she can go into hiding with her ex-boyfriend who is only supposed to be guarding her with noble intentions.

Before long, though, noble intentions fall to shit and Rose and Dimitri do the horizontal Mamba like they’re training for the Olympics and it’s go gold or go home.  There is this especially poignant moment when Rose is enjoying a post coital snuggle with Dimitri, and Adrian checks up on her and the following happens:

“Regardless, I couldnʹt lead him on after sleeping with Dimitri. It hadnʹt been murder, no, but it had certainly been dishonorable. Yet . . . I couldnʹt say any of that to Adrian now, I realized. I couldnʹt break up with him in a dream. That was almost as bad as a text breakup. Besides, I had a feeling that . . . well, Iʹd probably need his help.”

Yup. That’s Rose choosing not to break up with Adrian in case his romantic attachment to her is useful for later.

However, let’s get down to the actual breakup.  What makes it particularly awful?

 ʺYou said you were a victim. Thatʹs why . . . thatʹs why ultimately, you and I arenʹt matched for each other. In spite of everything thatʹs happened, Iʹve never thought of myself that way. Being a victim means youʹre powerless. That you wonʹt take action. Always . . . always Iʹve done something to fight for myself . . . for others. No matter what.ʺ

Amazing!  It’s truly inspirational when a girl can take a moment out of her busy schedule of admitting her infidelity and breaking a guy’s heart to insult him, highlight his inadequacies and subtly blame him for the whole break up thing.  Nice.  Really nice.  All this under the guise of “helping” him and trying to teach him to grow and be a better person.

ʺIʹm just telling you the truth. Youʹre better than this . . . better than whatever it is youʹre going to do now.ʺ Adrian rested his hand on the doorknob and gave me a rueful look. ʺRose, Iʹm an addict with no work ethic whoʹs likely going to go insane. Iʹm not like you. Iʹm not a superhero.ʺ ʺNot yet,ʺ I said.

You have to actually wonder whether she was truly extending herself into making the  break up even more patronizing and humiliating than the stock standard “It’s not you, it’s me,” “Let’s stay friends!” and my personal favourite: “I don’t want to be with you because you’re too GOOD for me!”

It’s those personal touches added in the midst of kicking a person when their down that really says I love to hurt you.

Evil O’ Meter:

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2. Bella and Jacob from Twilight

Bella Swan gets the award for worst timing ever.  Admittedly there is no good time to break up with someone.  People don’t wake up every now and again and say to themselves, “Today is the perfect day to get my heart broken!  I hope someone stomps all over it with their spiked boots of hate.”

But there are some times that are better than others.  The time that self-appointed Genius of the World Bella Swan chose to dump Jacob:

He’d just been in a battle with vampires where half his body had been crushed and broken.  Due to preternatural healing, his bones had to be rebroken and set by Dr. Cullen.

She opens up with this pearler of crazy to remind him of how delusional and naively she has attached herself to a psychopath against which he can never compare:

“He wasn’t even mad at me – he wasn’t even mad at you ! He’s so unselfish it makes me feel even worse. I wish he would have yelled at me or something. It’s not like I don’t deserve . . . well, much worse than getting yelled at. But he doesn’t care. He just wants me to be happy. “

So she gives him the Dear John and he accepts it pretty gracefully considering he’s probably just realized that her mind is Castle Alanya and only the slow decay of time will see it’s crazy-ass defenses breached.  Harsh.  What would be the worst thing to tell someone who loves you but realizes you’re too chocked up on self-hating insanity to ever be with you?  I would guess something like, “You are absolutely perfect for me.  We would have had a long and wonderful life together.  But I’m going to go with Captain Psycho over there because I feel compelled to after drinking this entire tub of Cuckoo juice.”

That would be best, but Bella does a good runner up with:

“The worst part . . .” I hesitated, and then let words spill out in a flood of truth. “The worst part is that I saw the whole thing – our whole life. And I want it bad, Jake, I want it all. I want to stay right here and never move. I want to love you and make you happy. And I can’t, and it’s killing me. It’s like Sam and Emily, Jake – I never had a choice. I always knew nothing would change. Maybe that’s why I was fighting against you so hard.”

He gives her what is obviously a line about how he doesn’t really want to see her for awhile, because how else do you handle the fail that was just heaped on him?  Let’s all take a moment to marvel at the line:

“Maybe . . . it will have to be a long-distance friendship.”

So what’s the worst thing she does to really cement the crapalicious break up?  She dates a douchebag.  This is the note Edward sends with THEIR WEDDING INVITATION.  To a guy that already delivered the above line.  And Edward knows, that Jacob knows, that the wedding means Bella will be killed and turned into his mortal enemy.  There is no good way to comfort your fallen enemy while you make off into the sunset with the girl.  Edward knows that. An invitation could easily have gone to his father addressed to the Black household.  But no.  Edward likes to give the personal touch while he’s stabbing someone in the soul.

“I’m breaking the rules by sending you this. She was afraid of hurting you, and she didn’t want to make you feel obligated in any way. But I know that, if things had gone the other way, I would have wanted the choice.

I promise I will take care of her, Jacob. Thank you – for her – for everything. Edward”

Can you feel the schmuck just oozing from that note?  Thanks Edward – and Bella for enabling him!  Thanks a lot.

Evil O’ Meter

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3.Mary and Travis from The Forest of Hands and Teeth

As previously stated there’s absolutely no good time to break up with someone – just several degrees of bad times.

But absolutely one of the worst times to break up with someone is while you’re trapped together in a house surrounded by ravenous zombies.  Here’s why – if you’re trapped with little hope of rescue with only one person who you have spent copious amounts of time previously believing is your soul mates – none of  the usual lines apply:

“There’s plenty of other fish in the sea!” (If you’re a necrophiliac)

“I just need some space.” (Hahahahaha!  No.  There is no escape.)

“Maybe we should see other people.” (There are no other people, fucker!)

And you know what the absolute worst reason to break up with one of the last hot guys (with a heart beat) in a life or death situation?

a) You want to be remembered by all the people who are no longer alive.

b) You don’t want to be tied down to the life that’s only going to last until the zombies tear down your defenses and nibble on your kidneys.

c) You have never seen the ocean and you want to.

Which one do you think Mary chooses?

Ha!  That was a trick question.  She chooses them all.

C’mon!  Last hot guy around as far as you know!  And the zombies are probably going to get you anyway.  Why break his heart to pieces before the zombies tear it out and eat it?  Just enjoy some guilt free illicit nookie before the end of the world!  But no.  It’s too kind to give the boy some good last days of his life and enjoy yourself for a while.

And Travis gets killed rescuing her, but it’s okay because that trip to the ocean was totally worth it.

Ha!  No it wasn’t – it’s a total dump like everywhere else in a world filled with fucking zombies!

Evil O’ Meter

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4. Helen and Lucas from Starcrossed

For the third time, in case you have a problem with retaining short term memories, there is no good way to break up with someone.  But there are good reasons depending on how deep the relationship is.  For a fairly solid relationship they could be:  You’re not compatible, you don’t really love them, you slept with their father AND their brother.  At the same time.

For lesser, more casual relationships it could be that they aren’t headed in the same direction, they believe fairies are real, or they like Nicki Minaj.  Whatever, you know?  The deeper your relationship, the better the reason needs to be for you to break up with them.

So what happens if you have a fated love?  A love that is so strong, the fates actually try to tear you apart to recreate some kind of senseless, starcrossed tragedy the likes of which make the angels weep at the loss of what could have been.  Your love is so beautiful that immortal elements use it to fuel the universe!

Well, in order to break up then you’d need the superist, duperist most awe-inspiring reasons to break up.  One so epic that onlookers will nod their heads, shed a silent tear in solidarity and console themselves later by saying that your love was just too great to exist and at least everyone learned something from it.

Helen and Lucas are supposed to have that kind of love.  One example of how amazingly compelling and unbridled their attraction is:

“She decided that if Lucas was gay then she was going to have to get a sex change operation. He would be so worth it.”

That’s right.  She actually considers having a sex change to be with him.  True love.

So which of the following reason is so powerful, so compelling that it will keep these two fated love birds apart?  What will cause them to break up and break their little hearts?  Why do they decide to deny each other?

a) Their families are locked in a bitter feud and are trying to kill each other.

b) By being together their love could cause a rift in the fabric of space and time which destroys all things.

c) They’re cousins.

The answer is, of course, as ludicrous as you believe.  Yes, Helen and Lucas can over come option a and option b.  They CAN risk all life on earth and in the known universe.  But the reason that conquers their otherwise insurmountable love for each other?  They’re cousins.  An antiquated social taboo that’s not even illegal!  They’d risk the known universe, their families, she’d have a sex change for him, but the fact that they’re cousins proves to be too great an obstacle?!

Horrible, horrible break up.

Evil o’ Meter

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5. Lucinda and Daniel from Fallen

Hey, not every break up is necessarily a horrible thing.  Sometimes it provides new opportunities, sometimes it saves you from future pain, sometimes it’s the right thing to do.

In Daniel and Luce’s case, a break up is the only real solution to two problems – one is Luce’s continual deaths and the other is the audience’s pain at having to read these two character interact with each other.  Sure, they have some kind of love for each other.  They have to!  The book says so.  But breaking up and staying away from each other is really the only solution because, by being together, they are literally drawing a death sentence for Luce and torment for Daniel.

Which is exactly why they don’t break up!  Not at all!  None of the times!  And every time.  Every. Single. Time. Luce dies, Daniel cries then they meet up again in the future and get back together only to experience disaster yet again.  But Daniel does try to preemptively break up with her, of course.  By doing dick things like being really rude and abusive to her.  Yet Luce just can’t stay away.  There is nothing worse than a break up that needs to happen and simply can’t.

Breakups are bad – there is no doubt. But from them something better or new can happen or people can at least get on with their lives.  But Luce and Daniel are forever stuck in this break up phase like the most maladjusted couple you could ever imagine and they can’t seem to work it the fuck out!

And what kind of person does that make Daniel, any way?  He gives in every time even though he knows what’s going to happen.  Luce is clueless but, as needy and pathetic as she is, moving across the world and having copious sex with an increasing number of women drives even the most clingy prospective girlfriend away.  But he never does it and they result in this perpetual cycle of rebirth, almost nookie, death and then rebirth again.

And the worst, most unforgivable, dastardly and evil thing that tops off even that clusterfuck of epic proportions is this:

That book is more than 400 pages long of this never ending parade of self-flagellation.

Pure evil.

Evil o’ Meter

[xrr rating=5/5]

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

38 Responses to “5 of the Worst Breakups in YA”

  1. julie rimpula (@LadyjuLierz)

    jeez. The first one broke my heart when I was reading the book. (Though I’m Team Dimitri through and through.) But still. *sniff*

  2. User

    Yep, number 1 broke my heart, and I was all for Rose and Dimitri. I finished the VA series actively disliking Rose for how she treated Adrian. It was a pretty harsh way to break up with someone.

  3. Fangs for the Fantasy

    And people continually ask me why I disliked Rose so much. I boggle – she wasn’t even slightly likeable! I could write a list on the ways I disliked her

    And I have read all 4 of the Fallen series. I say this because I am vaguely proud of this achievement. I didn’t skip chapters, or stop one book half way through, I read all of them. I should get a statue or something – at least a plaque
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  4. Beatriz

    Wow, the first one broke MY heart as well. Rose was … ah, IDK. I love her as a main character, but it wasn’t right with Adrian. He didn’t deserve this!

    And oh, man. I laughed so hard at the last one. Couldn’t agree more!
    Beatriz recently posted…Once Burned, by Jeaniene FrostMy Profile

  5. Lisa

    The break up between Rose and Adrian was by far the worst break up ever. Seriously, a post-it note would have been kinder. I can’t understand how anyone can read all six VA books and still like Rose at the end. No matter what team you were on, her treatment of Adrian was despicable.

  6. Judith Oyama

    You know, I just realized something really ridiculous. Dimitri and Adrian had the same problem; and I love Dimitri, don’t get me wrong, but Dimitri after being turned back from Strigoi TOTES saw himself as a victim! Where does Rose get off accusing Adrian when Dimitri sees himself the same way if not worse?

    Man, I remember wanting to reach a hand through the book and whack him so many ways upside the head for being such a debby-downer. I mean, you killed people, but they’re DEAD now and you didn’t really mean it. Move on! Ahhh…I am not a fan of the last 2 books as his character regressed pretty majorly in my eyes and he became a spineless shadow of what he used to be. Heck, all he wanted to do was follow Lissa around like some lapdog! Why doesn’t Rose remember this?

    All in all though, I have to agree, Rose does take the cake for worst break-up!
    Judith Oyama recently posted…Review: Across the Universe by Beth RevisMy Profile

    • Kat Kennedy

      @Judith Oyama: I never thought about it but… You’re so totally right! I agree. Dimitri?! A TOTAL victim! I agree! Rose is full of shit.

  7. S.L.J.

    I liked Rose up until the 3rd book. Then she just went completely downhill. Dimitri…he reminds me of the Terminator in Judgement Day but without the personality.

    I’m really glad Rose isn’t a part of Bloodlines.

    Great list!

  8. Lexie B.

    To #1, just . . . ugh. UGH UGH UGH. After all she’d done to Adrian–not just the cheating, but manipulating him, neglecting him, using him as a doormat–the LEAST she could’ve done is given him as kind a break-up as possible. The least! And instead, she decides to tell him how in love she is with the guy she cheated with, how she’s such a better person than him, and how he CAN be great if he just tries! Ugh. Ugh. I really despised Rose for the majority of the last two books.

    Jacob got a pretty shitty break-up, too, although I wouldn’t say his was QUITE as bad. (And he later found true love in a toddler, so yay!) But Edward’s letter is just disgusting, tbh. I think it was supposed to show us readers what a great and noble and forgiving person he is, but really, it’s just full of boasting, condescending shit. I was not a fan of Jacob in Eclipse, but seriously. Ew.

    Haven’t read The Forest of Hands & Teeth or Starcrossed, but those sound more hilariously bad than anything. “Oh! We’re about to be eaten by a horde of the undead! NICE SNUGGLING WITH YOU BUT BYE.” And cousins? I mean . . . cousins? It’s really nothing but laughable. The gods fucked each other all the time, and most of them were siblings! Cousins isn’t even breaking any laws. You’re willing to tear the universe apart for your ~tru luv~, but you won’t risk second degree incest?

    And with Fallen . . . well. My ideal ending has always been that Luce suddenly realizes Daniel is an idiotic asshat, kicks him in the balls, and waltzes away, never to be seen again. But I suspect my ideal isn’t realized. Still, I’ve seen some comparatively positive reviews for Rapture, so we can hope.
    Lexie B. recently posted…The (Is)Land of Palm Trees and SunscreenMy Profile

  9. kara-karina

    Fabulous list! I wouldn’t touch Fallen and Starcrossed with a 10 foot pole, but it sure is fun to read about the reasons why :))) As for Richelle Mead, she has a knack writing kick ass heroines who are at the same time douchebags with an emotional sensitivity of a couch, and who end up hurting the nicest guys by always choosing a tortured hero instead. Dmitri wasn’t too bad, but look at Seth and Kiyo… Just kill me now.

  10. The Muggle

    Great list! Rose and Adrian has to be the worst one for me. If I ever re-read the series I won’t read the last one, and skip straight to Bloodlines 🙂

  11. Jennifer Messerschmidt @ Some Like It Paranormal

    haha OMG Your thoughts on the Rose-Dimitri breakup were spot on!!! Perfect! She was horrible to him and I love the way everyone brushes it away and tries to excuse her behavior. I completely forgot about this line
    “well, Iʹd prob­a­bly need his help.” That is messed up!

  12. Joie @ Joie de Lire

    Oooh great list! The first breakup was THE WORST. I was all for Rose and Dimitri being endgame, but I hated how Rose dumped Adrian!!
    I mean, “I’d probably need his help”?!?!
    Also, Fallen was such a pain to get through. Ugh. Relationship angst. I’m avoiding the sequels…
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  13. 5 of the Worst Breakups in YA Part 2 | *Cuddlebuggery Book Blog*

    […] Last time, we dis­cussed worst breakups in the sense that the were done prick­ishly with hor­ri­ble intent by the breaker-uppers.  This time, we’re look­ing at the most heart break­ing, tragic, sad­den­ing breakups writ­ten in YA.  Breakups suck.  They rip your heart out and tear your to pieces and leave you a quiv­er­ing mess for the con­ceiv­able future with­out the ben­e­fit of a quick death to look for­ward to.   And if you don’t know what it’s like to have your heart poi­soned, stomped on, cracked, shat­tered, cast into the pit of despair, torn, burnt, frozen, ripped, shred­ded, forced to lis­ten to Nick­el­back, etc, then you’re a) the luck­i­est damn per­son alive and b) able to expe­ri­ence some­thing entirely sim­i­lar in the fol­low­ing books: […]

  14. Scribing Shadows

    The Rose and Adrian breakup. I hated her for that, I was already disliking her from Blood Promise but after the way she ripped out Adrian’s heart I hated her. I knew her and Dimitri was endgame and that her and Adrian were not going to be together but did she have to end it like that? Really?
    Mary is a cold hearted mistress, that’s all I can say about that breakup. I haven’t even read this book and I feel sorry for Travis.

  15. HarleyBearBooks

    Don’t even get me started on Fallen lol That relationship was cray cray.  I love all your analogies though.  They made me smile.  Especially the VA Rose and Dimitri training for the olympics.  Great topic and great post as usual.

  16. Angel

    The First one for sure, i felt for Adrian so much but then again, he can see her Aura, like couldn’t he tell that Rose was in love with Dimitri and not him.
    I love Rose and could never hate her, the way she broke up with Adrian was harsh, very harsh, but he should have seen it coming like i said before, he can see Aura’s.
    And if anyone thought that Rose and Dimitri would not end up together in the end, then wow. Like Rose Said in a way her and Adrian were just not right for each other, and right now I am 100% happy that they broke up (if you have read the bloodlines series) you would understand why.
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