Great Dates in YA and How to Recreate Them

Posted by Eve Legato

Is your date a YA book lover? Are you? Either way, you can make your Valentine’s Day extra cute this year by imitating some of your favorite characters. Here’s a game plan for each type of date:

The Picnic Scene from The Fault in Our Stars

Augustus is the king of big gestures, which we realize is complicated and kind of a flaw sometimes, but it does come in handy for Valentine's Day!

This is a surprise picnic, so make sure you know when your date is free. Then show up at their house with flowers and ask them if they would like to join you for a picnic. You're going to need another reveal, one that you can color-code your food to accordingly. Maybe you bought tickets to a concert of a band your date loves? Or a play? Or maybe you’re planning a road trip. Color code that food and have it ready to go in your picnic basket.

Picnic on the grounds of your local museum. Present the foods to your date one by one and make them guess the surprise. We guarantee at least one swoon. 


The downtown date in Eleanor and Park

The chill option! Eleanor and Park didn't really get out much, so when they did, their very casual date in downtown Omaha felt like magic. Hit up every music and comic book store in your nearest downtown area. Then find a park to sit in and watch the geese.

We won’t tell you what to do next, but you could take your cue from the book…

(Fan art by Simini Blocker)


The Mall Scene from Feed
You could just go to the moon, but it would probably turn out to completely suck. So go to the mall and mess with capitalism instead.

Challenge each other to find the weirdest product. You have to pretend to be interested in it, too. Get the the store clerks involved and ask them funny questions. Or, if you’re feeling really lazy, you can do this online and see how your facebook feed changes. Whoever has the most random facebook ads at the end of the date wins. Because the creepiest dystopian books are the ones that feel like they’re coming true.


The roof scene from I’ll Give You the Sun

You’re going to need a telescope to reproduce this electric scene between Brian and Noah. And a ladder, or some other way to reach a roof. Also, a roof.

At night, head up to said roof. Then, play a game. Shine the flashlight on each other, back and forth. When the flashlight’s on you, you have to reveal a secret. The game should be pretty rapid-fire, so you can ask a follow-up question about the other person’s secret, but you can’t wade too deep into it. Then, use the telescope to watch the stars.

Fan art from stefkcm on tumblr.


The Comic Convention scene from Library of Souls

Photo from The Daily Mail.

Okay, okay, we know: this scene not technically a “date” in the book. Emma and Jacob are running from wights. But! It's a great excuse to dress up for a local con or nerd event! (Bonus points if you can bring/borrow a dog and the event is dog-friendly.) You may have to celebrate Valentine’s Day early or late, since you’ll be scheduling your date around the event.

Here’s what you do: Cosplay as Jacob and Emma and stay in character the whole time. That means, if you’re Emma, pretend you have no idea what cosplay is. Act convinced that everyone around you is a peculiar and try to recruit them to your cause. If you’re Jacob, try to explain the modern world of fandom to Emma. Your other date activity: see if you can blend in as much as possible in order to hide from wights. And maybe catch a panel or two.


Go forth, book nerds! And remember that these can all be friend-dates. Grab a fellow YA lover and get into it.

Eve Legato

Eve Legato enjoys gifs, trashy reality TV, literary fangirling, and cheese. Follow her on twitter @evelegato.