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It's easier to prove than a theorem that most avid readers of romances are girls, and I don't claim to be any different. There was a time when I could have devoured a romance faster than you could say the word. But in the last couple of years I have probably shelved 30 half read romances because I didn't have the energy to sit through "boy meets girl, both have attitude/ class/ gender/ health/ race issues that they need to overcome." I blamed it on getting older and wiser, because let's face it, though we know these problems exists and we have been reminded of these time and again, we also know that in this day and age we have evolved enough for solutions to these. However, now I don't think I should be blaming my wisdom for not being able to relate to such romances, there MUST be something that is not sitting right with this genre!
Churning out the same materials
Going back over the books that I loved so much and some of the recent romances I had read, it seemed though I was reading about the same thing again and again, from different perspectives, YES, but they were all almost the same nonetheless.
The biggest nonsense that became a plague were supernatural romances. Do not get me wrong! I have loved and enjoyed some of those romances myself. Why I'm calling them nonsensical is because of how less reality it holds and seldom one of these can hold a person's attention for a long stretch of time. Not just that, but the sheer impossibility of expectations they imbibed into people were both hilarious and sad.
I have yet to read a vampire meets werewolf, or a sublime girl falling for a brutish alpha, or a man of the cloth fighting for a witch, that had something new to offer or even make my brain try to analyze the situation that the writer wanted me to think about.
Next came the complications of falling in love with a "handsome stranger in a distant/exotic land." Oooh!!! The cringe I tell you! Yes, I realize it's very exciting to read about and live vicariously through such rollercoaster adventure of a relationship, but again how many people do we actually know who have had such relations? What is the bar of expectations that is being set for people looking for love and thinking that is the only kind they want?
If it was a couple of books that shared the plot I wouldn't be ranting about it so much. But how many time can I read a Love & Gelato or Wish You Were Italian? The only reason I am naming these books is because I actually liked these, but there are several I decided to keep unnamed because I don't want to create a bad impression of the book, as some one may actually like those. My point is, at the end of the day, aren't these the same plots that we have been reading since the dawn of time?
New and refreshing, THAT'S WHAT WE NEED!!!!
Being fed up of "falling in love with a vampire, a werewolf, a zombie" made me fall out of love with romances! The unthinkable had happened!!!!!
However, a few days back I was browsing through the library and found a books called The Language Of Thorns by Leigh Burdugo. I picked up the book thinking it was a collection of fantasy short stories, (which it was) but the moment I started reading it I couldn't put it down. Several short stories later I realized I wasn't tired of the cliches and duplicated plots, because here was a book that was basically fairytales, but the portrayal of love and romance was so unique that it blew me away. I wasn't just romance, romance, and more romance; it wasn't "angry boy—shy girl—sexual liberation—seduction"!
Having just finished living in a world of fairytales I was handed a book called The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. Now here was a book I was again EXTREMELY skeptical about. But the person who gave me the book told me to just read the first two chapters. I usually never give up reading a book no matter how bad they are, but that had changed with romances. I could tell form the very first page if I would like the book or not, and I wasn't thrilled by the first page of this book. However, I was forcefully made to go past the first page and read through, and read through I did!!!!! Yes, the story had all that I mentioned that The Language of Thorns didn't have, that had seemed to bore me to death in typical "romances," but HERE it was oh so different and such a breath of fresh air. Now, if I go on saying more then I might spoil the story so I'll stop rambling about this book here.
Leaving aside current reads, another book that made me question everything about the romances I had been reading since I could grasp the concept of romance was It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. To be honest, every time someone had asked me to name a favorite book or recommend a book this has been the first to leave my lips since I had read it. It's also got the romance element, but there is also grit and grime, the ugly reality a lot of people face but keep under covers. Unfortunately, I know few people who have read this book and I honestly think it's a huge disappointment that more people didn't!
These stories were so much more than just romance!!!! THESE HAD LAYERS UPON LAYERS OF COMPLEXITIES!!!! THESE HAD MEAT!!!!!!!!! And shouldn't all stories be like that? Make you feel a multitude of emotions, take you to a different world, make you THINK!!!!