Seriously, what’s the deal with this? Why do so many writers think that we absolutely must have romance in our reads? It drives me nuts in so many cases, because its just not necessary. Like Angelfall, by Susan Ee. That would have been an excellent top-rated read… except that it contains the start of this thing between Penryn and Raffe, which was completely unnecessary.
I’m sorry, but angels came to earth to destroy crap. Killed billions of people. He initially treats her like crap and is vastly superior on a physical sense to her. Now, he could (and does seem to) develop a grudging respect for her that should have stayed right there! Whereas right from the beginning she’s in this love/hate thing. Ee does a good job of dancing around it, and not letting it develop into a big thing, but…but why does it even have to be a thing to begin with? Why do we have to have romances in our books?
(I’m not deliberately picking on Angelfall. I do like the fact that it at least seems to be a slow build romance. Its just the most recent example of it I’ve read.)
What kind of message are we sending? Oh, yes, girls can be strong, have common sense, and be able to do lots on their own…but that’s not enough. There has to be at least ONE love interest, and preferably two. Wwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhhhyyyy? Why is this a thing? Especially in young adult books. Why do we need to write it in constantly that unless you’re gaga for a guy and he’s gaga for you – your story is incomplete? These characters are in their teens/twenties! At that age, I barely knew if I liked boys or girls or both! Heck, I was more obsessing over the latest singer’s abs and then dealing with college than I was worrying about finding my happily ever after!
I was talking to my friend, and between the two of us we could only come with one book that contained a male and a female main character where there wasn’t some sort of undercurrent going on, and that was one I just recently read!
Now, I know somewhere along the lines I’ve read a couple other books where it wasn’t all lovebirds and such, but its so much rarer than it should be. There’s a main male character and a main female character and they’re friends. That’s it. That’s all you get from them is …they’re friends. They work fantastically well together, they tease and respect each other, and there’s not even a hint of the need for smoochies! And you know what? This was a fantastic book! Valentine (the girl) kicks butt. She saves the day on more than one occasion. She even rescues the guy (Paul). She also forms a relationship with his kid. Not because she wants to get in his pants, but because she realizes the kid (who spends most of the book hospitalized) is lonely and needs a friend. Great book.
In one of my other favorite books, there’s definitely a romance in it – but my favorite relationship? Its not the romance one. Its the one between the cop and her (male) mentor. They rag each other, care for each other, will go to the wall for each other …and there is not, nor has there ever been, a hint of romance there.
So, yeah, when you’re reading the Young Adult books especially, have you ever taken a step back to wonder why we feel the need to put romance in everything? I’m not saying its a bad thing to have it in there, but its in basically every bloody book! How many books have you read where the first thing you talked about in your review was the romance? the love triangle? If you took that portion of things out of the book, would they be different? Would you like them more or less?
Talk to me!