Sappy romance novels: who’s with me?

Good Tuesday morning!

So this weekend, I had a lot of free time on my hands, so I do what I usually do: I borrow an e-book from the library and gorge on it until I’ve read every last word.

*chomp, chomp* <– sound of me devouring the book.

This last book was a winner. Now before before you start trashing romance novels, I have to say that I find their predictability and creativity very soothing. I read A LOT of them when I was growing up. I mean dozens and dozens of Mills and Boons. I then went on to study Literature and books with a bit more gravity, but I still enjoy them. A friend who writes romance novels tell me that they are supposed to be formulaic: boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girls likes boy, they must have a fight, they make up, the end, cue the happily ever after. That part of it is comforting because I know that there’ll be happiness in the end and I’ll feel good and while the guy or the girl may make me mad or disappoint me through the course of the story, they’ll pull it together by the end of the book. On the heels of what I’ve just described, “creativity” is not the word that would come to mind as well. The way I look at it is that to have to tell a story in such a strict framework, but make it different from the thousands of other stories out there – that takes creativity. I always look forward to finding out what makes Prince Charming a dick or what makes the couple falter and how they work their way back.

Anyway, coming back to my point…what was it again? Oh right, this book I read.

Right away, the female lead character resonated with me. She is strong, independent, has her shtuff together, career, house, car, good friends in her life, supportive family, etc. What she didn’t have was a man. The writer wove this wonderful picture of a successful but lonely woman who wanted to find the right person. She wasn’t pathetic, she didn’t hate men and thought they were all dogs (sorry guys), she wasn’t controlling, she wasn’t mean. She was just single and didn’t want to be. I appreciate that portrayal.

Of course, in the end, she fell in love with the man of her dreams, but what I liked most about the story was that it wasn’t an easy road (which was part of the formula, of course), but she stuck it out. I think at times, I feel because I do have my independence, it’s extremely easy to ‘pass’ on any kind of hardship. It’s easy to walk away from a man with baby mama drama or someone who hasn’t progressed in life at the same pace as me. It’s easy to dismiss things that make life a little harder because I have full control. What the character did was inspirational to me. She had hurdle after hurdle to make it to the happy ending, but all along the way, the writer seemed to be telling me (personally, I would like to think) that sometimes you have to fight for what you want. Sometimes something good is shrouded in bad and, yes, while it’s not easy to deal with difficult in-laws or your partner’s children who don’t like you or friends who think your new man is a dick, but you have to ask yourself, “What do you want ultimately?”

The lead character asked herself throughout the story, “You love this man and it’s not an easy road to go down with him, but you’re going down the road together.” The writer was also trying to tell me that while I have a good life alone, I can also have a good life with someone else in it (Duh!) but with that comes compromise and acceptance that things will not always go the way I want.

Anyway, the point is that I’m a romantic and these books always make me feel so sappy and girly and I did swoon a couple times but I do take something I can use from every story. It helps me keep my faith in romance alive….even if there’s no romance to be had at the moment.

Um, in other news, I get a new tattoo this week. Pictures to follow…after it passes the scabby phase, of course.

I know I’m a day late, but you guys have a good week!

V

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