Friday, February 14, 2020

Discussion: #AmReadingRomance


This Week’s Topic:
#AmReadingRomance

I was thinking about the origins of this hashtag, when I saw this recent tweet from Penny Reid:

It amazes me, that people are still so negative about romance books. As a genre, it dominates sales, so obviously, there are many people who appreciate a good romance book, however there is still this subset of high-and-mighty readers, who deem it trash and discount the genre as a whole. I am not going to defend my love of romances, but rather, I want to talk about why I love them so much. Here are five reasons I love reading romance books:

  1. The number one reason I read a romance novel is for the happy ending. There have been a few non HEA/HFN books trying to masquerade as romances, but I think most romance readers agree, an happy ending is a must. 
  2. These books usually have the power to get me out of my funk. By the end, I am smiling and feeling lighter than when I started the book, because I got to watch two people fall in love, and seeing them happy makes me happy. 
  3.  Most romances feature fantastic heroes, and if you can't find a good man in real life, it's nice to read about one, while still holding onto hope that such men exist. 
  4. When I want drama and pain, I can safely turn to a romance, because I know, that if the story breaks me, it will put me back together, because ROMANCES HAVE HAPPY ENDINGS
  5. Sometimes, I want the drama that comes with some of these romances. Please be aware: I don't classify melodrama as a bad thing. 

Now it's your turn!

Are you a romance reader? If so, why? 
Let us know in the comments!

47 comments:

  1. I like to read romance because even with the characters' issues and drama, for me they feel like lighter reads, and I can just enjoy them. The HEA doesn't hurt, either!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, at least for the majority of the romances I elect to read. There are the ones that are more melodramatic and angsty, but I have to be in the mood for that.

      Delete
  2. The whole romance bashing thing is so bizarre to me. If romance isn’t your thing, no big deal. Read something (anything) else. But what denigrate an entire genre just because it’s not your cup of tea? And often I bet those people have never even read a romance!

    Anyway, the reason I read the romance genre is simple: I love romance. I a big softy who gets swoony in a heartbeat. I love reading about couple falling in love, about the good times and hard times, about the lengths they go to for one another, the happy endings. I’m there for it all. 💕

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In this day and age, it's shocking that we are still book shaming people. It is wonderful to watch people fall in love. It never gets old for me either. I am still always happy at the end of a (real) romance

      Delete
  3. Let people read what makes them happy! Romance novels aren’t hurting anyone, so there’s no reason to be negative about their existence.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I guess there will always be those people, who can only feel better about themselves, when they are tearing others down.

      Delete
  4. i don't understand people's issues with romance. there is plenty of room for anything someone wants to write. if you don't like it, don't read it. if you do like it, read more of it. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. Why can't we all just have our (non harmful) things? I am not into all those scary violent books, but I do appreciate that there is an audience for it, and those books are pleasing to them. Just because something isn't for me, doesn't mean it should not exist.

      Delete
  5. I don't have an issue with romance, it's just not my favorite genre. I prefer it as a subplot, not a main plot. Why? I don't know. Maybe because I know a romance is going to have a happy ending that makes it too predictable?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have seen so many people complain about romance being a subplot in a book, and I am usually disappointed if there is not. I relish the predictability of romance novels. It's comforting to know all will end well for me. That's why I use romance books when I am feeling out of sorts.

      Delete
  6. It's funny what people try to classify as romance. I have seen a few books over the years that I'm like, no... that's not romance, but it does kind of have one in it. (Like Forbidden, Bright Side, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things to name a few.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was a time period, during which I believe Bright Side came out, where there were all these "romances" coming out, that were NOT HEA, and people were gushing about that. That's just a big nope for me. Lately, I have been frustrated by them marketing women's fiction as romance. Many of the those book spent little time on the romance, and there was not a romantic HEA, which is fine for women's fiction, but not for romance.

      Delete
  7. I've come to really appreciate romance novels recently, especially since I tried my hand at writing one, and I definitely agree with you! It's so nice to read a book with a GUARANTEED happy ending - even when bad things are happening, you know it's going to all turn out fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so ok suffering with the characters, because I know it's going to be ok. Yes, there is some predictability to a romance novel, but the journey and the characters are what make them original.

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. I will never understand not wanting that. It's my reward, and it never fails to make me happy

      Delete
  9. I can understand people not wanting to read romances themselves - everyone has their preferences - but there's such a wide variety of sub genres and writing styles that I think there's something out there for everyone. And relationships (of all kinds) are part of the human condition so to poo poo that makes no sense to me.

    Is some of it bad? Yes. But I could say that with every genre. And it's very difficult to write that journey and make it to a solid, believable HEA.

    I'm a total HEA or go home kind of gal lol

    it is my absolute smile inducing, favorite genre.

    Karen @ For What It's worth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truth! There are absolutely bad books outside of romance. I have read such a wide variety of romance books, and it is a challenge to take us on that journey to the HEA. I am with you - it's my favorite genre

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. That is definitely on my shortlist and sort of goes hand in hand with the wonderful heroes we find in romances

      Delete
  11. Romance isn't my favorite genre, but every now and then I need to read a book that's going to be fun and end happily! I read a lot of fantasy and horror and sometimes it can get too heavy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like a palate cleanser of sort. I will often "chase" a really heavy/sad book with a romance, because I know it will be happy at the end of it all, and sometimes I really need that hopefulness

      Delete
  12. I'll never understand why people bash romance either...

    I find it amusing though when authors (non-romance authors) are all up in romance readers faces/bashing the genre as a whole but are happy to promote/play up the romance element of their books as they KNOW it is the best selling and most popular genre... Shame romance readers are a chatty bunch, ins't it?! 🙄

    Your list perfectly sums up why I love romances so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truth. They hate on romance, but have no problem featuring one prominently in their books. We call those people hypocrites. And why do they feature romantic subplots? Because people like them.

      Delete
  13. I agree with you 100% Sam! I read romance because I want to be able to count on that happy ending. Sometimes, the characters are completely destroyed before they get there, but they do get there.
    Romances aren't necessarily all light and fluff, either - but the ones that are still fill a need I have when I pick up a romance. (Which, let's face it, is more often than not!)
    I would be really upset (and angry) if I picked up a book that was put in the romance genre and it didn't have a happy ending. That would defeat the whole purpose of me picking up that book, and I would probably leave a very irritated one-star review.
    Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a long list of romance writers, who make us suffer and earn that ending (CoHo, Emma Scott, et al). Last year, I read a few books marketed as romances, and then the heroine ended up ALONE at the end. The books were clearly women's fiction, but I was frustrated at being misled, and yeah, I knock off stars for such shenanigans. Romances have HEAs and part of that is a happy couple at the end

      Delete
  14. I read romance for the romance. It's fun to see how they meet and how they fall in love. And, of course, the happy ending.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is. Some authors have written some amazing meet cutes, and just thinking about them make me smile

      Delete
  15. I agree with all your points for reading romance. :) I love romances because of the promise of lifting my spirits with a happy ending. I want my entertainment to be uplifting by the end, even if there's a hard path to it. Fab discussion, Sam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My dark moods often need that lift, and it's great to know we can rely on a romance to give that to us. Same. I can deal with all the heartache and pain in a romance, because I KNOW it will all work out.

      Delete
  16. Romances are my absolute favorite! I like light and feel good, as well as angsty and melodramatic, but one thing that unites them all is that happy ending! I agree, it's frustrated when people put down romance as trash. Life is hard enough, it's nice to escape for awhile, and smile and laugh :) Great discussion Sam.

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ending is everything for me. It's the things I need the most. Yes! Having a healthy escape is necessary, and I love that romances give me that and always leave me happier.

      Delete
  17. I wrote something about romance months ago and if I agree on most of what you said I know that not having a HEA (even HFN) qualifies as romance in my book as long as there is a love story. Maybe I should consider it a tragedy but for le Romeon and Juliet is a romance and it certainly does not have a happy ending! But I guess I am not playing by the rules #iamarebel ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I consider Romeo & Juliet a tragedy. It's supposed to be all star-crossed lovers, but it comes across more as a cautionary tale, a tale of the destructive nature of bitter feuds. There was romance in there, but that wasn't my takeaway. But, maybe that was considered a romance back when it was written. I am more partial to the modern expectations for a romance.

      Delete
  18. I'll admit that I never used to reach much romance. It just wasn't my thing and I honestly think it was my own fault because I had this narrow view of romance as these bodice ripping stories that my grandmother used to get in the mail from Harlequin. I remember sneaking one of them out of her room when I was a young teen and being absolutely shocked that there was graphic sex on practically every other page. Once I started blogging and reading reviews for contemporary romance reads, from your blog especially, I realized there was a whole world of romance novels I had never experienced before, particularly the ones that read like rom-coms. Those I absolutely love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! My granny had stacks and stacks of bodice rippers, that she would voraciously read. Must be a generational thing. I am glad we have a wide variety of romances to select from. I feel like there is something for everyone within the genre, and yes! I am so happy to see rom-coms making a comeback.

      Delete
  19. I love romances so much, and I feel like they can have just as much value as any other genre. The writing can be gorgeous, the characters masterfully written, and the plot can also be outstanding - although, yes, usually the plot will revolve around the relationship. I once saw an author, can't remember who, tweet that many romances are character studies. They can show all kinds of people and dive deep into their characters, because most romance novels are carried by the characters and their relationships - romantic or otherwise. I agree with that.

    Also, yes, I fully believe a romance novel should have a happy ending, similarly to how a mystery novel should solve the mystery. *shrug* Great post, Sam!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Genre doesn't define the skill of a writer. Ooh, I agree with the idea of many being character studies. The most successful romances allow us to really understand the hero and heroine and how they tick. Then, we can really appreciate their journey to their HEA.

      I love that! If I read a mystery that didn't end with it being solved, I would go nuts, the same way I would if my hero and heroine didn't get their HEA

      Delete
  20. I'm ashamed to admit it, but when I was younger I used to think romance books were all bad. It's taken me some time, but I've gotten over that opinion. Admittedly, I'm still not the biggest consumer of the genre, but there are some romance books that I absolutely love! I totally agree with your five reasons for loving them. Number 2 in particular keeps me coming back to them.
    Great post!!
    - Sabrina @ Wordy and Whimsical

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is nothing like a guaranteed happy ending to get me out of my funk. So important for me. I think any and all books can be good or bad, depending on who is writing the story. There are great romances, just as there are terrible fantasies. I never felt like genre determined quality.

      Delete
  21. I am not a huge romance reader, but I do enjoy when a book I am reading has a good romance! I guess I don't read a ton of them in general because I am bitter and sad, not because I think anything less of romance books! I think they're probably great, I am just trying to not wallow in self-loathing for too long 😂

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a reason why so many books across all genres have romantic subplots - lots of people enjoy them. Oddly enough, I have never found my epic love, nor have I ever married, but as a spinster I am still in love with love. I find a lot of joy in seeing other people get their happy even if mine is forever out of reach. I mean, they sold the 202 million dollar powerball ticket a few miles from my house, and I was ecstatic for the winner.

      Delete
  22. I LOOOOVE romance even though I don't much of it because I always end up picking a SFF or dystopian. BUT, because so many people do tease about it, I used to tease myself on my posts about reading romance. I used to write "confession" posts about the romances I read etc, etc. Until I realized I was just feeding into this trend that's why I "kinda" stopped. I say "kinda" because it's still part of my nature to being sarcastic about my owns tastes but I gotta remember I'm talking about other people's taste too! AWESOME post Sam!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that you recognized how your unintentional actions may have appeared. I am not a huge fan of many things, but everyone has the right to like what they like. I know I don't feel guilty about liking what I like. This is making me think of my discussion that is scheduled for Friday.

      Delete
  23. I am mostly a new adult romance reader and that is because... well, I like reading happy books with guaranteed happy endings when I am going through something in my life that should be stressful like exams. And then I also like seeing the nonromantic elements. I feel like NA does a good job of tackling important modern topics, or characters struggling with their identity or finding out something new about themselves. The latter I especially love. I love the insight into characters with the happy endings, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like books, which blend romance and current issues exist across the age groups. You just have to find them. It is so interesting to hear you gravitate towards NA, because that age group has always been a sore spot in romance. I guess it's good to hear they are getting better.

      Delete
  24. I love romance in my books, even though I don't read as much pure romance as I do other genres. I often tend to connect to the romantic plot the most in any book I read! And I totally agree that people need to get over their hangups about romance and stop complaining---every genre has good and bad books; this is not specific to romance!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete