Reluctant Romantic Check In – It’s Complicated

February 13, 2016 Uncategorized 13


This week, as you explore a new genre, I’m curious if there are any particular reasons you’ve not read more of this genre before. Here are some related discussion questions to consider:

  • Have you had a bad experience reading this genre before?
  • Do you have any negative perceptions of the genre you’re reading? If so, have you had any experiences so far this month that have challenges those perceptions?

My experience reading romance before has generally been positive, yet I’ve still had a hard time kicking some negative perceptions I have of the genre. As I mentioned in my first review, I always anticipate very over-the-top descriptions, including the overuse of similes and metaphors, especially when it comes to the love interests and the sex scenes. I also expect romances to be light on plot and I’d be shocked if the writing was truly exceptional.

My experiences with romance don’t completely support the stereotypes I hold, but don’t completely refute them either. Like every genre, some books are better than others. The two books I’ve read so far this month have been very restrained in the simile/metaphor department and while the sex scenes and love interests have been almost too good-looking to be believed, that’s not been because the writing has been overwrought. The plots have been a little bit light, but there has been a plot other than the simple progression of the romance to grip my interest in each case. And while the writing so far hasn’t blown me away, it’s been good enough not to detract from the reading experience.

Please share any answers to the discussion questions and any reviews in the genre you’re exploring in the link-up below.

13 Responses to “Reluctant Romantic Check In – It’s Complicated”

  1. Guiltless Reading

    I’m always confused by what constitutes a “romance.” The bodice rippers from Harlequin are my idea of the stereotype but I know I’ll generally stay clear of those because I get so annoyed with the characterizations and all the inaneness.

    On the other end of the spectrum though, for example I just reread Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Of Love and Other Demons. It’s literary fiction, historical fiction, but obviously and definitely also a romance. But GGM won a Nobel prize and many other awards too.

    I guess what I’m driving at is that I’ve given up on trying to genre-fy books. It’s just too complicated 🙂
    Guiltless Reading recently posted…Ooh, the mind games! {Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane} #readmyowndamnbooksMy Profile

    • Kim @Time2Read

      Oh, I agree about the ‘genre-fying’ of books. It gets way too complicated trying to figure out what ‘niche’ a book fits into. That’s why I am a fan of the tags at LibraryThing. I can add as many as I want and get very specific. It doesn’t really help when I’m in a genre-themed challenge though, trying to figure out if a book qualifies or not! I tend to enjoy ‘bodice-rippers’ too, mostly because I like books that make me think.
      Kim @Time2Read recently posted…See My BlogMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      That’s a good point! This month, I’m reading things that are more stereotypically classified as romance. They’re not things that would be likely to be classified as literary, they (mostly) have detailed sex scenes, and the main plot is clearly the relationship development with anything else secondary. Genre-defying books are often some of my favorites 🙂

  2. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    As I’m reading graphic fiction/nonfiction this month (there is no good name for this genre!) my main experience is that these books just take me very little time to read. I tend not to gravitate toward them simply because usually I’m looking for something that will last me longer than a couple of hours! But I intend to seek them out more in the future because I love their unique perspective and how they work with visuals. They make a great break from more text-heavy reading.
    Lory @ Emerald City Book Review recently posted…Reading New England: Mr Blandings Builds His Dream HouseMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      Haha, I hadn’t thought about that! Graphic nonfiction isn’t a term I’ve heard before, but it seems like it’s a thing. They seem like they would be a fun break, perhaps especially good for read-alongs. I’m not sure why I don’t pick them up more myself. Perhaps the fact that they’re so short is part of it. I think I may also just not be in the habit.

    • DoingDewey

      Although I’ve never thought about classifying books as modernist before, I think I may have a negative perception of some of the books in this genre. In particular, I’m always nervous to pick up books that are more stream-of-conscious or break the rules of grammar. It does seem like a very heavy genre!

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