If you're going to follow this blog, you should know, up front - I like romance. I usually follow this up with a statement that goes something like "but, not, like, bad romance, you know...good romance." But as I spend more time thinking about the genre, I realize I'm not doing romance any favours with that explanation. That by qualifying my love for romance, what I'm really doing is acknowledging that I think the genre is less than. Less than other genres, less valuable, less worthy of my time. Trivial or frivolous. Or juvenile. And that's simply not true. Because almost every book I have ever truly loved has ultimately been about...well, love. And romance. Even if it never found its way to the romance section of the book store. Regardless of how brilliant the other story lines or plot devices, good old fashioned sexual tension, infatuation, and animal magnetism reel me in and keep me there. And unrequited love? Gets me every time. When done well, a romance leaves me as breathless as the main characters, my oxytocin levels rising in sync with the protagonists, my world shrunk down to the basics of breath and blood. As a vehicle for personal growth, value exploration, and naval gazing (my specialty), romance is unparalleled. In the words of e.e. cummings, "Unless you love someone, nothing else makes any sense."
My Revised Top 10 Romance List (Old and New)
1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
2. The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
9. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
5. Easy by Tamara Webber
6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
7. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
8. Lover Eternal by JR Ward
10. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
4. One Day by David Nicholls
What are your favourites?