sub genres: contemporary romance, romantic suspense, historical romance, paranormal romance, ethnic romance
definition: “the protagonists meet, and realize their attraction but something keeps them apart; this obstacle appears insurmountable; eventually, though, it is overcome, and the hero and heroine live happily ever after”
from Genreflecting: a guide to popular reading interests by Diana Tixier Herald
You knew this was coming, right? I’ve gone through so many other genres; I was bound to end up here, correct? Don’t stop reading just because I’m talking about romance novels. You read my Adventure post in which I lamented the stereotypes of “boy books” and “girl books” I hope. Please don’t make me go into all that again!
According to Genreflecting, romance is a popular genre because “the woman is the lead character” and “the woman is a strong character”. Interesting. I hadn’t thought about it that way. But now that I am thinking about it that way, I realize it’s true (at least for me). I read so many books that feature male protagonists (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Alex Rider, most everything by John Green), and I’m cool with that. I really like male protagonists – maybe because their voice and experiences are so different from mine. But sometimes I get an itch to read a story that features a female protagonist.
Before I continue here, I know you’re yelling at me something along the lines of, “But what about Hermione! Or Annabeth!” Yes, those are strong female characters, but the stories are not told through their voice. I’m talking specifically about protagonists who narrate their stories, or, if the story is third person, that the protagonist is the author’s main focal character. So, Harry yes, Hermione no.
So, back to stories featuring female protagonists. In the same way I like male protagonists because they’re so different from me, I like female protagonists because I can relate to them. Usually. Obviously I don’t indiscriminately read romance novels. There are certain styles of books I like, and I tend to seek them out no matter what the genre is. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, for instance, is not only romance, it’s also historical and science fiction. So even if romance isn’t your thing, I bet you could find a romance book that would suit your tastes.
On the other hand, there are female protagonists I really can’t relate to. Alyson Noel’s Immortals series started strong for me, but by book five I was done. I just couldn’t relate to Ever. I tried. I really tried. Because I hate leaving series unfinished. (If you know me at all, you can attest to this. I don’t leave books unfinished. Ever. Leaving a book or a series unfinished is painful for me.) Not that I don’t recommend this series. It’s interesting and well written, it just wasn’t for me. As no two snowflakes are the same, no two people are the same (and no two people will read the same book in the same way). So while I enjoyed reading this series for awhile, I just couldn’t commit to it for the long haul.
So tell me: do you enjoy reading romances? Why? Or, if you don’t like romance per se, do you enjoy reading books with female protagonists? I’m seriously interested! So leave a comment!
Click here >IRTB Romance< to download my Romance booklist!