Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book 22: Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches Guide to Romance Novels

I say it loud "I'm a bitch and I'm proud." Typically I don't shout from the rooftops the same way when discussing my reading materials. I read romance novels, bunches and bunches of them. I am particularly fond of Regency Romances. I like the contemporary romances only if they are funny. So there, now it's out here for the whole internet to know. Well, my librarians at Benson Branch know.

Candy and Sarah can be found blogging here. They have a vast array of reviews, spanning all the subgenres of romance, searchable by grade. That isn't really the point of this particular book. It is not the romance version of Nancy Pearl's Book Lust. This book is funnier, for starters. Oh Lord, is it funny. If you were here, I would read you passages until you gasped with laughter. That's what I did to my husband the day after I started reading it. However, if you were here, I'd have to wear pants. In discussing different trends and customs of the genre, they do provide great examples of books that illustrate what they're talking about. You can get some good recommendations but nothing like the bonanza of the website.

They also break things down by Old Skool and New Skool romance. In a nutshell-- the chicks are feistier and the men are less brutal in the new skool. They have an erudite examination of the loathsome trend wherein the hero rapes the heroine in romances in the old skool and they still get the HAE. I dislike old skool romance because of that very thing. I would have to say that my fondness for the genre developed in around 1990, when the old skool was fading away, still there were a few authors who were big then that I never could like because of that very thing.

They have a few tidy responses to the accusation that Romance is Formulaic. Ever read a mystery novel where the bad guy gets away with it and no one cares? Yeah, not very many of those. There is also some discussion of the online community comprised of authors and fans. Really interesting.

I will say that the layout was a bit confusing, with blurblets interspersed with the actual text but not clearly delineated. And there are some very silly games in here. Not the Romance Mad Libs-- those are awesome.

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