aka YA Literature

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Love v. Romance

I am in the midst of TLA and thought I'd post about one of the author sessions I saw. It was Margo Rabb, Cassandra Clare, Nancy Werlin, Justine Larbalestier, and Patrick Jones. Patrick Jones was moderating and trying to get some discussion of gender issues going. Somehow the issue of YA being devalued in comparison to adult lit was raised, and Nancy was commenting on how the same is done to romance books even though they are the largest percentage of book sales. Justine was then saying that she thinks all books are love stories. Whether or not that is true, I think a love story is not necessarily a romance. If you look at the definition from RWA, a "romance" makes a love story central to the plot and has an emotionally-satisfying/optimistic ending. Certainly not all books meet that definition. I'm bringing this up because of another tangent that followed closely on the heels of this discussion. The panelists went on to talk about how guys will read books not only with female main characters but also with romance. My personal take on this is that guys will indeed read books with love stories or romantic elements, but they must also include action (like the Uglies example that Justine gave or like Cassandra's Mortal Instruments series). If there is little action and/or a focus just on the emotional struggles and interior character angst, guys are not into it. "Boy meets girl" stories aren't very popular with guys at all.

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