Now that I have your attention …. you get to read my rant.
As most of you know, I read a lot. Let me correct that, I read A LOT!!!!!!! I enjoy reading in the Christian realm, because it significantly reduces the possibility of running into crud that collides with my moral code aka my Christian ethics. THAT’S not to say I NEVER read non-Christian books, I do, but lean more toward Christian than non. But I definitely stay AWAY from books that in any way celebrate or promote adultery, fornication or anything apart from marriage, as Jesus describes (see note below), because those kind of books do nothing to advance the human condition, it’s objectifying and degrading to men and women.
…. and I’m not talking about graphic love scenes or “romance novels” that are just a fancy way of saying porn.
What I’m talking about are wonderful stories, that have to do with people who are facing challenges and either growing in their faith or helping others grow in their faith. I’ve read stories rich with potential or deep, with very hard experiences for the characters. The leading lady is usually facing something truly intense, and along comes a nice-looking guy and boom ….the story goes south with “electricity ran up her arm when he brushed past her” and “he sat next to me and the butterflies fluttered in my stomach and birds sang in my head” and more electricity and more tingles and more metaphors, similes and thesaurus entries for the same. And I want to gag and roll my eyes. Sometimes I roll my eyes so much they ache. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a nice love story and I always root for the couple that they will be married. BUT I feel like all that extraneous “lovey dovey” drivel takes me right out of the story line. It usually does little to add to the story. A lot can be said about a relationship and the feelings related to having or desiring a relationship without all “that stuff”. And don’t get me wrong, every once in a while, the mention of tingles or flutters is OK, but some just take it too far, so much that it almost seems like easy “filler” to meet a word quota. Oh, I hope that’s not the reason.
If the author can’t figure out a non-cheesy and creative way of expressing the coming together of two people, who grow to love each other, then maybe they should put aside trying to make a romance and just write the interesting part of the story. I’d be happy with “Yo, I love you, if you love me, let’s get married” they tie the knot and move on to solve the crime. Leave off all the electric cheese.
Another thing I’m not fond of in some of the romances is they are too perfect. The gorgeous woman finds the super handsome guy, they make lighting and sparks and butterflies and get married at the end of the story. Come ON!!!!! What about the pretty woman who falls in love with the 200 lb. couch potato who dreams of being a super sleuth (and actually becomes one) Or the uber handsome dude who is intrigued by and attracted to the homely librarian, who lives her life in books and doing nerdy activities, solving mysteries on the side? Or the average woman who falls in love with a guy who looks like a Flintstone character, but he has a heart that serves the Lord and a great sense of humor. Seriously, people!!!
And another thing ….
Most times, there are a few exceptions, but most times EVERYTHING always works out just fine. The criminal is caught. All the main hero characters live. And they all live happily ever after … unless there’s a sequel 🙂 then they may be hanging on a cliff somewhere, but we know eventually it will work out fine. OH WAIT … that’s not really a pet peeve, because honestly, as much as I hate knowing that it will always work out, if you agonize through a big dramatic story, you’re just happy everything worked out. One of my author friends actually confessed to the idea that she was going to “off” one of her main characters in one of my favorite series. I was truly conflicted, because I really did want an author to break that “happily ever after” and knock the other characters off kilter completely … yet, I knew it would just be too sad. AND I HATE SAD … more than anything else, I HATE SAD. So, a few of us kindly requested that she not do that. It went kind of like this ….”NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”.
So, that’s my rant!!! And I do admit, when I review a book, if the main story does not rise WAY above the electric cheese, automatic 1 star off. (All books, in my opinion start out with 5 stars and then I remove them, as I find issues that justify their removal.)
Note: “He (Jesus) answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.'” Matthew 19:4-6