Feb 8, 2013

February Genreflecting: Romance: The Details

Genreflecting wordle

Based on the Collins English Dictionary, a subgenre is "a category that is a subdivision of a larger genre." (Source) Romance is a complicated and yet fundamental part of the young adult experience. There are so many changes going on during that time in a young person's life, so naturally we have a whole genre dedicated to it! Primarily, romance books tend to fall into one of these subgenres: contemporary, chick lit, historical & serial. While the others are self-explanatory, that last one actually covers two types of serial romances: the first type follows one character's love life while the other one follows a different individual from a specific group during each book.

One of my absolute favorite contemporary romances is Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Leviathan & Rachel Cohn. These two created an incredible book that volleys between its two protagonists to tell the story. Here's a snippet about how this awesome book came to be:

One day David and I were having lunch together and I mentioned that I had a vague idea for a book: I wanted to write about two New Jersey, straight-edge characters named Nick and Norah (after the Thin Man movies) who would meet at a music club in Manhattan. I wanted to follow their adventures throughout the one night, and just see what would happen. ... We didn’t plan any of the book out in advance, we just picked up each chapter where the other left off, and I think the fun David and I found in writing to challenge one another translated into a true adventure for Nick and Norah – just like a real first date, where there can be great chemistry, but you really have no idea if it will turn out well or not. You can only dive in and hope. -Rachel Cohn's website

And while I'm not an outright fan of romances, almost anything set in a historical time wins my vote. That's why Anna Godbersen's The Luxe series was so perfect for me. In an interview on Galleysmith she explained why she liked writing historical books:

When I was a bookish teen, I loved novels set in other times, other realities, other universes. So that’s part of it—being able to create this world that looks and smells and sounds different than the one my readers and I walk around in every day. I want to transport them, and myself. And then, once you’re there, the historical setting means that the realities of life, the situations my characters are going to find themselves in, will often be ones you couldn't have in a contemporary setting, which is exciting stuff for a writer! Very plot-friendly.

So there you have it. A little insight into the world of romance books. What are your favorite types of romance? Do you enjoy a heart-wrenching roller coaster or a more subdued novel? Be sure to check back next week when I review Forever by Judy Blume. 

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