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Not Your Momma’s Romance Novels
I have a confession to make.
Sometimes people assume that librarians read only the most acclaimed literary fiction. You know the books-- the ones with prestigious-looking award medals affixed to their covers, or those that we feel like “should have” read by now. But when I have free time to read? I’m a sucker for romance.
I love the newest Margaret Atwood or Ian McEwan book just as much as the next gal. But at the end of the day, when my brain is tired and I collapse on the couch with a giant bowl of cheese puffs, I love nothing better than a good love story.
This blog is not about your momma’s romance novels, though I HAVE met Fabio in real life and have photographic proof (I KNOW; yes, his hair was glorious). This blog will focus on what the publishing industry calls New Adult Romance. I won’t reinvent the wheel, but if you’re curious to know more, my friend Molly wrote a great article for NoveList about what the genre is and how it’s different from traditional romance novels.
In short, these books are short, fast-paced, easy reads. Characters, typically aged 18-to-24, face problems that aren’t-quite-teen-fiction (they’re over 18 and usually out of high school) but aren’t-quite-adult-fiction, either (many of these characters either live at home or are just moving out on their own; they’re getting their first professional jobs, still exploring who they are, and learning “how to adult”).
Here are a few of the titles I’ve enjoyed the most so far-- I hope you like them, too!
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
Callie has never believed in luck. Not since her twelfth birthday when everything was taken from her. After the worst was over, she locked up her feelings and vowed never to tell anyone what happened. Now, six years later, she continues to struggle with the painful secret that threatens to consume her.
When fate lands Kayden and Callie at the same college, Kayden is determined to get to know the beautiful girl who changed his destiny. Quiet and reserved, Callie still fears letting anyone else into her world. But Kayden is certain that Callie has come back into his life for a reason. And the more he tries to be a part of her life, the more he realizes that, this time, its Callie who needs to be saved . . .
True by Erin McCarthy
When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler has told Rory that he’s not good enough for her. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t seem to stay away from her, and even when Rory knows she should push him away, something about him makes it nearly impossible for her to resist—even though her heart is at stake…
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…
November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon's last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist. Can Ben's relationship with Fallon--and simultaneously his novel--be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?