30 Day Book Challenge: Day 20

picsart_1375358545585Good morning fellow readers! So of course I found a new challenge to participate in the hopes of proving myself better than the last. I picked up this challenge from The Chronicles of Radiya and very much look forward to 30 consecutive (hopefully, gulp) days of blogging.

Day 20: Favorite Romance Book

Romance tends to be formulated then again I guess that could be applied to every genre I just happen to be more aware of it in romance. While formulated is not necessarily a bad thing it can make it hard for books to stand out.

What I’ve come to ask of romance novels is this: is it realistic? Do they fall in love in three days because if they do then it’s not. Do the love interests find each other perfect because if they do then again, it’s not realistic. I don’t expect every book I read to be realistic in fact I read many romance books that are not and enjoy them but I have to say that I do lose a bit of respect for those that are not.

I want to believe the story and forgive me but I just don’t believe that he saw her passing by and knew instantly that she was the one. I just don’t buy it.

My favorite romances are not typical, they tend to break from the traditional sunset happily ever after that is very common in the romance genre. For instance The Time Traveler’s Wife and P.S. I Love You, both are fleshed out stories about flawed characters who are either in love or used to be. I’m drawn to those stories.

My favorite romance novel of all time would have to be Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The setting of the novel is a traveling circus and a young man is its own veterinarian. As we get to know the characters we meet August and his wife Marlena. August is a charming man who befriends our protagonist Jacob, but is also suffering from mental issues causing him to be paranoid about his relationship with Marlena and on top of that he is a brutal man, pushing the circus animals far beyond their capacity. Marlena is part of the horse act and she and Jacob bond over the new circus elephant Rosie (who is bubbling with personality). Their bond develops into friendship and then further develops into love. They have an affair and needless to say things get bumpy and whole slew of events take place.

I guess what I love about this novel is the way Gruen portrays the fragility of Marlena’s and Jacob’s relationship; as if it were always on the edge of glass in danger of outside elements and the characters own flaws. That’s real. Love , when first bloomed, is not this ultimately strong force that can conquer the world. It is delicate and needs time to grow.

There’s also Rosie the elephant. Her part in the novel was fantastic and she ultimately influences Marlena and Jacobs relationship in the end.

I recommend this novel to all romance fans and even fans of historical fiction. It was fascinating to learn about the circus in such an early age and I found out many new things. Water for Elephants is a great novel and I urge everyone to pick it up.

What is your favorite romance novel? Share it below and happy reading!


12 thoughts on “30 Day Book Challenge: Day 20

  1. Gahhh, Water for Elephants! This is another book on my to-read list! I spotted a really cheap, excellent condition book at the discount book store but I was with my friend and, since I had hoarded about 10 books for myself, I let her take the Water for Elephants copy 😦 I did see the movie, though, and I loved it! (Yes, people, Robert Pattinson can actually act…) But I know that the book must be fantastic so I can’t wait to read it. Nice pick! 😀

  2. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon are the only romantic books I’ll really read. Although, I don’t know if they are actually considered historical fiction or romance. They tend to be in different places depending on the book store.

    Like you, I can’t stand the ‘love at first sight’ cliche. The Outlander books do have a lot of sex and the main characters fall in love, but it’s a bit more realistic. Or it feels that way to me. And there’s lots of swashbuckly action.

    I think that the biggest problem I have with romance books is that the sex tends to be unrealistic. They make it sound as though the main characters are having the best sex in all of history and that the rest of us are doing it wrong. It keeps me from taking a story seriously.

    • Yeah thats my problem with romance too, I just get tired of reading the same unrealistic stories over and over again. The Outlander series has been on my to-read list for a while, I’ve heard many great things about it so it’s good to know that you enjoyed it! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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