Smart Bitches fan. Caption that Cover? Love it, even participate. Help a Bitch Out? Love reading the plots of some of those long lost novels. I've enjoyed reading Sarah's (and her blogging partner Candy's) reviews of just about every book in the romance genre since I started book blogging. When I was offered Sarah Wendell's Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels for review, I took it.
EIKAL (that's what Sarah calls it for short) discusses what readers and writers of romance have learned from their favorite books. No, that doesn't mean they know how to escape the clutches of a randy pirate. It means that they've found universal truths about life and love within the pages of even the most outlandish. They've learned to recognize a bad relationship, to stand up for themselves, to ask for what they want (in the boudoir and elsewhere). Of course, when they just wanted escape, they found that too.
Written in their own words, readers offer their own experiences as examples of what can be learned from romance novels. It gave me a lot to ponder and at times I nodded along with these stories. I don't read as much romance as I once did. Like many readers in EIKAL, I started reading them in my early teens and I read plenty of them. Such an impressionable age. If some people's studies are to be believed, I should be a mess. How have I not be kidnapped by pirates by now, I ask you? EIKAL reassures me that I haven't done myself severe psychological damage.
Do not read EIKAL expecting a balanced look at the romance genre. This is Ra-ra-romance! It's not like it's hard to find someone discussing how romance is rotting our brains on the internet, if you're looking for that kind of thing. It's refreshing to find an intelligent discussion of the positive aspects of reading romance. At times it is funny and others heartbreaking. Romance readers deal with some serious stuff in their real lives. If nothing else, EIKAL will make you want to read a romance just to see what all the fuss is about. And you're in luck because there is a book list in the back. Sometimes I was a little lost because I hadn't read all the books mentioned but it was still an enjoyable read.
Recommended for the curious.
Thanks to Sourcebooks for the review copy.
And just because... here is Phineas and Ferb with Boat of Romance.