Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Four Not-too-Romantic Reads for Valentine's Weekend

Not really big news here, but I'm not a fan of Romances.  
In my more formative years I got hooked on the squeaky clean teen romance series Sweet Dreams.  I owned so many of these books it was ridiculous!  And I loved them.  P.S. I Love You by Barbara Conklin was the first one I ever read. Here's the link to it on Goodreads.  This was in the sixth grade or so.  I continued reading NOTHING BUT TEEN ROMANCES until I was in high school where I branched out a little bit.  Even in college I still loved a good romance with cheesy characters and a love story that melted the heart.

Somewhere along the line I became cynical and it all just makes me roll my eyes and groan out loud and bang my head on my desk.  But it's Valentine's day this weekend.  So what if you want something with a little romance?  Because a little romance is perfect, but I prefer the story to be something more than just romance.  For me, it needs to have something else there to the story.  Something else to help ground it in reality.

So here is a list of "love stories" for the non-romantic person to delve into this weekend.

1) These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Really this is mystery.  Jo Montfort is prepared to marry the most eligible bachelor and begin her life as a wife and mother, but what she wants is to be a journalist like Nellie Bly.  When her father is found dead in his office from an apparent accidental gun shot, Jo doesn't buy it.  So she gets Eddie--a young journalist at her father's paper--to help her find out the truth.  The story revolves around Jo's search for the truth, but there is something between her and Eddie, despite Jo knowing that soon she will be expected to get married and start a proper life for herself.  The romance is not what keeps this story going, but it is important and not eye-roll-inducing.

For more info, check out my review here.

2) The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Not so much the love story you're thinking of--unless you're somewhat familiar with the A Thousand and One Tales. Shahrzad's best friend was chosen as a bride for the Caliph, and just like all the others she was killed the next morning.  So Shahrzad offers herself up as the next bride, with the intent of ending the nightly deaths by killing the Caliph.  Each night she tells him stories, keeping him intrigued until she can find an opportunity when his guard is down.  But he's not at all who she thought he would be and she finds herself just as intrigued by him, making her job even more difficult.  I don't know, maybe you would label this a romance, but it doesn't feel that way at all.  Plus it's fabulous and the second one (The Rose and the Dagger) comes out in May, so you should probably read it soon anyway -- if you haven't already.

Want to find out more about this book?  My review can be found here.

3) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
So this one is a romance.  It's the story of two high schoolers who meet on the bus and become a couple.  Only it's much more than that, too.  Eleanor has just moved back in with her mom and her stepdad is awful, awful, awful.  She and her four or five (I can't remember) siblings all sleep in the same room.  She has only a few items of clothings and they're falling apart.  And she has to go to highschool and get through the day there.  Park lives with his over protective mom and dad, his grandparents next door, and his younger brother who is exactly the type of son his father wants--not at all like Park.  I never once rolled my eyes during this book.  Instead, I was truly drawn into their lives and needed to know that they would both be okay.  Check it out.

Need more?  You can find my review right here.

4) Legend series by Marie Lu
June and Day.  Although this is not really about them, it is.  You have to read the entire series before you can truly appreciate their relationship.  The books are set in a future society of The Republic in which Day is a wanted criminal who is just a kid, but has managed to evade capture for years already.  June is at the top of her class in the military academy.  The Republic needs June to figure out who the criminal is that they're looking for and capture him.  It's a matter of national security.  Meanwhile there is a plague affecting citizens that is deadly and when families contract the disease, there is little hope for survival.  Read the entire series and get to know both June and Day a bit better.  If you're planning on reading this for Valentine's Day weekend, you might want to start immediately!!

I don't have a review of this one written, but here's the Goodreads page.

What are your romance suggestions for readers who aren't really into the whole romance thing?

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