What’s the most romantic book you’ve ever read?
(Mind you, I don’t mean the hard-core stuff you hide in plain wrappers under your mattress. I mean True Love, Romance, deeply emotional, heart-tugging, and all that stuff.)
And, secondly, did you like it? Is it your usual kind of reading, or did it take you by surprise?
Argh—love≠sex, people. (And romance≠smut.) It’s too early for me to just let that one pass. This is probably why romance as a genre doesn’t particularly attract me, as an asexual woman; too many unnecessary sex scenes. (I’m not saying all sex scenes are unnecessary—I liked Tipping the Velvet—but for books specifically marketing themselves as romance, like The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, they usually are.)
Now, to actually answer the question—I’m going to go with Malinda Lo’s Ash as the most romantic book I’ve ever read. (The review’s going up on March 2.) Not because it’s deeply emotional or heart-tugging—although it certainly can be—but because it’s rational and organic. The titular character has to choose between an idealized and extremely unbalanced (in terms of power) relationship with a supernatural being and an organic and earnest relationship with the King’s Huntress, which is still above her new station in life. The way Ash navigates this and begins to understand the rules of her world were great, and her ultimate choice made my heart sing. Also, it can be read as a commentary on the slew of unbalanced relationships with supernatural beings currently invading young adult fiction—just look at this—and proving that real love, organic, earnest, and true love, will always win out. Fantastic.