In Defense of Romance
By Claire LaZebnik
Author of The Trouble with Flirting
Hello, my name is Claire L. and I love a good literary romance.
It’s not easy to come out and admit that: these days a lot of people seem to think there’s no place for romance in lit-tra-churr. Apparently books should be serious and realistic and responsible--and getting readers all excited about whether a hero and heroine end up together is none of the above.
To that I say a very hearty “Balls!” (Am I allowed to say that? I can make it less hearty if that helps. I could say a very weak and timid “Balls.”)
The greatest writers of all time—Dickens, Bronte, Shakespeare, Austen (I could go on because I was an English major back in college but you get the idea)—all knew the power and charm of a good edge-of-your-seat romance. You keep two people who belong together apart for a while and when they finally come together sparks fly, fireworks explode, bells ring, and—if you’ve done your job—readers squeal. You can still weave in all the responsible social commentary and brilliant satire you want (paging Mr. Dickens), but it’s just so much more fun when there’s a boy-meets-girl story in the middle of all that.
Let me make one thing clear: as much as I like reading about couples finding love, in real life I think we should all be capable of living happily on our own. And even in fiction, I prefer a protagonist who isn’t actually looking for love, who’s instead busily leading her own life but who then happens to stumble across that one person who excites and interests and enrages and enchants her.I’ve updated a few Jane Austen novels for a modern young adult readership, and I can honestly say that the hardest part of bringing her stories into a modern world is grappling with the fact that her heroines’ futures are dependent on whom they find to marry. That’s simply not true for women anymore—and hallelujah for that! So while I try to remain true to the wonderful, toe-curling delights of these romances, it’s with the modern twist that my protagonists don’t need a man in their lives: they’re perfectly fulfilled without one. The right guy is simply the icing on the cake.
I know that too much focus on romance can send the wrong message, run the risk of suggesting we’re not complete without a mate. But, honestly, I just enjoy it when two people meet and the reader knows, even if they don’t, that they belong together, either because they understand each other, or because they madden each other, or because they fascinate each other . . . and you’re waiting for that one great moment when suddenly everything else fades away and they get to see the truth of how much they belong together. Call me sappy, immature, old-fashioned, unsophisticated . . . call me anything you like, so long as you give me a happy romantic ending.
About the Author:
Claire LaZebnik is the author of Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting, both from HarperTeen. She has also written several novels for adults, including Knitting Under the Influence and The Smart One and the Pretty One. With Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel, she co-authored Overcoming Autism and Growing Up on the Spectrum.
Visit Clare via her: Website | Twitter | Facebook
About the Book
By: Claire LaZebnik
Published By: Harper Teen
Released on: 2/26/13
Purchase it from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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Franny's supposed to be working this summer, not flirting. But you can't blame her when guys like Alex and Harry are around. . . .
Franny Pearson never dreamed she'd be attending the prestigious Mansfield Summer Theater Program. And she's not, exactly. She's working for her aunt, the resident costume designer. But sewing her fingers to the bone does give her an opportunity to spend time with her crush, Alex Braverman. If only he were as taken with the girl hemming his trousers as he is with his new leading lady.
When Harry Cartwright, a notorious flirt, shows more than a friendly interest in Franny, she figures it can't hurt to have a little fun. But as their breezy romance grows more complicated, can Franny keep pretending that Harry is just a carefree fling? And why is Alex suddenly giving her those deep, meaningful looks? In this charming tale of mixed messages and romantic near-misses, one thing is clear: Flirting might be more trouble than Franny ever expected
Thank you to Harper Teen, we have a copy of The Trouble with Flirting to giveaway.
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