Last week, for the first time, I DNFed a book through rage. I’ve been reading romances between rereading mysteries, trying to see how things have changed in the genre (a lot, but that’s usual, romance reinvents itself constantly) and I tried a book that was turning out to be substandard from the beginning (gorgeous heroine, gorgeous hero, heroine needs rescued but is surprisingly sexually predatory for a wimpy girl) and then I got to the point where the hero had been falsely accused of rape. I HATE THIS TROPE.
The vast majority of rape accusations are not false, and yet this trope keeps showing up in romance novels, an anti-female patriarchal smirk of a defense in a feminist genre. This one makes me even madder than the hot professor trope (professors who sleep with their students are predators). But I soldiered on because I liked the hero until the turning point where the hero was under attack (verbally) and turned to the heroine for help, and all she had to do was say “No,” and she stayed silent. The premise was that she was Bambi, caught in the headlights, but at than point I was hoping the metaphorical car hit her so the hero could go find somebody with a spine and a working brain. I didn’t even flip to the end because I knew he’d forgive her.
The thing about a good romance is, the people in it have to deserve each other, stand up for each other, be there when times gets tough. No Big Misunderstandings, no “Because of my past, I couldn’t act/speak up/commit,” if they’re not pretty much all in by halfway through the book, there’s no time to build and test the relationship in the story space. But a character who abandons the person they supposedly love can’t . . .
I’m ranting, aren’t I? Okay forget that horrible book. Read Billy Crystal’s memoir, Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys?. I had a bad week last week, but that was on Book Bub so I read the sample and laughed out loud three times. So I bought it and laughed out loud a lot more times. A lot of it is about getting older, and there’s a lot of name-dropping (well, it’s Billy Crystal, he’s met a lot of names) but it’s funny and warm, like a nice blanket that wraps around you. And makes you laugh out loud.
What did you read this week?