Posts Tagged ‘charlaine harris’

Ah, the romance novel.  Also known as Girl Porn.  We’ve all seen the section in the bookstore, the one that’s cluttered with books titled things like, Sexy Summer Heat and My Vagina Desperately Needs Stimulation.  Many of us have laughed at and made a couple Fabio jokes in our lifetimes.  Most of these books look the same, and if you read the backs, it’s just a slightly steamier variation of the usual platitudes.  You know, like:

Mary Sue just broke up with her boyfriend Bobby, and now she doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to love again.  Then Chad, a handsome athlete, accidentally spills his coffee all over her.  She and Chad start out with playful banter that they confuse for hatred, but by page 50 they’re humping like bunnies, and it is then that Mary Sue realizes she loves his penis.  I mean him.  She loves him.

Nora Roberts deserves a medal for all the money she must have made off of lonely housewives and lusty cat ladies.  If you don’t know who she is, just take a peek into the Romance section next time you’re at a book store.  Her name should dominate at least four shelves.

It’s true that romance novels are often cheesy and ridiculous.  I’m a fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon myself, mainly because neither she nor her editors seem to care about the grammatical content of her books or the continuity.  In one of her novels, Dance with the Devil,  her leading man actually undresses himself twice before pleasuring his lady.  I kid you not.  And she is a New York Times best seller. I guess you don’t need any kind of writing talent to get famous. I’m talking about you, Stephanie Meyer.

It’s no wonder romance novels have such a bad rep, but many people don’t realize that there can actually be some good stuff.  Check out my earlier post on the Sookie Stackhouse novels.  Charlaine Harris’ books are amazingly written, with lovable characters that just happen to make love every now and again.  And I respect her for that.

Don’t be afraid of the Romance section. Sometimes they are a good laugh, but other times you can find a genuinely good read.  Try it out.  You probably won’t regret it, and your libido will thank you.

– Rebecca Leviton

Before HBO made it into a TV show for sexually deprived college students, True Blood was — and still is — a book series.  Charlaine Harris is a great author who is responsible for one of my favorite female main characters, because unlike Anna Paquin’s representation of the character, Sookie is strong, willful, and in control of her life.  In the books it’s more likely that you’ll see her doing the rescuing instead of being rescued.  The novels are not, as the TV show would have you believe, based around a young blonde’s sex life.  Yes, the books are about vampires.  Yes, we’ve had enough of that subject, but at least these books do something more than give vampire-obsessed fans masturbatory material.  They also have things like mystery, political satire, and wit.  Let’s not forget that the Sookie in the books is actually supposed to be pretty.  I’m sorry, Anna Paquin.  I think you’re a great actress, but really?

There are now ten Sookie Stackhouse novels, and so far Charlaine Harris has managed to do something very difficult – she’s kept the plot interesting.  From Dead Until Dark to her most recent release, Dead in the Family, Sookie kept me coming back for more, and I can’t wait for the next book.

To make a long story short – too late? – I recommend reading the books over watching the show.  If you’re a big fan of the show, at least read the books too, so you know how much of a difference there is between the mediums.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  Unless the only reason you watch that show is to see Ryan Kwanten naked.  Then I can’t help you.

Man that guy is hot.

~Rebecca Leviton