YAY! I had so much fun with last year's Love month event that I've gone and done it again this year! I hope you are just as excited as I am for Love month, as there are lots of fun and wonderful things ahead on the blog during the month of February.
I tried very hard to bring you awesome things this month! Expect reviews of Kiss Date Love Hate by Luisa Plaja, Fallen In Love by Lauren Kate, The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg, Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver and more. Look out for posts about love and romance from a wide range of YA book bloggers and authors. We have several interviews lined up as well as the giveaways! Are you excited yet?! I am.
Do you know why I love YA love stories so much? I don't think I've really talked about it before. In some ways my reasons are the same as why I love YA so much. The reasons are many.
1) The escape - I love falling into someone else's story and forgetting my own. This works well for stories that are light-hearted and fun as well as the stories that are harder to deal with. There's nothing that I like more than reading a book that makes me forget everything except the situations and emotions that are flying around inside its pages. I can be a film-buff studying in France and falling in love with hot boys with English accents. Or a governess falling in love with a gruff Mr Rochester. I can be a princess in New York madly in love with my best friend's brother. And for as long as I'm reading that book, everything else just falls away. The monotony of everyday life, the isolation and loneliness of being a stay at home mother, my fragile mental health. Books take me away.
2) The entertainment - For the most part, the YA love stories I love to read are pretty light-hearted. Because I don't know about you, but the quickest way to my heart is through laughter. And I'm very serious about that. N makes me laugh a countless number of times a day/week/month/etc and nearly every time he does, I'm reminded of how much I love him. Because I need that sort of humour to balance out my moodiness. So books like A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker and How Not To Be Popular by Jennifer Ziegler that I reviewed for last year's Love month are perfect for their wonderful funny + romance approach. Plus, who doesn't love to laugh?
3) The emotion - I don't know how this introductory post ended up so personal, but here's the thing about me: I'm not very good with emotions, especially my own. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation for it that I haven't figured out, but it takes me a long time to work out what I'm feeling. I think strong emotions really terrify me, so I do my best to smother them. And sometimes, in order to get through or past these strong emotions I'm not dealing with, I'll pick up a book and through the impartial medium of someone else's story, I can start to get through my own feelings and emotions.
So a really heart-breaking and emotional love story like say, Where She Went by Gayle Forman, will allow me to feel and express strong emotion (even if that is the strong feeling I've been supressing!), and to cry my tears and then to move on. It's very cathartic.
4) The romance - This should probably have been the first answer, obviously! I am a huge romantic at heart and I love a good swoon. I like my love stories with plenty of attraction and tension and most definitely conflict.
And while sometimes for me, the love and romance aspect of a book can come second, especially if a character or a story involves themes that I connect with very strongly like identity and belonging, I prefer a . I like love stories that seem real to me, and usually that means broken. Characters that are hurting or messed up emotionally especially. Whilst I loved Anna and the French Kiss to bits, the ending felt too over-the-top and slightly cheesy because it felt too romantic and like it was trying too hard to be perfect. I prefer a good dose of pain and heartache, but that's just me! Either way, I do love a good romance to get my heart racing!
And hopefully during Love month, you can experience with me some of these things as I share with you some fabulous, romantic books and we discuss Love for many different angles. I'm really hoping that you enjoy this month as much as I have preparing it for you!
What are your reasons for loving YA love stories?