Three Teenagers on the Joy of Romantic Novels | Cup of Jo

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Three Teenagers on the Joy of Romantic Novels | Cup of Jo


“I’m going through that age where romance is IT,” wrote Matilda, 14, today on the babaá blog. “Every romance novel both kills me and brings me a bit of life.” Curious, I asked teenagers I know for their thoughts…

Matilda’s note

My 12-year-old neighbor Ella, a voracious reader, spoke to me on the phone while looking through her bookcase. “The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a classic romance, devastating ending. I read it in eight hours, maybe six.” She also enjoyed Green’s Looking for Alaska, although said it was “intense and more adult.”

Another good one? They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. “Two guys find out they have 24 hours to live, and they meet and fall in love during that time,” explains Ella. “I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone.”

After hanging up with Ella, I thought back to my own teenage years. I would have LOVED books with romance. My favorite movie was Romeo & Juliet — be still my tender heart — but I didn’t know many books with such romantic plot lines.

Next I called June, 14 1/2, who got into romance a couple years ago. “When I first started reading, I wasn’t really into that,” she told me, “but in seventh grade, I read my first book with a romance: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover.”

She and her friends now recommend books to each other, so next on her list is the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi — romantic thrillers narrated by Juliette, a 17-year-old with a deadly touch.

But not every romance storyline is a crowd-pleaser. “I didn’t like The Summer I Turned Pretty,” Ella admitted. “Everyone’s obsessed, but I thought it was cheesy.”

Thoughts? Do the teens in your life like romantic books? I also know boys who read romance, but none of them would agree to talk to me about it!!!

P.S. The book that my eight-year-old cannot stop reading, and what are your most beloved children’s books?



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