Snarkling Clean

Snarkling Clean- because you don't have to cuss to make fun of stuff. Two dedicated readers discuss romance novels- from what made us weep with joy to what made us want to poke pencils through our eyeballs.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What's Wrong Here?

I'm without my partner. Missie is ingesting hallucinagenic mushrooms in a hotel decorated by Liberace. But seriously folks, she's off to a business conference, and my poor baby has a slightly broken neck. Thankfully, before the flight she found a homeopathic herbal painkiller that's legal and everything. So she's at the Glitzandbling Inn wandering around behind the animals.

Me? I was at a bookstore a couple of days ago, looking at bargain books. You need to understand something about me and bargain books- I've had an obsessive love affair with them for years. There could be a book on Basket Weavers of the North Atlantic and if it was on the bargain table, I'd give it a shot.

So there I was, in a bookstore, looking at the inspirational romances on the bargain table- and get this- I had money. Actual money. I wasn't having to figure out a budget or feel guilty because I've promised the kids ice cream after school but I was spending so much on books that they had to settle for a cone instead of sundae. Me, romance, bargain bin. Marriage made in heaven, right?

I picked up book after book, and...just wasn't interested. They all sounded, well, what's the word I'm looking for? Um, sappy. Yep, that's the word. Sappy. To be fair, the stories were probably fine. The blurb writers absolutely SUCK. Almost every scenario ended with something like Can God heal Eliza's broken spirit so she can love Doug?

And there's nothing wrong with that. Most inspy books focus on the relationship between the hero/heroine and God, as much or more than each other. I have nothing whatsoever against those soul searches; at least the characters are going to grow in some way. But I still wasn't interested.

What, exactly, makes me think a book is worth picking up? I think of the Christian books I love the most: Bodie Thoene's Zion Chronicles, B.J. Hoff's An Emerald Ballad. God, and Christian themes like forgiveness and redemption, are woven through those books, but they aren't the focus. Maybe I just want to discover the God factor for myself. I mean c'mon. It's a Christian book. I'm pretty well assured faith is going to be a factor. The blurb doesn't have to smack me in the face.

What about you? Does the back blurb turn you off, sometimes?


Blogger Missie said...

My question with inspy is why does God always have to heal someone's heart before they can love someone else? Are there ABSOLUTELY!NO!OTHER!PROBLEMS! that confront Christians today than the "been hurt in a relationship before and now cannot love"? Please! What about the "can he change his lying cheating ways and convince her he is on the straight and narrow so she will marry his sorry butt" or "is she willing to give him another shot even though he broke her heart a few years before" or "he aint got no money and needs to make some before chicky mama will marry him" or good grief, something!

sorry, the mushrooms are talking. Or maybe i am just surrounded by too much golden gilded items. my retinas are seared by the blingbling around here. so you just KNOW i am fitting right on in.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

It isn't even the "I was hurt once so cannot love" thing. As I said, if it is an inspy book, sold at a Christian bookstore, I'm pretty sure God will show up somewhere in the story. Do these marketing people/editors/whoever writes the blurbs have to sound so...self-righteous? Maybe I'm not making sense. I need some mushrooms.

12:53 PM  
Blogger StarvingWriteNow said...

Yes, yes, and yes again. Especially when I realize, after having read a book that the back blurb pretty much told the whole fricking story and I needn't have wasted my time.

Another one that gets me is the hot books, like Blaze for example, that go on about how sexy, steamy, sizzling the "love" is. Well, duh. It wouldn't be a Blaze otherwise.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

...go on about how sexy, steamy, sizzling the "love" is. Well, duh. It wouldn't be a Blaze otherwise.


8:20 PM  
Blogger Bernita said...

"Does the back blurb turn you off, sometimes?"
The short answer is:"YUP."

3:29 AM  
Blogger quirkychild said...

I used to read some inspy romance myself and also found most of it to be cliched.

Besides the blurbs being horrible spoilsports, it seemed like the relationship was backwards.

This girl would ALREADY be in love with this guy, because she was a needy little emotional wreck, or proud and arrogant (but still needy inside). Then it's like you can hear the author saying "Oh yeah, this is a Christian book, so I better have them find god before getting married."

Insert awkward handling of God content. Zoom back to marriage, cue happy ending.


I'd just like to see a grl once, who was fulfilled in her relationship with God and is rewarded for faithfully waiting on His best. But I suppose that wouldn't make a rip-roaring book.

9:41 PM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

I completely buy books based on the cover. Yeah, that's right. Can you even imagine how many cool looking, horrible books I own?

6:02 AM  

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