Romance novels and its readers get so much of grief!

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I am a reader of many genres. The only genre I dislike is Young Adult, and that is more of an umbrella genre so I don't think it quite counts. (Why do I dislike the genre? Read this.)

It's interesting that when I people find out that I read romance, they will inevitably say: "Don't they all have the same plots? Aren't they unrealistic? Aren't the books shallow and silly?" I rarely get that with other genres.

The reason why this gets romance readers defensive is because it's almost implied that if you read such "shallow, unrealistic and formulaic" books, that means you're shallow, silly and unimaginative too. Of course nothing can be further from the truth as the readers of romance novels are one of the most diverse around.

The criticisms commonly levied against romance novels can be hurled at books of other genres too. Crime and thriller novels are unrealistic (the killer is caught every time? Sure.), fantasy novels can be silly (dragons exist? Hah!) and many genres are written to a formula of sorts. For example, a crime novel usually starts with a crime and ends with the bad guy being nabbed. This is "genre expectations", after all. Yet these books are not as mocked or vilified as romance novels. 

It's not the whys I am concerned about (personally I think it is misogyny). What I am concerned about is all that is said about this genre will keep curious readers away so that they won't look "shallow and silly" when seen reading it.

I was like that too - turning my nose up at the genre despite many years of entertainment from it in my teen years. Then I grew up and it saved my bacon. Let's just say romance novels lifted my spirits at a sad time in my life. (Tl;dr) 

What changed my mind? Brushing aside preconceived notions and being grateful that this genre instills hope, positivity and happiness in me. This genre does it very, very well! On top of that, I find it fun to hang out with it's readers as they are mostly positive and fun. 

Approach romance novels with an open mind. Know that there's a lot of variety within the genre itself and not all will please you. But when you find it - it will be utterly awesome.

Favourite posts from my Aussie blog: Malaysia to Adelaide

Yes, I DID blog about my journey to Australia - from visa application, to moving there, to life there and then back to Malaysia! The blog is called Malaysia2Adelaide, and for a while I toyed with the idea of importing the posts from that blog and incorporating it into this one, but I've decided to leave it be because migrating all the comments to Disqus would've been an abysmal nightmare. Also, having a simple linky link would suffice, methinks:

Here are just some of my favourite posts from Malaysia2Adelaide

Of course there are a lot more posts in the blog, from the random food porn, cafe entries (Adelaide made me a coffee addict. The coffee there was divine), to my adoration of Adelaide's many beautiful beaches and even a post on how I de-stuffed my life to move to Oz (it made me determined to be a minimalist who will only take an hour to move homes!)

Reading the blog again made me rather nostalgic of Adelaide. What a beautiful place Adelaide was/is!