Love is in the air, Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and I am here to compare the genre that usually promises to deliver romance, vs the genre that promises to deliver magic and epicness with some love thrown in. Which does a love story better?
When you say romance I think Cecelia Ahern, Jojo Moyes, Helen Fielding, not J.K.Rowling, Victoria Schwab, Laini Taylor. But why doesn’t my brain spring to the later? Because actually they write some kick arse romance in their books that could conquer the love stories of the genre we associate with love and happiness.
I’ll give you a YA comparison: When Dimple Met Rishi vs the ACOTAR series
Both of these stories feature a main character who is forced into a relationship, then slowly finds they may have feelings for this person. BUT, this is done sooo differently. Dimple is in a college environment with technology, teenagers and zero magic. Feyre is in a faerie realm with magic, war and lives on the line. If you want to add passion into a relationship, throw in battles and heroic moments, not fights over text. Let’s pop this into a chart for comparison:
(If you’re reading this on anything other than my actual blog on a computer, this may look a bit off in format, sorry!)
WDMR ACOTAR Series
Romantic moments 💛💛💛 💛💛💛💛💛
Relatable experiences 💛💛💛💛 💛
Realistic characters 💛💛💛💛💛💛 💛💛
Sexual content 💛💛💛💛💛
Passion for each other 💛 💛💛💛💛💛
Okay obviously this is not a serious comparison, but still, it’s interesting to see where the two differ in my opinion. I think it depends on what you want from a romance as to what you think is important here. Should a romance be relatable and realistic, or should it be something totally out of your grasp for you to loose yourself in? I like my romances to be totally out there, something from a movie that would never happen to me, because otherwise I think I’d yearn after it too much.
Contemporaries are relatable and understandable, they deal with real world problems, so we as a reader can easily fit into the main character’s shoes. We know their situation, maybe we’ve even been there ourselves. Whereas it’s not everyday that we find ourselves as a Royal in an alternative London, in love with someone we can’t have – or maybe you live a very different life to me! The characters differ too, we have realistic and fanciable men and women in contemporaries, but in fantasy we have people crazed with passion who you immediately pick as a book boyfriend! Personally I would much rather be with Rhysand than Rishi, because Rhysand is unlike anyone I will ever know and in that he is an escape, he’s sexy and cool and so damn fictional. Rishi is awesome, I love his character and I feel for him every time Dimple turns him down, but he isn’t an escape for me, which is what I want from my reading, he is a guy that I could find in the real world still.
My point is, that contemporary is where you go when you want to be in the romance, fantasy is where you go when you want to be taken away from your own life and into one that you could never have. It’s two very different ways of looking at love and both are very good fun to read. For me? I think this post is probably biased towards the way fantasy shows romance, so that is my pick. What is yours?