My sister-in-law Wendy Duren has teamed up with fellow romance novel fan HelenKay Dimon to launch Paperback Reader, a blog born out of "our collective frustration about the seeming unwillingness of some reviewers to
write and post honest reviews of romance books." They write:
We complained for awhile on our individual blogs about how even slight
criticism of a romance novel touched off rants from everyone in the community
because you just don’t speak ill of romance novels and ruin the united front.
We should all agree that’s ridiculous. Reading romance doesn’t mean you leave
common sense and good taste aside. Then, we had an idea (Wendy had the idea,
actually) – why not give it a try. Show that we can write reviews about romance
books that are aimed at informing readers as well as giving constructive
feedback to authors. Are we always right? Well, no. These things are
subjective. These are our opinions and, frankly, there will be times when we
don’t agree with each other.
Sounds like fun. But HelenKay recognizes they may not be greeted warmly at first by the romance writers.
Now, this is risky. The general mood in the romance community seems to be that
it is wrong to even hint that there may be an imperfect romance novel out there
somewhere. The thought process is: if we admit some books aren’t as great as
others we’ll never get respect as a genre. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Which is exactly why a blog like Paperback Reader is such a good idea. Wendy says:
You’ll never see
either of us rain condemnation down on a book because we don’t like the hero’s
hair color or because the heroine makes birth control choices that are different
from our own. We will save the
condemnation for the clichés too much of the genre limps by on.
The first book up for review is Jennifer Crusie’s BET ME.