Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blog Post: The Search for Love

I'm looking for love. The sort of grand, majestic, sweeping love that comes through the most subtle of gestures and the simple locking of eyes. Love that isn't contrived and superficial. The sort of love that Elizabeth and Darcy have, based on witty comebacks and mutual acceptance. I'm so sick of people believing that love isn't love until there's an entire world based on whether a relationship fails, or something is always keeping two people apart, be it the main character's irritating case of insecurity or the guy's desire to "protect" her from him.

But that's what comprises all the books I've been reading recently. There's a multitude of young adult novels out there, from post-apocalyptic to fantasy. Every time, there's an entire civilization hanging in balance, screwed over by the main characters. Since when were a pair of stupid teenagers responsible for the fate of mankind? I think that's when the world will really be over. It's been a long time since I've read a book that's made me feel invested in the relationship, where I was cheering for them instead of hoping for one of them to die and put me out of my misery. Worse, there hasn't been a relationship that hasn't felt contrived, begun because of good looks or enigmatic smiles. I'm not saying all books are that bad; some are, but others do it better. But better doesn't mean anything. Better might mean that the characters get to know each other before declarations of love. Even if they do, there's still a lack of chemistry. I don't know if it's because I've become more cynical, that I can't accept this definition of love anymore.

When I think of examples of great love, I think of Pride & Prejudice, Angelfall, and Blood Red Road. When you think of Pride & Prejudice, it's not that complicated. It's the simple story of a girl with a crazy family who hates a wealthy man because of misunderstandings and his own warped sense of chivalry but learns to love him. There aren't any wars or blood shed, but I was excited for every moment they shared a moment, just because there were so few of them. In Angelfall and BRR, the love takes a backseat to the conflict going on. You can have a plot revolve around love, but there are few who can do it without making it seem cloying and obsessive. There are more important things than love sometimes, but what's important is that there's someone in the end, someone with whom you have an attraction beyond that of physical. Sure, the chemistry must be there, but there has to be other things that advances it beyond lust. And that's what's missing in books like Hush, Hush or Fallen or Gravity. They're books that are detailed by an ongoing dance between love interests that aren't sure whether to trust each other and are vulnerable because of their own crippling insecurity.

Anyway, this is one of my random blog posts where I just wanted to get annoyed because I haven't read a book that's actually kept me interested in the relationship. Call me a sappy romantic, but I like a good love story to go along with the plot. Authors know to deliver on the love story part, but not the good. I want a good love story, dammit. Is that so much to ask?

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