Hi, everyone! I’m Brie of Musings of a Bibliophile, thanks for having me! When Tracy asked me to guest blog, I had absolutely no idea what to blog about. She gave me a few ideas, like blogging about six DIK books or heroes. I decided to go with the books and as I was typing up my post on six books I would want with me if I was on a deserted island, I realized that all of my books had a common theme, and that was romantic angst.
I guess I never really took into consideration how much I enjoy books where the couple is put through the wringer before they get their happily ever after. But after going back over that post the truth was undeniable, I am an angst whore. I just love books with couples that go through separations, "understandable" misunderstandings, external machinations, believe the other one is dead, have a third party causing trouble, etc., and then find their way back to each other by the last page - with no clear answer as to whether or not they will remain together.
I know many romance readers are total opposites from me and dislike a lot of angst, and I get why. Too much angst can be draining, and if the ending is not befitting the amount of hardship that the characters went through, then it doesn’t seem worth it. Why expend your emotions on these characters and not see them get an ending that makes it all worthwhile? It’s hard for me to explain, but I honestly don’t care if the ending is perfect or not, just as long as the resolution fits who the characters have become by the end of the story.
I had to ask myself why I enjoy angsty stories so much? After much thought, I came up with the reasons below, and I incorporated my six Desert Island Keepers into the answers:
I like the added realisticness of not knowing if the couple will live happily ever after, because in real life there is only happy for now. I like the struggle that it takes to form a relationship that is sigh worthy, (Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas) because anything worth having is worth fighting for. I prefer for characters to have everything and the kitchen sink thrown at them (The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly), for them to be rejected then taken back, to be loved in every sense of the word and then lose that love (The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery), for them to feel pain - because love hurts (If His Kiss is Wicked by Jo Goodman) and then, when all of that is worked through, I want for them to be a little bit cynical (Seize the Fire by Laura Kinsale), to know that things might not really work out in the end, but what the hell, I love you so I’m giving this my best shot (Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale).
So, to angst or not to angst? I’ve given my answers, now what about you? Do you live for the romantic angst or does it drive you absolutely crazy?
(Pictures from some of my favorite angst ridden movies that are all based on books or, in the case of Romeo and Juliet, plays.)