What I´d Like To See More Of In NA Romance Novels

NA Romance-

If there´s ever been a genre that´s loved and hated in equal proportions then it´s definitely New Adult Romances. NA romance books are often tacky and full of unrealistic, unrelatable fluff no one needs- That´s what I´ve heard.

As a devoted NA Romance reader, I have to agree. There´s often too much of everything often squeezed into 350 pages. These books carry topics any of us would gladly walk away from without batting an eyelash yet we crave these things in our NA romance books. Weird. The usual tropes?  Virgins, rich characters, unrealistic sex, love heals the mentally unhinged, and instalove. In some cases, it´s a combination of all.

 

But do we really crave what NA romances offer?

 

I often wonder what NA romances would be like if there were less drama, less intensity, less cheesiness, less explosiveness. Would it really hurt to give the mountain gorillas disguised as gorgeous and powerful CEOs a break? Do characters always need to have dark pasts for us to love them? No and no.

I also wonder what kind of effect it would have on authors and readers if characters were suddenly 100% relatable. I mean- Let´s take the average Joe. He´s full of flaws and above all- doesn´t have an ass in his weird fitted jeans. He comes home, orders take-out then falls asleep on the sofa before the delivery guy arrives because he just came home after a 12-hour workday. Do authors want to write about your average Joe, who´s life is just as exciting as a slice of toast? Probably not. A reader could mistake them for someone they´re trying to forget while reading. Escapism is a thing.

Authors provide an outlet for readers with their stories. They offer us a way to forget our mundane lives and be a part of something that raises our blood pressure. This is done in the form of exaggeration. By amplifying emotions, reactions, and actions. Things are often so intense that a reader can often thank their lucky stars that average Joe is snoring in the next room.

But, what if…? Is there a possibility people could actually like a romance story they can relate to?  Would it be so terrible to read about an insta-attraction and to watch that form into more rather than being hit with an instalove? Hmm… I think it wouldn´t be terrible at all. Not sure what other readers think, though.

Personally, I like to see less exaggeration and more relatable stuff. Call me dull but sometimes less is more. Less drama can still have a positive effect on readers.

No book character has to lose their job, their best friend since Kindergarten, their left leg and their unborn baby and have to deal with infidelity in 230 pages. Each of these things can be traumatic events on their own if delivered properly and with care. I mean- We often experience chain reactions in life but none as drastic as some authors like to paint out. Or, I´m just a fool living off the grid and have no flipping clue about real-life dramatics. Could be – Who knows. I´m no expert.

Losing your job can have a negative effect on someone´s relationship. This can lead to depression or break a marriage. I can see a second chance romance from this storyline.

You can lose your best friend if that friend has a new relationship that´s toxic. Let a new Hero swoop in and whisk the best friend off her feet.  This can be turned into a New Adult romance that includes abuse.

You can have an accident and be forced to become disabled. This can definitely be traumatic for any romantic relationship. I can see this as a new beginning NA romance.

Pregnancy loss or infertility has been a reason why couples split. Why not include this topic into a romance and draw that cruel event out?

Adultery is another topic that has no problem standing on its own. Cheating isn´t great but authors sure as hell can work this one into a romance and draw it out in a trilogy.

Or how about this: How about writing a  story about a couple who´ve grown apart? Simple. Effective. Realistic. People forget how to love each other if they´ve been together for some time.

 

 

 

I guess what I´m saying is that authors don´t need to stick with the usual tropes. They don´t need to bombard their characters with so much tragedy. One tragic event is enough to send average Joe to therapy.

Speaking of average Joe. He can be a desirable and flawed character if an author´s willing to make their readers see him as such.

Authors don´t need to over-exaggerate events for the sake of wanting to touch a reader´s heartstrings.

Less is often more. Simplicity can have a greater impact on readers than anything too intense.


 

For the record: Yes, I know there are authors who write less dramatic NA romances. Trust me when I say that I´ve read their books. But I think it wouldn´t hurt if more authors tried their luck with something as simple as a simple NA romance.

Also good to know: I´m not fully against overly dramatic NA romances. I´ll still read them if they sound interesting. I prefer simple stories, though. There are quite a few readers who wouldn´t want to change anything about the majority of NA romances… and that´s perfectly fine.

 


 

What do you think? Do you agree? Are NA romances too over the top or do you believe they´re perfect the way they are? What would you like to see more in NA romances?  Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤

 


 

As always, I appreciate the time you´ve taken to read this blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

 

Much bookish love,

Morgana

 

 

 

Dear Book Bloggers, It´s okay…

This blog post is dedicated to all the book bloggers out there who feel insecure, unnoticed, misunderstood or wronged by the book blog community. For all the people who just started out and to those who´ve been around for some time… I hope you know that

its okay

 

  • It´s okay to feel frustrated or disappointed when something doesn´t work out. Whether it´s because you were denied the ARC you requested on NetGalley or your name wasn´t picked in a GIVEAWAY you participated in- It´s okay.

 

  • It´s okay if you don´t have a private library or a reading nook. You can still consider yourself a passionate book person and that´s all that counts.

 

  • It´s okay if you don´t have a massive book collection. You´re not any less of a reader if you only own 20 books.

 

  • It´s okay if your reviews aren´t professional. You don´t need an academic degree in order to type up your opinion on a book. Nor do you need any qualifications to be a book blogger.

 

  • It´s okay if you make mistakes. We all mess up once in a while. It doesn´t matter if you have typos/misspellings in your posts or if you accidentally collected incorrect info for your blog posts… It´s not the end of the world.

 

  • It´s okay if you´re not like others. You don´t need to be a carbon copy of someone else. The best you can ever be is yourself. If you copy another blogger you´ll be a shadow- One among many. You are not one of many. You are you.

 

  • It´s okay if your Bookstagram pic can´t compete with other Bookstagram features. Be proud of the content you upload.

 

  • It´s okay if your blog isn´t doing as well as you hoped it would. Growing your book blog can be a tiresome process. Just hang in there. Everything takes time, a little effort and love to grow- So does your blog and online presence.

 

  • It´s okay if you don´t belong to the book clique. Book blogging isn´t high school. You´re doing this for yourself and your following.

 

  • It´s okay if someone doesn´t like your content. You can´t make everyone happy. Besides, that´s not your job.

 

  • It´s okay if you´ve never been to a book signing event. As a book blogger and as a dedicated fan of an author, you´re still relevant.

 

  • It´s okay if you haven´t read any classic literature. You aren´t worthless if you haven´t added Austen to your reading repertoire. You´re a reader with or without the old hams.

 

My dear Book Bloggers,

Always remember- It´s okay. There´s no wrong way to go about book blogging. There are no rules set in stone.

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. A private library takes up space. If you don´t have a spare room then that´s the way it is. Your reading space is your private comfort zone. Does it matter if your pillows match your cat? No. I don´t give a hoot if your socks are a shade lighter than your drapes and that the book you have wedged between your new fluffy socks matches the bedsheets… So, there´s that.

If you weren´t approved to read an ARC then see that as a blessing rather than a curse. This might mean you can´t have immediate access but it also means you have more time to browse for other books. GIVEAWAYS are often a hopeless case. Believe me when I say that you and hundreds of others are going through the same ordeal.

Many things in the book blogging community are unnecessary and overrated. Find out what works for you and what doesn´t. The important thing is- As long as whatever you do makes you happy then you´re doing something right. If you want to try something new out then go for it. Succeed or fail. Learn from your achievements and mistakes. Read books that make you happy instead of reading what you think others will approve of. Include profanity in your blog posts if you feel the need to or keep things as clean as a whistle if that´s what makes you happy. Don´t let other book bloggers tell you what´s wrong or right. Don´t let them make you feel insecure because they think they have a picture-perfect online presence and you don´t. You don´t need it.

So, it´s okay if your book blogger life has some crooked edges. You´re doing just fine.

Much love,

Morgana

 

 

 

It´s Time For A Book Blog Change

 

Here are a few questions I´ve been asking myself about my blog.

  • Why am I not feeling my blog?
  • Should I change my blog´s theme? 
  • Should I just keep my theme and give my blog a decorative make-over?
  • What about my weekly themes?

 

Was I asking myself these questions because I was slowly getting bored with blogging? No. That´s impossible. Or, maybe it´s not such a far fetched thought. Maybe, deep down, I don´t like my blog. I needed answers. I needed some opinions.

Over the past months, I´ve spoken with a few people about this little first-world problem of mine. People whose opinions I highly value. Some are book bloggers, some are internet gurus who´re basically married to their MacBooks. I wanted to know if they were able to see why I wasn´t feeling my own creations. I asked for each to take a look at my blog and point out what they think needed to be tossed. I asked for them to not hold back with their opinions on my design, my graphics, my layout, and even my weekly themes.

 

I was ready for critique. I wasn´t ready for a full-on bash parade. 

 

What everyone agreed on was the header.  “That´s gotta go.” Of course, I was butt hurt after having heard their critique. “You´re running a book blog. I don´t see any books.”, a few said. I immediately went into defense mode:

“The books are in the content. I have the word `book´ in my blog name.” 

Which brings us to the next critique point. One that had me wishing for a bucket of Ben & Jerry´s chocolate fudge brownie ice-cream.  My blog name.

” Morgana´s Book Box is long. It´s not easy to remember.”, three people kindly pointed out. Okay, fine. I saw their point. Not saying I liked what they said but I got the picture.

“What´s with the bitmoji images?”, a few asked while they took my blog apart. Well, that´s just a smoother version of myself. You know, sans wrinkles, dark circles under my eyes, pimples, skin discoloration, scars… Need I go on? Photoshop is my second worst enemy so… Why not use bitmoji, right?

Needless to say- There was a long list of get-rid-of´s. But why? All I asked for was for them to help me figure out why I wasn´t feeling my blog´s makeup. I took their opinions to heart. My ego was bruised. I bought myself a pint of cookies & cream from Häagen Dasz because I had an emotional emergency. I thought I´d never recover from their honesty. Be honest but don´t fucking slay me.

Six out of six people told me my concept was outdated. Copied, chewed up and dull.

“You´re basically doing what everyone else is doing.” * nod * So is everyone else. Which isn´t a terrible thing. You can only do so much with a book blog.

In hindsight- they were all right.

  • Weekly blog themes work but they don´t work for everyone.
  • Animated selfies are not the real deal.
  • Blogs are personal.

 

The worst part, for me, was when all said they wouldn´t follow my blog if we weren´t close. Which says a lot, if you ask me. They all agreed that my content was decent but that everything else needed more life.

Yes, I´ve been doing this concept for years. It´s a system that´s always worked. Why shouldn´t it continue to work, you know? They had an answer for that, too. One I don´t want to repeat or else I might feel the need to get another pint of ice-cream.

I asked for opinions and that´s exactly what I got. Now, I had two options:

  • Ignore the critique and suggestions on how to improve my blog
  • Think about everything and maybe make a few adjustments

I decided on giving the suggestions that were given to me a try. Some of my friends had great ideas I´d love to try out. Maybe the harsh critique was necessary.

Maybe I have been stuck in an endless book blogging loop. Maybe I need a break. Or a drink. Ice-cream would be good right now.

So, with all that being said, I guess you´ll see some crazy blog changes in the future. It´s definitely worth a try. I´ll probably remove some themes, change my reviews, add some new features… Who knows. Maybe I´ll start feeling my blog again. What I do know is that I won´t be changing my blog name.


 

Let´s chat: Do you think your blog needs a make-over? Have you ever asked for someone´s opinion regarding your blog? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to discuss this. ❤


 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

Have a wonderful day and don´t forget to share the book – love.

Morgana

 

 

Spam Box Treasures: Part 7

My very own personal junk comments- Oh, how I´ve missed them.

Buckle up, bookish Padawans, for this will be an enlightening part seven.

Ready?


 

 

#1  Suggestions for me and my non-existent gang.

 

spam 1

 

 

#2  A dedicated non-follower.

 

spam 2

 

 

 

#3   How soon?

 

spam 4

 

 

#4   The wait was apparently worth it.

 

spam 5

 

 

#5   Genuinely special? Can you elaborate?

 

spam 6

 

 

 

#6   I´m reading this wonderful comment at the ending of mine day, too.

 

spam 7

 

 

#7   I´m always happy to help all of you… again.

 

spam 12

 

 


 

There ya have it. My wonderful Spam Box Treasures, part 7. I hope you enjoyed.

Be sure to stay tuned for next month’s Spam Box Treasures, part 8. All I´ll say is:

Frank is confused.

 

I hope you all have a wonderful day. Don´t forget to share the book love ❤

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The Influencer Bookshelves

I never thought I´d see the day come…

But then again, I kind of saw this happening.

My beloved bookshop added a new category to my favorite book corner.

 

Influencer

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Huh. Well, slap me silly… This is a somewhat unpleasant surprise. Yeah, you guessed correctly- I´m not a fan. There was a time when I couldn´t´ve cared less about Influencers until I stumbled upon some on Youtube, Instagram, etc.

It goes without saying what an Influencer´s sole purpose is. These individuals influence their followers. And the larger the following the wider the influence can be. But do they need their own category in a bookshop? Hmm, not sure. That´s why I decided to check the new shelves out.

Low and behold- Influencers have branched out and are now authors of cookbooks, journals/diaries, self-help paperbacks, and memoirs. I´m not sure if I should feel impressed or saddened by this.

I know. I know. It´s all a matter of marketing. Let the young folk, who probably don´t have any other job options, have their shot at 15-minute fame. To each is their own, right? Right.

Of course, we all have the option to take all this in however we want to. I´m sure many think an influencer is no different from a celebrity. A job is a job no matter in what light you´re standing in. Celebrities write memoirs and publish them, why shouldn´t influencers be allowed to do the same?

From where I´m standing, though, influencers don´t have the appeal of a celebrity. Their word ( which is what they´re basically trying to sell ) isn´t gold. I find the two are on different levels.

From all the books I´ve seen from influencers on those shelves, it´s the memoirs that agitate me the most. I see a 25-year-old with the face of a 16-year-old trying to tell me about the hardships of life. Which brings me to my next point:

Do I even belong to the targetted audience? Me, a 37-year-old mother and wife with a job that gives me a steady income? Probably not. It´s the younger people they´re looking for. Which is fine. I don´t think an influencer can do much “influencing” on me, anyway.

I don´t know- The idea of a bookstore having a corner for influencers is just mind-boggling.

 


 

What are your thoughts on the topic? Do you care for this category in bookstores?  Let me know in the comments below ❤


 

 

Morgana