Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Calendar Girls - Feb 2017 - best romance in YA (in my opinion) - #CalendarGirlsBooks

Calendar Girls is hosted by bloggers, Flavia the Bibliophile and Melanie Noell Bernard – both have amazing blogs full of fun, bookish posts. Calendar Girls is a brand new monthly blog event inspired by Neil Sedaka’s 1961 song Calendar Girl. Just like in the song, we decided to use a specific them for each month and choose a book based on these themes! The event is meant to incite discussions with other bloggers about books we’ve read and loved, is meant to help bloggers meet other bloggers, and also for bloggers and readers to find out about blogs which they normally may not have come across! Want to know more? Click on the links above! And it’s not too late to jump on the Calendar Girl train! Join now!

Best romance in a YA novel

You'll note the careful wording of this month's topic, and I am very, very glad of it. I am glad they chose the best romance in YA and not the best YA romance. Because I don't read a lot of YA that is only romance. A lot of the YA I read has elements of romance, but cannot be classed as romance per se in the same way Outlander or the Lords of the Underworld can be. But even with my picks for romance novels I tend towards choices like the above where the romance itself isn't the sole element of the novel. That being said it was still really hard for me to make a choice here. I feel like I had a couple of good options rolling around in my head that were all good for various reasons, but I still discarded them for my ultimate winners:

 Hazel Grace Lancaster & Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once."

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

-- via Goodreads

It will be 2 years this month since I finished reading and reviewed John Green's The Fault in Our Stars and the book's impact on me has not lessened since the moment I hit publish on that review. I still vividly remember how emotionally wrecked I was after reading it. It honest to goodness was one of the most beautiful and heartfelt stories that I have ever read. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it, I seriously can't say enough good things about it. If you have read it you're probably wondering to yourself why/how I could ever choose Hazel and Gus as having the best romance in YA given how their story ends. And I answer you, I think that it is because of the way their story ends that theirs is the best romance I have ever encountered in YA. It doesn't end in a happily ever after, how could we ever have expected it to given the story Green was telling?

If their romance had ended happily it would have been trite and weak and wrong. The beauty and importance in their romance comes from how real and raw it is and that realness and rawness would not have been possible if it had ended any other way than how it did. Not every romance in real life can end in an HEA and John Green captured that perfectly with Hazel and Gus's story. Life is not perfect, and neither is love, but something doesn't need to be perfect to make it the best.

Do you agree with me? Or do you think I am horribly wrong in my choice? Does a romance need to end in a happily ever after to be a good romance?


  1. Alright, let's see if I can comment this time, lol.

    I loved your pick! For all of the Calendar Girls, yours was the only one that I knew (yay!!), and while I wasn't a super fan of this book, I did agree that the romance was nicely done. I loved your pick, though, of a book that didn't end with a happily ever after. Most of the books in YA usually end up with a skipping into the sunset - which I mean, I love - but it was so different for Green to end it on this note, and I 100% agree that it would have been a weak ending. It surely won't have felt the same. I think your pick was just great, and it definitely inspired a lot of thoughts in me. XD

    1. I've heard of a couple of the others but I've not read them haha.I know what you mean about cliched YA love stories, I am over those, I ragequit the Splintered series by A.G. Howard because of the cliched way she was dealing with her love triangle in the second book, and then I found out how the last one ended and was relieved I had given up.

      It's nice to know I am not the only one who thinks any other ending to this story would have been weak! I'm glad I could inspire you!

  2. Oh! Of course someone had to pick this book. :p It was such a huge phenomenon and it's soul-crushing along with its love. While I haven't actually read this book yet, (or any John Green book), I'm happy someone picked this book after the huge fan-base surrounding it. ^.^ I also love that you think the romance is stronger because it didn't end happily. I support this! Hee hee!

    1. It took me until 2 days ago to realise that this had to be my answer haha. I have tried a few of his other books and they have not managed to hold me the same way TFIOS did. I much prefer John Green in his videos to his writing in his books with the exception of this one. The giant fan base and the hype were what kept me from reading it for the longest time, it was John himself in his videos talking about it that got me interested in picking it up in the end.

      I'm glad I'm not alone in my reasoning here haha.

  3. Gaaaaah Laureeen! Just thinking about this book makes me cry...I don't think I could survive actually reading it. From what I know of it though, I'd say it's a good choice for this category! I might brave the movie at some point...but I don't know. I don't like crying, and I cry over the smallest things. Which means that this book would likely make me bawl my eyes out!

    Thanks again for participating in Calendar Girls!

    1. Oh you might not actually cry reading the book then! I was expecting to too because I'm like you little teeny things can set me bawling, like sappy commercials. But this book is just so big in terms of it's sadness that my heart hurt so much I couldn't even cry.