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Always Doing

Escapist reading for those who are always doing.

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Mari Fujimura, 藤村真理
Everything I Know about Love I Learned from Romance Novels - Sarah Wendell I'm torn. I want to give more stars because I agree with the message - romances don't create unrealistic expectations, on the contrary, they provide a way to examine all sorts of relationships and determine what works and what doesn't. By seeing everything out on the page you can ask yourself, what if that happened to me? How would I react? Would I want the hero to act like that? Each novel is like a case study in love.But as wonderful as the message is the way it was delivered was less than ideal. First, a good 15 percent of the book was pull quotes from the previous, or even the same, page. They might have worked better in the physical book but on my e-reader they were intrusive and annoying.Second, a large chunk of the book consists of reader and author quotes, and they get more numerous as the book wears on. Don't get me wrong, some of the testimonials are amazing - one woman's journey through trauma and depression with the aid of books is particularly memorable - but with so many quotes the whole thing feels jumbled. I love Wendell's style and wish more of her own writing graced the page.Third, some parts were incomprehensible to me, a new-ish romance reader. I usually stick to paranormals so the explanation of Old Skool vs. New Skool was educational, but quick sketch outlines of heroes, trying extremely hard to be spoiler-free, came out convoluted and confusing. Some of the "favorite scenes" were little more than a paragraph and laughable without context. Here's how the excerpt from Heaven and Earth by Nora Roberts starts:"I don't want you here." She shoved at him, and her voice began to hitch. "I don't want you near me.""Why?""Because, you moron, I'm in love with you."...I cracked up. How could you not? I'm sure in the book it's a touching moment but yanked out like that it's cliche.Am I glad I read this book? Sure. I discovered a few series I'd like to check out, and there are some good laughs, both intentional and not. Will I be recommending it to my friends? Not so much.