There’s no doubt that one of the main must haves for a romance novel is the HEA – known as the Happy Ever After. One of the main reasons I read romances is for that alone. There are enough shitty and depressing things that happen in real life.
Since most romance novels have a HEA guaranteed, I don’t bother to be a spoiler whore to find out what happens in the end. And because of that guarantee, I know that I won’t be surprised with a horrible ending with one or either of the protagonists dying.
So you could have hit me over the head with a shovel last night when I was happily reading what I thought was the most lovely YA romance, when within the last 5 pages, WHAM!
The heroine died suddenly.
I was like, NO WAY.
So I re-read the scene again, and then my NO WAY turned into a OH NO FUCKING WAY.
From looking at the cover and reading the blurb, IMO it was marketed as a YA contemporary romance. It had a cheery bloody cover. Why would you market it as a romance and have the heroine die in the last 5 pages! Don’t you know the HEA rules?
Then someone mentioned to me on twitter last night – after I vented my anger and disbelief to other romance lovers – about a bait and switch. And I think in this case, it totally was. You bait the reader with the cute happy cover along with the cute blurb. You make the story as lovely and cute as possible, then at the very end, WHAM. You pull an almighty stinker without any warning.
So now I’m wary about YA contemporary romances, and I’m now going to become a spoiler whore. So thank you very much author who shall now be known to me as the ‘authorwhototallyruinedthebookIwasreadinglastnightandturnedmeintoaspoilerwhore’.
But don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with books that have protags dying. I just choose not to read them. But when a book is marketed as a romance, am I wrong to expect a happy ending?
So my fellow readers, what say you about the HEA? If you see a book marketed as romance, do you expect to have a HEA?
Update: I’ll post the blurb and a link to the cover in spoiler format. Click on ‘show’. I’ve changed the spoiler tags, and it now works on Chrome and Safari.
1. People don’t always tell you the truth about how they feel.
2. Nothing that happens between two people is guaranteed to be private.
3. I don’t know if you ever get over having your heart broken.
Livia Stowe’s past experiences with love have been nothing but disappointing, but all that is about to change. After years of illness, she’s boarding a plane for the first time to spend the summer in Princeton, New Jersey, with her brother who’s studying abroad. This Brit is determined to make the most of her American summer and to record every moment of it in her private blog.
America is everything that Livia’s ever dreamed of. And then she meets Adam.
Swept up in the promise of romance and the magical New York City that Adam shows her, Livia is smitten, but with all she knows about love, is Livia really ready to risk her heart again?”
Here’s the Amazon page with it’s cover: Click here.