Perchance to giggle?

Because, sometimes, you go against your usual inclinations, if only to give your nerves a much-needed break. Julia Quinn’s Ten Things I Love About You isn’t necessarily a palate-cleanser—that’s too dismissive a description for something so vibrant and witty and fun. But it is affective and giggles-inducing, the latter quality I’ve missed of late. [Then again, methinks I’ve been giggling for the wrong, the-author-didn’t-mean-to reasons.] Anyhoo. This book invites you to sit back and watch a romance unfold between two well-matched individuals who are pretty much whole on their own right. To chill, dammit—no blood pressure rising, no odd aches radiating to the tips of your fingers. Paired with something as distressing and harshly, familiarly real as Undercurrents, a little bit of petticoat-ed [chemise-d?] fantasy is necessary. Certainly kept my sanity intact in the time I spent with it.

I am saving my [last] Anna Campbell for when my constitution is ready for it. In the meantime, as I proceed with reading more books to rattle my psyche [it’s a curse!], I’m reaching for another Quinn.

PS – For a not-quite-frazzled opinion on the book, specifically one of the parts I liked best, here’s Professor Eric Selinger on why the hero-as-romantic-novelist is more than a breath of fresh air.

An update: I’ve also finished reading yet another Julia Quinn, this time the first book in her new series: Just Like Heaven. Because I needed it. I’d been picking up books only to set them back down, but I ended up welcoming another sunrise with yet another Quinn. It’s like candy!

I’ve realized that these two books are distressingly light. There’s very little internal conflict, much less external. Is it a wonder that I run to these kinds of romance novels? Just Like Heaven tends to be dragging in parts, sequel-bait-ish and all that jazz, but it was so relaxing to just watch an inevitable yet very comfortable romance unfold. Yeah, a breezy romantic comedy, with very little truly at stake—the lead-up to them confessing their love (the hero and heroine are quick to realize it, though) feels like stalling, actually.

But it’s, ya know, affective candy. I needed to laugh, to giggle in mindless giddiness. And I did all that, and I’m thankful. I can do my swooning later.

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