You know what’s so interesting about reading? While there are a lot of ways to answer that question, one thing in particular might stand out to you after you think about it.
When you think of famous authors, who are the first ones to come to mind? James Patterson, Stephen King, Mark Twain, and J.K. Rowling might all be on that list. And there’s no denying that they’re all highly talented and have achieved great success. However, while that’s certainly the case, romance is actually the most popular genre. Two questions here: “Why is romance the most popular genre?” and “Are there any recent romance books that really stand out?”
To answer the first question, real-world romance is more difficult to find today than in the past. Then again, perhaps that should be rephrased. Romance in regards to longevity is more difficult to find than in the past. Sure, many people still fall in love, but they often fall out of love just as quickly. This can be due to the desire to share their love elsewhere, simply because they get bored with whomever they originally fell in love with, or due to financial strains. Whatever the case may be, it often leaves a gap, a romantic gap that needs to be filled by one’s heart. One way for people to fill this gap is to read recommended romance books. And let’s not forget that while some people never find romance, they can find it in books. This alternate reality is more beautiful than the reality in which they currently reside.
To answer the second question above, yes. That book would be Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. What makes this book such an interesting topic is the enormous differences in reader opinions. Readers truly have love/hate relationship with the book. Some readers who didn’t enjoy the book state that Perkins let them down. At the same time, Isla and the Happily Ever After is the highest-rated Perkins book in existence, at least according to 7,867 ratings on GoodReads. The book currently sports a rating of 4.32. Considering the good/disappointing barometer is 4.00 on GoodReads, that’s a pretty strong rating.
Those who didn’t like the book found it to be too fluffy. In their opinions, while the romance scenes were excellent, the plot lacked meaning and direction. They also felt that a crush turned into love way too quickly. Another potential flaw is a lack of conflict.
Ironically, many readers who enjoyed the book see themselves as dark-hearted, cold, and insecure. In their view, the heart-warming nature of the book opened their eyes to another side of human nature. Additionally, many readers who enjoyed the book reported staying up into the wee hours of the morning to complete it.
Stephanie Perkins is seen as one of today’s best romance writers. If you haven’t read any of her books yet, then you might want to start with Isla and the Happily Ever After. Which side of the fence will you fall on?