Or not… Okay, there are a few posts I’m working on that are kind of tied in together (thank Orwell for that) that are not completed as yet. What does that mean? Well, for the sake of my sanity I am doing a fun little meme. This is a rather unique one I found courtesy of Jessica over at The Bookworm Chronicles and so thought I’d share. Please feel free to take part and, of course, link and let me know if/when you do it.
Before talking about sexy reading let’s first behold a woman who can and, in my opinion, pulls off the sexy intellectual thing with class and aplomb (and humor).
Now that we have all partaken of the wondrousness that is Tina Fey, let’s get on to the very fun meme!
1. Most romantic male character?
Just off the cuff (and because I’m having withdrawals) I’m going to say the hero in Duke of Shadows (my review) by Meredith Duran. Julian is of Indian descent, a bastard for all intents and purposes, brought into the titled crowd of Britain forcibly. When first we meet him he is residing in Delhi while it is still part of the British Empire and doing his absolute best to warn the Crown of the impending mutiny. His loyalties are more to humanity, to the freedom of it, than they are to any nation or ruler and so he advocates those in control of the military to be aware and compassionate. As a romantic interest he is also superb. He fights for what he believes in, tries to bring about peace, and tells his love he will come back for her. Years later they meet, he having thought she was killed (separated during time of war does that), and he finds her changed. An artist, one who exorcises her demons through her art, she has become reclusive – removing herself from life. Still, he stays by her, fights for her to come from her place of isolation and to speak of what haunts her.
2. Most romantic female character?
Jane Eyre of, well, Jane Eyre. A strong female lead, one who wants and needs love that does not succumb to that want over her principles. This isn’t to say she doesn’t love, but rather that her love of self keeps her whole despite how desperately she wants to marry the unmarriagable man she loves. Written in the 18th century, the character and the work is strangely modern with a triumphant message for all. Does love conquer all? No. But Jane Eyre seems to manage it despite the failings of the love of her life: Mr. Rochester.
3. Best sex scene ever?
This is a toughie. I read a lot of romance with varying degrees of sexiness in each, but I have to say the honor goes to (I kid you not) Atlas Shrugged. Yeah, I know. To be specific I’m talking about the one between Dagny Taggart and John Galt. No, not the scene that shows a predilection of the main character for rough sex. To this day I can’t figure out quite what it is that gets me about this scene, but I’ve read it several times trying to figure out how Rand wrote it without much detail and still wound up with a very excellently displayed bit of lovemaking.
4. Do you think sex scenes are appropriate in Young Adult novels?
I don’t care. When kids are in that “young adult” phase hormones are already going a mile a minute so I hardly see the issue with having words depicting things they’ve pictured/imagined already. [Judy Blume did it superbly in Tiger Eyes] As it pertains to scenes bordering on erotica I still don’t know. Sex is something often viewed with a great deal of stigma around here and I can’t help but think this encourages a less healthy approach to sex. The important factors are the handling of the matter: If there’s violence, do it well and explain it; if it’s in a relationship, do it justice and encourage without deifying the experience of it; but above all, these things are meant to be discussed and all of them can be.
5. Sexiest book you’ve read this year?
I have no idea. Sorry I can’t offer something here, but I just don’t know. Part of this block is directly related to my most recent readings that have been quite depressing. No sexiness. At all.
6. Literary turn on?
Stellar prose and fully fleshed out characters. The books have gotta at least have one of those to carry it.
7. Literary turn off?
Psychologically defunct characters and a completely unsound philosophical point. Mind you, a philosophical point doesn’t have to be present at all for me to like it, but if an author’s going to go there then they better damned well use logic and sound reasoning. They don’t, the premise winds up being flawed, and next thing you know there’s a few hundred pages of hyperbole and rhetoric before you. Also – lots of pop culture references. Hate ’em.
8. Most uncomfortable sex scene you’ve ever read?
I want to say the rape scene in Speak earns that place, but it was handled so well and was so obviously not the most uncomfortable part of the work, that it doesn’t fit here. I’m going to have to go with what I’m currently reading and say Beloved. It can’t get much more horrifying or uncomfortable than a woman having sex with a tombstone engraver, in the cemetery, so she can have something put on her murdered infant’s headstone. A review on that work will be coming up shortly.
9. What’s the difference between a sexy book and a romantic book?
One is about the sexual tension and engages the body of the reader first, the other engages the heart first.
10. What makes a love story realistic?
Whole characters and an apt demonstration of what draws people together. Skipping over resolutions to massive character conflicts to get to the HEA doesn’t cut it. The resolutions have to demonstrate the humanity of people involved and the veritable complexities that brings to a relationship.