Saturday, February 10, 2024

Bride - Ali Hazelwood

This has to be the most atypical, off-brand, for Hayley book I've read in years. I don't go for paranormal romance, I didn't care about Twilight, and the vaguely kinky stuff seemed silly to me. I love Ali Hazlewood, who clearly likes all of these things, for writing it. Romance is a demanding genre, readers don't always look kindly on authors doing something a little bit different but what's the point if you can't have some fun?

In fairly typical Hazelwood fashion, Misery Lark, Vampire, is also a really amazing tech woman working in IT, although she only does that for about 5 minutes before Vampire and werewolf politics take over and she finds herself married to a tall, broad, brooding man who isn't great at communication but is obviously extremely decent, capable, and great with young children. And a werewolf (for more or less only one discernable reason - the kink that I still can't really take seriously). Like any self-respecting alpha wolf, he's also really into consent. 

As a bookseller as well as a reader the last bit is important to me. I very much dislike selling young girls books that glamourize frankly abusive behaviour (thank god young girls no longer buy Jilly Cooper). I'm much less worried about the smut element when there are no major power imbalances and everyone is enthusiastically consenting. 

When I say worried, I'm not book police, I'm not advocating for any sort of censorship, and as long as you know what you're letting yourself in for I'm happy to sell it to you - I do worry that not everybody knows what they're letting themselves in for, and have had enough parents return their children's books to feel this is justified. 

Meanwhile if you loved Twilight and were team Jacob you'll probably adore this book. I really like seeing Hazelwood do more with plot, and I liked the expanded cast of characters here. My colleague talks about books like this being a bad good time and how sometimes that's exactly what you need. She's right, and Hazelwood is likely to remain one of the handful of authors I'll return to for exactly that. 

No comments:

Post a Comment