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Specific IR Book Talk > Help Me! A Heart Not Easily Broken

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Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1437 comments Ok so but I know some of you are familiar with the fact that I am cracking down on letting things slide when I read IR. my belief is that if we expect more as readers in this genre and stop praising books just because we like IR and the story was just ok, eventually the quality will improve. Now having said that.....

I'm having a tough time in the very first chapter with this one. Again, great reviews but those can be misleading lol. my issue is the heroine. I need someone to make me understand why a woman would literally dismiss an attractive man who approached her by holding up her hand to point out her skin color to him and ask him "You don't have a problem with it?" That's a backward, racist, stupid assumption to me. Especially considering the guy is obviously interested in her.

Insight? PLEASE!


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1211 comments *le sigh* I have this on my TBR stack despite it having things that are my IR pet peeves. Looks like I'm going to be giving this a pass. Seriously, the heroine commits stupid fail? Why?


Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1437 comments See, ok. Glad its not just me. I'm wondering why he didn't respond with something like, "No, I don't but since you obviously do, I won't waste my time or yours."


message 4: by Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (last edited Nov 26, 2013 01:55PM) (new)

Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1437 comments Unless the setting/era dictates this type of hyper awareness of race, I make it a point to never read books where race is the crux of the problen. I'm also just irritated when a heroine has a truly unlikeable trait right off the jump. I don't have to be able to relate to everything about a character but I really hate it when they do something racially presumptuous or offensive. I don't like it when someone makes an assumption about another persons views on race and this chick does it on like page 5! lol The guy should be offended.


Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1437 comments Basically I'm bugged because this chick comes off like she's been stuck in a cave the last 40 years. Her response to him would be better suited to a novel set at least as far back as the 70's. "It doesn't bother you?" ugh! Honestly. lolol


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1211 comments Any grown-ass woman in a contemporary world who would let other people dictate her happiness deserves to be miserable. There are so many other issues IR romances can explore. I hate when authors fall back on the "OMG but we're two different races" thing. It's lazy storytelling.


message 7: by Tamekia (new)

Tamekia | 87 comments You hit the nail on the head, looking for captivating-steamy-loving romance with an IR couple! Their physical differences should not be the only issue IR couples face- there's are plenty if other issues in this world every couple will deal with ....


message 8: by Bree202 (new)

Bree202 | 19 comments That's so true. I try to stay away from I/R books that focus on race or color. That's such a turn off. I look for romance and a whole lot a steam.


message 9: by Robin (new)

Robin  (robin-alisha) | 209 comments TheFountainPenDiva wrote: "Any grown-ass woman in a contemporary world who would let other people dictate her happiness deserves to be miserable. There are so many other issues IR romances can explore. I hate when authors fa..."

^^^^


message 10: by Shiree (new)

Shiree McCarver | 305 comments I like to think I don't do that in my books, because I believe if a man of another culture has enough nerve to approach you at all color is not an issue for him. I believe color is and issue for other people to have against them. It would be unrealistic if one person didn't feel put out, more so by jealousy and color is just something they use like a weapon.

Everyone I suppose have their POV when they read. I do think when an author take this route they need to give the character a reason for doubting this man's sincerity because of the color of her skin.

Example: She's shopping and she got slighted by someone of the man's race and still feeling irritated by the encounter when he approaches her. Say he overheard the transaction or he was the person the salesperson was helping when she or he completely ignored this woman.

This could make anyone rude and blunt and the fact is she could be a racist due to her family values. Black people are racist too. She may be one of those Atlanta Sisters that come from a Black influential family that only a "Brother" would do for her family.

Anything else would be an insult to her father and brothers and that's how she was raised. So part of the plot is to overcome her own mentality and a man that is loving and strong enough to make her do it.

They used this plot in the movie "Something New". It's would be the "Traditional African American Family Value" plot.

Ree


message 11: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Nov 27, 2013 01:19PM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1211 comments Shiree wrote: "I like to think I don't do that in my books, because I believe if a man of another culture has enough nerve to approach you at all color is not an issue for him. I believe color is and issue for o..."

Because I haven't read the book, I can't speak to whatever rationale the heroine has for tossing race out like that. However, I stand by my initial assertion that any grown woman (regardless of color) who puts the feelings/beliefs/etc. above her own chance for love deserves to be miserable and is a character I have no interest in. Granted I loved 'Something New' though. Still there are so many other reasons for the initial resistance of the heroine to the hero. I guess for me the racial aspect gets treated so heavy-handedly that it overshadows the romance. The only time I don't have a problem with this is if we're talking historical romance, and even that depends on whether it's set in the ancient world or within the last two-hundred years.


message 12: by Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (last edited Nov 27, 2013 12:35PM) (new)

Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1437 comments R.E.- I don't know. I've read TONS of "bitchy and argumentative" heroines in IR and while I don't bond with them til their attitude changes (LOL), I don't auto-dislike them usually. This particular scene came off as nothing but black racism to me. She had no reason to believe this man was anything other than interested, so the fact that she immediately jumped to the color issue is just plain distasteful. I get it that other people have different views about dating interracially, especially when they haven't before. I'd get a certain hesitation. I'd understand that. But her attitude was just a turn off and his acceptance of it was another strike.

Shiree & FountainPenDiva- Something New was just that; SOMETHING NEW. I think we all love that movie the same way we all love a few early IR books that, if we weren't so "thirsty" we would have picked to pieces. We were just happy to see a well done, classy, nicely depicted story about interracial love so some stuff that irked us became less irksome. The heroine in that movie pissed me off, sure 'nough. LOL But I let it slide for the above reason if I'm honest. Plus, ultimately she loosened up, just as I'm sure the heroine in A Heart Not Easily Broken will. Its just hard when you're slapped in the face with such that type of attitude and have no real investment in seeing it through to the end. There are too many IR books out there. Had there been a surplus of IR FILMS at the time, I might have walked out of the theater on Something New too LOL!

I don't buy the shopping comparison because that speaks to someone willing to strike back at ANYbody of the same race as the person who slighted them. Asinine and she would be just as unlikeable to me if that were the opening scene. That's blaming an entire race for the actions of one. I can't deal with that.


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) | 1211 comments You are so right about 'Something New'. Even though I have it on DVD, the times I watch it I find myself talking back to the tv and telling girlfriend to get an effing life, lol. Then I grab a movie like 'Mama There's A Man In Your Bed', 'Diva' or even 'Zebrahead' (woot woot to the awesome and criminally underused N'Bushe Wright), when I want to see an IR done well. Sad to say there's just not enough IR movies for us hungry to see such relationships treated as a matter of course and changing demographics.


message 14: by Shiree (new)

Shiree McCarver | 305 comments My question is I suppose. After you finished the book was she this way the entire story or did she progress into a better person who had less of a chip on shoulder? Sometime even in real life a person upon first meeting leave a bad impression. Met a few authors like that until they realize one or two books does not a success make. After they came off their publishing high, they turned out to be pretty decent. lol

Ree


message 15: by Tina (last edited Nov 27, 2013 04:11PM) (new)

Tina | 1383 comments Can we digress into Something New for a minute because I have a very different take on it.

I loved (and still) that movie because I thought it did something that very few films about race did then and even do now:

1) It acknowledges the agency of the black female in the IR relationship
2) It made the differences between them as much (if not more) about class as about race.

In regards agency: So many of the conversations about IR relationship with a black female position her as the one being chosen or receiving the attention of the white male. One of the dominant narratives around the statistics of black female out-marriage tend to make it sound like white men are not choosing black women. But in fact, it is the black women are are the ones who are choosing. Kenya's list of requirements make that clear. She would not even consider a relationship with Brian because he doesn't meet her specs.


But more importantly it is the class aspect that resonates for me with this film. This was to me is so much more complex because when you add class to the mix, the racial stuff is now reflected through a multifaceted prism.

Kenya's issues with Brian had more to do with the expectations she had in regards her place in life as they were with the fact that he was white. She was the well-to-do striver, member of the upper class black bourgeoisie. He was the help -- service personnel. Her initial dismissal of him was as much about his station (below hers) as it was about his race. At the same time even thought he is perceived by her to be her social inferior, she still frustratingly must point out his inherent white male privilege through some of their conversations.

Class consciousness is something that is not normally played out on the screen with black folks since class striations within the black community seem to be a foreign concept in mainstream films. Remember, she just as easily dismisses potential black male suitors because of their class distinctions as well.

In my opinion if you absolutely have to make race the pivotal difference, then conflating it with class makes for the more nuanced storytelling.

Honestly I can't think of an IR book set in modern times that I read that relies on race as the conflict, that comes close to teasing out some of the issues that Something New did. On the top of my head I think Unexpected Interruptions comes kind of close because she touches on colorism within the black community which I thought was an interesting layer to add.


Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1437 comments Shiree wrote: "My question is I suppose. After you finished the book was she this way the entire story or did she progress into a better person who had less of a chip on shoulder? Sometime even in real life a pe..."

Couldn't tell ya, because I'm not finishing it LOL!
Really, there are too many IR books out there at this point, not to mention mainstream romance novels. I'm done grinding my teeth through whats supposed to be an enjoyable pastime. I can't do it any more. And I mean that, y'all. DONE. I DNF a book quick, fast and in a damn hurry if it crosses a major line for me now. Six months ago? I'd of probably stuck it out. But once I posted the thread and started getting some feedback that echoed my own thoughts, I knew I wasn't just being harsh. I have four 8 year olds in my house. I do not have time for nonsense in my down time, ya know?


message 17: by Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (last edited Nov 27, 2013 05:27PM) (new)

Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1437 comments Tina wrote: "Can we digress into Something New for a minute because I have a very different take on it.

I loved (and still) that movie because I thought it did something that very few films about race did then..."


I agree, Tina. But heres the thing...

She irked me just as much for being a snob as she did for dismissing him because of his color. I know I'm oversimplifying, but its difficult to disassociate myself from my own reality enough to truly feel for someone faced with a class issue in terms of who they choose as a mate. At least to the degree that we're speaking of. Sure, I wasn't going to hook up with someone who had nothing going for himself and I can even relate to professional women who don't want to marry below their pay grade but onlyl to a degree. And that's about as far as I can take it. So honestly, it was her character overall for me.

Again, I love that movie. So many firsts associated with it and seeing the weave situation play out live and in color all by itself was worth the price of admission LOL! If that weren't enough, hell Simon Baker ALONE is enough reason to watch something for a couple hours, let alone the additional fantasy aspect of seeing him draped across somebody even remotely close to my color LOL.


message 18: by Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (last edited Nov 27, 2013 05:15PM) (new)

Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1437 comments TheFountainPenDiva wrote: "You are so right about 'Something New'. Even though I have it on DVD, the times I watch it I find myself talking back to the tv and telling girlfriend to get an effing life, lol. Then I grab a movi..."

Girl, I spent most of the 90's wanting me some Michael Rappaport with his plain self. LOL!

And I agree about race overshadowing romance. I'm reading IR because I enjoy romantic fiction. If I want a storyline where the romance is the back drop, then I can go to any number of other genres and they can trip over race all they want. I won't say a mumblin' word (as my mama would say). But this is a story where we're supposed to fall in love right along with the two leads. And I hate one of 'em. LOL No can do.


message 19: by Paganalexandria (last edited Nov 28, 2013 11:52AM) (new)

Paganalexandria  | 4037 comments Damn Savanah, girl you got me defending one my likes again girl. LOL

I actually liked this book for several reasons:

1. It was established that it felt "true" for this character. My Facebook feed during the last election proved that a lot of people aren't nearly as evolved about racial issues as we pretend, so her questioning his initial interest wasn't beyond my realm of believability. I don't personally need to like a character, if something about the scenario is interesting. She had a type, and he wasn't it. I personally know women who have discounted men because their shoes ran over, or skinny jeans. Race being a deal breaker makes more sense to me then those changeable things. I was more annoyed about her wasting money on a tattoo, since her financial problems were a central theme of the book. That part didn't feel realistic.

2. This couple was very different that a lot of the IR tropes so it held my interest (struggling musician/vet student).

3. I loved that their relationship was a slow build, it wasn't insta-love. It made me care about them more as a couple.

4. This was a new writer first novel and it was better than a lot of IR writers twentieth.

5. I'm a fan of the New Adult sub-genre and it had the right amount of angst, heartbreak, and drama expected.

side note, I also have to cosign all of Tina's reasons for loving Something New **moving to avoid tomatoes*** LOL

Please forgive any typos in this post because it's the third try because apparently my phone hates Goodreads.


Savannah- Quad Motherin' Book Readin' Diva (quadmom2005) | 1437 comments Girl, you kbow I respect your thoughts. No tomatoes from me lol!

I don't disagree that race remains a factor for a great many people, be it choosing a mate or anything else! Im not saying the dating world is racial Shangri La where everyone is an equal opp dater. What turned me off was her in-his-face presumption. If she had a problem with his being white she should have owned that instead of flipping it to make her dismissal of him about her being black. That just rang accusatory and dumb to me. I mean, he was flirting. Did she REALLY need to ask him if he had a problem with her race?

I just don't have the patience or inclination to get to know a character who strikes that type of nerve with me off the jump. Too many books with heroines that I don't get irritated with on page 5 haha!


Paganalexandria  | 4037 comments Savannah~Quad-motherin'-book readin' diva wrote: "Girl, you kbow I respect your thoughts. No tomatoes from me lol!

I don't disagree that race remains a factor for a great many people, be it choosing a mate or anything else! Im not saying the da..."


Well one can't argue with the DNF formula because there are a whole bunch of best-book-evers that I've thrown to the wall. And a character being too annoying to look past, is usually the first ingredient that figures into the recipe. Page 5, huh? LOL


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