(Hey, I have always (tragically) maintained I'm a 13 year old girl on the inside.)
The Birth of Romance Novels
The books effectively recreate the world of high school romance, when every nuance contained volumes. In grade twelve, there were girls who, simply by saying hello, could make me mute with joy, whose touch on my forearm was electric. There were always misunderstandings and misinterpretations and sexual dramas. Even the breakups had terrific appeal, those first forays into angry soliloquy. The chief attraction was its all-consuming aspect, that you felt so vivid and so adult. Meanwhile, the adults were settled in the suburbs, battling mortgages, complacent or murderous in their marriages. And that?s why so many Harlequin books end where they do, at the moment that all the drama and misunderstandings and the guilty/fulfilling sex are over. Because after that moment, you step into Updike territory, the land of ennui and bitter divorce.