We all know I love me some JR Ward. I have a freaking information page that is very out of date but devoted to her. I loooooooove her books. They are cracky fun. They have 500 different plot lines in every one, use ridiculous slang but they are my brothers.
The Shadows came out yesterday. I wasn’t that excited about reading it because Trez and iAm haven’t excited me in the past – but some peeps on Twitter said crazy things happened, so I plopped my butt down and read it. And honestly I started to really get into the story. But then I started seeing all these tweets about a Goodreads post JR Ward (Link contains spoilers) had made with lots of spoilers – so I turned off Twitter and read the book.
It’s bullshit. I’ll put the rest under a spoiler tag. It’s VERY spoilery below so please do not click if you have do not want to be spoiled. You have been warned.
[spoiler]SO – this book is 571 pages. About 500 of those featureTrez and Selena. They fall in love. It’s very romantic. I sometimes have a hard time with Ward heroines but I liked Selena a lot. I liked her in the previous book too. She is a chosen, but she is fierce and sexy and likes adventure andadreline. But she is also sick, with a rare disorder that attacks some of the chosen. It’s been fatal in the past, eventually locking up their bones until they die.This goes on for 500 pages – Trez and her living each day to the fullest, allowing Selena to experience things and do everything romantic, while everyone else scrabbles for a cure.Except then she dies.The heroine of the book, dies. Like dies – and then they burn her body. There is no Jane ghost floating around. There is no miracle like Mary received. She didn’t get sexual healing like No’One/Autumn. She is just plain dead.
This is a romance book, right????
The golden rule of a romance book is – there is a happily ever after at the end for the main couple. Even a “happy for now” will work. But you see you need that “happy” part. And don’t tell me Trez gazing into the night sky is happy. Trez is now in deep mourning over the death of his bonded one. So…how is this happy? I don’t give a crap that iAm has someone, his romance barely had the page time Trez and Selena’s did. His romance was wayyyy in the background and kind of forced and insta-lust if you ask me. He was not the main character of this book. Trez and Selena were – and she dies.
Sorry JR Ward. I don’t care. This is NOT a romance book. I’m sorry if your characters “made” you do this
But, as I said, I’m stuck doing what I’m told- so last summer, when Trez and Selena’s outlining process froze early on me, I wasn’t sure what to make of it.
I don’t care if you didn’t choose this. Because you could have chosen to write it a different way.
I don’t “choose” things. I don’t get to pick who ends up with whom, or what happens. I appreciate from the outside how it must appear, that the author is some how “in control,” but that is simply not my experience.
I didn’t want Selena to die. I can assure folks that the LAST thing I wanted to do was spend four months writing a book that put me right back into the head space I’d been in losing Jonah. Some of the scenes in THE SHADOWS made me cry so hard, I couldn’t see the dayum computer screen. I hated editing it. I hated copyedits. I hated galleys.
I would never want to tell a writer how to write a book. The author and their book have such an intimate relationship. BUT – I’m going to say, don’t kill the hero or the heroine. You don’t get that choice. You want to kill off Selena? Don’t let him bond with her, kill her off in chapter one, and then let Trez fall in love somehow with his actual mate. We let that slide with Wellsie. We didn’t have a Tohr and Wellsie book, so we could just let that slide. But this? Nope. You don’t give us 600 pages of romance, just to kill the heroine. Nope.
When we read a romance book, sometimes we are really tested. Horrible things have happened to countless heroes and heroines. Sometimes like Selena, they are fighting a horrible physical disease, sometimes they are abused, sometimes they have to endure tragic things. And the romance reader is sobbing or angry right along with them – but we have trust that the author will give his or her characters a happy ever after by the end of the book. Put us through hell – make us cry, make us rant, make us angry – but make us believe at the end of true love. You broke that trust.
This isn’t the end of the world – I realize this is a book and not real life. But enough crap happens in our real lives – I want a happy ever after damn it. And The Shadows does not have one.