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Friday, July 27, 2018

My Ramblings: Does Age Matter?

Does Age Matter Or Is It Just A Number?
(Contemporary Romance VS Paranormal Romance)

Is age really just an arbitrary number or does it matter in books? I've had this stuck in my head for a while now. It happened after I read a book synopsis in the paranormal romance genre that specifically stated that the heroine was 15 years old and the hero would be a 100+ year old vampire. It got me thinking as to why I don't mind that big of an age gap in paranormal romance, but an age gap of over 20 years in a contemporary novel makes me uncomfortable.

The only way I can justify the huge age gap in PNR is that it's fiction to a degree that it's fantastical and not set in reality. Paranormal creatures don't exist (duh!) so I don't have to bother with social constructs when age is concerned. When I get into a contemporary setting in a romance novel, (most) books make it feel real enough that it could potentially play out in real life.

Then again, who am I to judge someone for dating someone who's 20+ years younger or older than them? It seems to bother me to a point that it'll make me rethink reading certain books or not. Looking back I don't think it bothered me until now. If that book synopsis hadn't pointed that information out specifically I probably wouldn't have thought twice about it. Something about being confronted with that information made a difference for me.

Do you mind a 20+ year age gap between couples in contemporary novels?
Does your opinion change when it comes to paranormal romance and/or urban fantasy novels?
I'd love to know your opinion in the comments below!

4 comments:

  1. That's a great question! I think for me a 15 year old with a 100+ year old vampire would have me wondering why the vamp was going so young? And I know the answer is because it's YA lol but that would be the only thing. But yeah it's fantasy so it's not that big a deal? Whereas in a contemporary... yeah kinda problematic. Totally agree.

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    1. If it were YA then I could maybe see why, but the cover this particular book has is FAR from YA. The cover looks like a typical new adult or adult paranormal romance novel if you know what I mean. What threw me off was why the author specifically brought up the characters ages in the synopsis off the bat instead of "easing" me into it with the story. At the end of the day where should we draw the metaphorical line with age gaps in PNR & UF Vs. Contemporary? :)

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  2. Big age gaps in contemporaries are a nope for me too. When I think of PNR books, I take into consideration when the character was turned or the age they appear. The few I have read, the characters were "turned" in their teens, and therefore, their physical appearance matched that of the human character. Which I guess makes it seem like they are sort of the same age, but I think you are right, that it has a higher fictional quality, than a contemporary book.

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    1. I agree with you on their actual age vs the age they appear, but most, if not all (?), authors usually ease into that after they introduce the characters and the beginning of a plot line. By making me care about the characters first I can put aside my hang up with the huge age difference. The problem I have now that I've been confronted with that information without a story or character build up. I just feel weird about it :/

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