Saturday, November 12, 2011

Let's Talk About Love: A 2012 Romance Reading Challenge

Okay, here's a big surprise: I love romantic fiction. Gasp! I bet you're just dying over there, aren't you? :) ;)

Okay. Now that we've got the totally obvious out of the way, let's get to the not so obvious. I've been looking for a romantic fiction challenge to join for 2012 but have not come across one that would be right for me. The main reason for this is that a lot of them do not qualify YA as a valid source of reading material. And that's totally fine. It just means I've needed to come up with my own.

And so the Let's Talk About Love Reading Challenge is born.

But now you're probably wondering what the heck it entails and just why you should sign up for another reading challenge. Well read on and I'll share all the details.

What's The Challenge?

The goal of the Let's Talk About Love Reading Challenge is to get you to read twelve different books and consider them from a romance point of view. You've read at least one of my reviews here on I Write, I Read, I Review, right? (Right?) Every time I review a book I talk about the romance as its own category if any form of real or valid romance was shown in the book.

I'm not necessarily asking you to read twelve *more* books here. What I'm challenging you to do is to give twelve books, over a variety of categories, a bit more consideration in the romance department. By the time this year is over, if you stick with me on this, you may know a little more about what you like about couples in books -- or why romance is totally not your cup of tea. At the very least, its not going to be boring.

Challenge Levels:

Amethyst Heart -- Read and talk about four books / categories
Emerald Heart -- Read and talk about eight books / categories
Sapphire Heart -- Read and talk about twelve books / categories
Ruby Heart -- Read and talk about sixteen books / categories

But Kat, you mentioned categories...

Yes, I did. Because romances come in many different shapes and sizes. What kinds of books are we looking for romance in for 2012?


Romance that takes place in a book that happens in the 'real world'.


For the sake of clarification, this category is for books that don't happen on our world. (They *can* happen on a world similar to ours, historically or through time travel or alternate universes, though.)

Urban Fantasy

Fantasy that takes place within our world, in a generally modern setting.

Science Fiction

Aliens, spaceships, steampunk, mad scientists... The sky's the limit, pretty much.


Apocolyptic fiction, dystopian fiction or utopian fiction applies here. They're falling in love while the world is going to Hades in a handbasket. ;)


Vampires, werewolves, shifters, zombies and anything else that is creepy / scary.

Angels & Demons

Good angels, bad angels, demons... Anything that falls into the above will work.

Beautiful Creatures

Faeries, mermaids, nymphs... Anything that is pretty, even if it can be dangerous.

Fairytale Retellings

Retellings of fairy tales, myths or legends.


Stories that happened in our world, but that are from the past.

LGBT Romance

Romance between characters who are gay, lesbian, bi, etc.

Romance from a Male POV

Romance where we get to see the guy's point of view. This can either be fully a male pov or a book where both the male and female pov of the hero and heroine are used.

There are also four bonus categories. If any of the above really don't work for you, you are allowed to swap for one of these instead:

Romance in a 2012 Debut

Talk about the romance that happens in a 2012 debut that you read.

Romance in the Classics

Take a look at a classic book -- and I'm leaving this one very open for you -- and talk about the romance in it.

Romance in a Sequel / Series

Talk about how the couple(s) inside one of your favorite series are growing from book to book. (If you do this one I would suggest a spoiler warning.)

Romance that involves a love triangle. 

Love them or hate them, they happen. Talk about a love triangle in a book you read this year.


1. The Reading Challenge will begin on January 1st, 2012 and continue until January 31st of 2013. The reason for the extra time is to make sure that people who want to read a December '12 book for their debut book can do so.

2. A book can only be counted once, even if it is technically able to fulfill two or more slots. For instance, Insurgent by Veronica Roth could count as dystopian, science fiction and a sequel. But you would have to pick which category you want to use it for.

3. There is no need to select a challenge level. All you need to do is come back for the appropriate badge(s) as you earn them. (Badges coming soon.)

4. You need to write and post a review for each book in this challenge. If you do not have a blog, you are welcome to link GoodReads reviews. Remember that the point of the challenge is to examine the romance in books you are reading. :)

5. Books read for this challenge are welcome to be used in other challenges as well. You read the book. As far as I'm concerned you've earned the right to use it in any challenge you desire. (At least in mine.)

6. The books for this challenge can be YA or adult. You may have noticed that I did not include any type of categorization that would make someone have to read a book that has a specified level of sensuality / sexuality. This was on purpose, because I feel we all have our own comfort levels with this. If you *do* read and link up adult books on my challenge linky once the challenge starts, please put (not YA) after the book name so readers will know. Thanks!


People who reach at least Emerald level by the end of the year will be entered into a draw for a prize. People who reach between Emerald and Ruby will get +1 entries for each additional book that they got closer. People who reach ruby (crazy, crazy people!) will be entered for a bigger and better prize.

Depending on my blog schedule, financing, etc. there may also be surprise contests that come up in conjunction with Let's Talk About Love.


I am aiming to have badges done for each challenge level, as well as for each challenge category. When they go up you are totally welcome to put them in your posts to promote Let's Talk About Love.

Guest Posts:

My other goal is to have a guest blogger each month to talk about a category from this challenge and how they feel abou it. Watch out for these -- they will likely be where I set up surprise contests.

Sign Up!

Anyway, this challenge is still under a certain amount of construction, but thanks so much for taking a look. Have I grabbed your interest. Are you totally excited and ready for a super fun year of reading and discussion? Then please add your name to the linky below.


  1. This sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun, Kathy! You've obviously put a lot of thought into it. :-) I'm all signed up and looking forward to it!

  2. sounds like fun.. but i have a question... can I read four Urban Fantasy books.. and that counts as the Amethyst Heart challenge?...or for the challenge they have to be different categories?

  3. You need to do different categories, but (as an example) you *could* get away with four urban fantasies like this: (1) urban fantasy, (1) book from a male pov (1) debut author and (1) beautiful creature ... Some of the categories cross over.

    But no, you can't (for instance) read four contemporaries and get the amethyst. The point is to encourage genre diversity and to note romance within different genres.

    I hope that helps.

  4. Kathy, is there a place to keep track of our reviews for the challenge? Sorry if there is and I've missed it!


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