I've got my first crush on a shojo title and all atwitter over it. The book is Love Roma and it is middle school puppy love at it's toothachingly sweet finest. I picked up the first issue as part of my subway/collection development reading and so far it is just too cute and honest to not adore it.
This has me thinking that I need to read some of the "hot pink" titles I am so leery of in my collection. "Hot pink" is a term we came up with in our YA room for the current batch of semi-steamy teen romance books out there. Your usual "girl book" have been known around librarians as "pink books" for a while. Adding the Hot to the term differentiates these from you run of the mill teen heartache texts.
Gossip Girls, Seven Deadly Sins, The A-List, these books circulate like mad out of my YA room. They certainly have the girls reading and they are crazy about getting the next in the series, it is nice to see thier enthusiasm. All the same there is something shallow about these books, something vaguely skeevy about them. There is a vibe that they embrace fairly shallow concepts of relationships and that they are just another place to reinforce the empty values of wealth and beauty over all which make for a disturbing counterpoint to contemporary pop culture.
In a way I suppose they are primers for Zane or Danielle Steele which the girls will eventually grow into. Since they are currently my worst book I've never read I should really just grab a handful and read them.
Romance fiction is, for me, a wonderful collection development excercise. In my case it is col. dev. in a genre which I have absolutely no history in. I don't think I have read a real romance (outside of manga titles) in my life. As a genre it is wildly complicated with easily a dozen subgenres all publishing like mad. It is a great way to keep your librarian cops up to speed to be getting relevant titles when you have nothing other than your professional resources, training, and reader's advisory experience to go on.
Man I cannot wait until someone returns the next volume of Love Roma though...