I’ve spent a lot of my life wishing I was older. As soon as I could speak, I became distressed whenever the grown-ups couldn’t understand my gobbledygook. Not long after hitting puberty, I wanted to be thought as a woman, not a girl and I’ve spent years not correcting people who assume I’m older than I actually am. However, now that I’m a bonafide adult (of sorts), I’ve realised how much I love children’s things. Cartoons, fancy dress and blowing bubbles – you name it, if it appeals to ten year olds, I probably love it.
A few weeks ago, a friend came across Kiera Cass’s The Selection novels. “Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…” he read from the blurb as he scoffed. He then passed them to me, tongue firmly in cheek, and said “There you go, you’re a woman – this is for you”. I told him to get them away from me before I wrote an angry blog. We both laughed but weeks later, I’m still thinking about those books and here I am writing about them. But why do I care about some romance novels I’ve never read? Well, perhaps because our mocking of the genre soon turned to disgust when we realised these weren’t books for women fantasising about competing to be a princess – these were books for children and young adults which told them to compete against other women.