Junior novels were early romances for young readers, published in the 1940s-1960s. Learn from expert guest Dr. Amanda K. Allen how the didactic and heteronormative messages in these novels make a lot of sense when you consider that they were created to respond to demand from librarians and schools for “bibliotherapy” texts to “teach teenage girls how to be women,” which included winning that class ring and becoming besties with the popular girl who you’re not sure if you want to be or date. Guest: Dr. Amanda K. Allen is a professor of children's and young adult literature.
Funmi’s Beverly Jenkins collection is complete, and of course it includes the queen of Black historical romance’s young adult romances that were originally published in the short-lived Avon True Romance line in the early 2000s. We discuss Belle and the Beau and Josephine and the Soldier. Did these romances hit the spot for early aughts tweens? And why do we feel like the parental gaze is peering over our shoulder while we read it?
Jess joins Shelf Love to discuss the Sunfire romance that shares her name: Jessica by Mary Francis Shura. This historical teen romance from 1984 centers on a highly-competent, independent Kansas teen in 1873 and her many suitors: is the mad man who wins her heart the right guy or is he just the one who gets along best with her bad dad?
Sunfire, a historical romance series for young adults, debuted in 1982 with two books by Candice Ransom. 40 years later, Candice pulls back the curtain on her process and how Scholastic editor Ann Reit shaped the series, which was many young readers’ first taste of romance packaged in a girl’s adventure story.
Latest Blog Posts
- Aug 8, 2022
Throw your hat in the ring to share your area of expertise with Shelf Love listeners.
- Nov 25, 2021
A mutual aid effort for the Romancelandia community to support anyone in the community who could use help with purchasing gifts for themselves or loved ones this holiday season.
- Jul 13, 2021
Exclusive Jodie Slaughter (romance author, Shelf Love guest extraordinaire) events with Shelf Love and Copper Dog Books this August, 2021. Virtual & In Person (Essex, MA)!
Pop Culture Association 2021 Presentation: Romance Reader Stereotypes: Will Bridgerton Change Popular Perceptions About Romance Novels?Jun 27, 2021
Watch my PCA 2021 presentation about Romance Reader Stereotypes!
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Enjoyed it!
I just started getting back into listening to podcasts and Shelf Love is definitely one I'm looking forward to hear some more of! The host is wonderful and does a great job! Worth every minute!
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Smart sexy fun
Shelf Love is both the most interesting and thoughtful podcast devoted to the romance genre and one of the best book podcasts out there bar none. Host Andrea Martucci is great --intellectually curious, enthusiastic and open--but she really excels at choosing her guests and letting them run with their area of expertise. Highly, highly recommend.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐A great listen
I love reading romance but don't have many people to discuss these books with. The podcast does a great job of directly addressing how novels engage with the 'isms (racism etc) and discussing the characters and writing.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Amazing and insightful
One of the most insightful romance review podcasts I've ever come across.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐One of my fave romance podcasts
This is a great listen. I love the conversation that Andrea has with her guests about the books and how they reflect different parts of the genre AND how they relate to real life.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Engaging, thoughtful interviews
I love how this podcast is thinking about romance - fantastic range of interviews and topics.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Worth Every Second!
So smart and funny. I love the host. Can't wait to read all the upcoming books and contribute to the conversation.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Such a delight!
These ladies have such a great rapport and clearly have a lot of love for each other, their subject matter and books in general. For fans of "Smart Podcast, Trashy Books" and "Heaving Bosoms" podcasts, and romance in general.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Another Romance Podcast? Yes!
I didn't think I needed to add another romance podcast to the array of excellent ones I already subscribe to. Turns out I was wrong. Get it!
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Fascinating dive into the unknown
As a non-romance book reader I was skeptical at first, but found the podcast totally engrossing. Well researched, well recorded, well produced, and completely entertaining. The guests are smart, funny and bring different perspectives helping to keep the format fresh. Even as a person with little interest in Romance Literature this has earned a subscription.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Love for Shelf Love
I'm an avid romance reader and somehow have not managed to listen to any romance related podcasts. Shelf love is my first and fast became my favorite. Andrea Martucci (the host) has funny, thought provoking and all around good discussions on a particular novel...I love that Andrea sources from the listeners too via insta, Twitter, and email. Give it a listen. Oh and you might find that you talk and laugh along with the podcast like I do.
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Smart, funny, and sincere
Andrea and her guests' love for romance novels is infectious. I don't read them, but now I want to! Whereas some people despair that they have to turn off their feminism when they turn on the TV, this podcast shows how the pleasures of genre fiction can harmonize with the pleasures (or should I say "turn ons") of criticism.