|This card goes well with bad romances.|
If you were to ask me to give a broad definition of Romance, I would say that it’s a genre that mainly focuses on the love story or the development of the romantic relationship and has a happy ending; an ending that, in this particular case, always involves the characters romantically attached ending up living happily together.
But what happens when a story has all the necessary ingredients, yet everything about them is slightly off? Is it still a Romance? Are we allowed to feel happy when two characters fall in love end up together regardless of how twisted their relationship is? Can an ending that makes us uncomfortable still be happy? And is it OK to like it?
In Sarra Manning’s Unsticky, our heroine and narrator, Grace, is a 23-year-old woman drowning in debts and slightly adrift. Sounds familiar? If you ever went to college and/or left home at some point, you probably can sympathize. But of course there’s also the unhappy childhood causing emotional problems and negatively impacting her life. So she’s a college dropout, has a crappy job with an abusive boss and shops. A lot. By her own admission, shopping is the one thing that makes her feel like she’s worth something, a feeling that soon gets replaced by the terrible sense of not being able to afford what she’s buying, which does nothing but restart the vicious cycle.