3 Reasons Lady Midnight Could Have Done Without The Romance & 1 Reason I'm Okay With It
I have been crazy excited for Lady Midnight since we first met Jules and Emma as children in the City Of Heavenly Fire. They were the cutest children ever, and even as kids, it was easy for readers to see that there would be so much wonderful drama between the two - in fact, that's probably the first moment I was actually more than straight-faced about the fact that we were getting a whole new series in the same world as the last two.
After having read the book, I can safely say that it was amazing, and I loved being able to delve into the Shadowhunter world that I hadn't even realized I'd grown fond of over the years. The plot was intriguing and it full of unique details, and I loved trying to guess who the villain was. Even better, though, was getting to see all the amazing cast members not only from The Mortal Instruments but also The Infernal Devices. While I am forever and always Team Will, I have to admit that Jem and Tessa are actually really cute in the contemporary world. But whatever because Will and Tessa should have been able to have eternity together. I'm not bitter or anything.
However, even despite all of the awesome elements in the series, the one thing I wasn't always satisfied with was the romance, and that's what I'm here to talk about. In fact, the romance was so unsatisfying in this novel that I have three legit reasons that there shouldn't have been romance at all, and here they are.
1. Emma & Jules's romance did not give me butterflies.
Like I said before, City Of Heavenly Fire led me to believe that readers would find a deep yet impossible love blossoming between the couple, but in my opinion, this is not what we got. First of all, Emma and Jules were already in love by the beginning of the book, and for the most part, realized that they were in love with each other, even if they sometimes tried not to admit it to themselves and each other. In addition, they also acted unacceptably stupidly about their feelings, and not funny stupid or cute stupid, but ugh you two are so stupid, stupid. So not only did we not get to see them falling in love, but they acted upon their feelings in unnecessary and eye-roll worthy ways that made me cringe and simultaneously feel the pain Jules and Emma kept inflicting upon one another.
2. Dude, where is the angst?
I don't know about you, but when I think about parabatai who are secretly in love with each other but it is basically illegal for parabatai to have anything other than platonic relations, well, I expect a certain amount of (read: a lot of) angst. Me, I love angst, which is without a doubt another reason I was psyched to read this, and disappointed when I didn't get what I wanted. You'd think there'd be burning stares and hidden emotions, but instead, everything was fairly out in the open and their emotions could have run deeper. Both Emma and Jules were unfortunately obvious about their feelings - though I grant that it took them a decent amount of time to figure it out - and I certainly didn't swoon as much as I'd hoped to.
3. The other ships/romances were so much more swoon-inducing.
The were at least two other relationships in this book that I was more invested in than Jules and Emma's own relationship, and compared to those ships, Jules + Emma (Jemma?) was not necessary. I mean, what would you prefer to read about?
a. Faerie romance between Mark and Kieran
b. Renewed feelings between Christina and the man who betrayed her
c. Unforeseen love between Mark and Christina
d. Jules + Emma oh is that still going on
I think it's fairly obvious what the answer isn't (D).
So what's the one thing that halfway redeemed this romance for me?
+ The promise of angst and pain (the good kind we readers actually like) and wonderful, wonderful romantic misunderstandings.
A certain something happened at the end of this book that yes, kind of reminded me of what Tessa did in The Infernal Devices, but also leads me to hope that the growing love between Jules and Emma will be, for the first time ever, interesting. I dearly hope that with the second book, we'll get angry (but also full of love) glances between the two, and super agony-filled scenes because forbidden love just got more forbidden. So, even if the "relationship" between the parabatai in this book was awkward and oh so weird, I'm going to be looking forward to a romance that I can actually fall in love with.