Throwback Thursday: romance paperbacks

I'm getting this Throwback Thursday post in JUST under the wire. See, it's the last day of Read a Romance Month, and our summer Library interns came up with the idea of spotlighting some of our old romance paperbacks in honor of the month-long holiday. I thought that was a *perfect* idea.

Whenever I'm down in the Archives looking for specific titles for this series, Deimosa and I always stumble upon these old vintage paperbacks; their titles usually scream "READ THIS!", somehow. The covers typically feature corny photos or epic/grand illustrations, and the book descriptions on the back are always so dramatic. More often than not they're about a girl being forced to choose between two suitors or someone who's not like her (standard romance fare), but sometimes the plot can take a dark twist (read: violence).

The series I'm featuring here, though, leans more toward the corny side: The Couples series was published by Scholastic in the 1980s. Written by Linda A. Cooney and M.E. Cooper, there were 36 books in this series. With titles such as Bad Love, Sworn Enemies, Broken Hearts, and Coming On Strong, these books were definitely written for teens: the stories feature opposites attracting one another, disapproving parents, love triangles, and more. Below is a small collection of what we found in the Archive:

For a typical plotline of one of these books, check out the description for Couples #2: Fire and Ice, published in 1985:

They're as different as night and day...

He's the red hot DJ of Kennedy High's radio station, at the very pulse of the school's social scene. She's a cool, disciplined ice skater, too busy training to enjoy old friends or school activities. They're the two people least likely to fall in love. Right?

Wrong! Unexpected circumstances throw them together, and Lisa and Peter discover that they may be made for each other after all.

(I would not have guessed the guy on the cover in the pink and black striped polo was the red hot DJ. I guess that's 80s fashion for you.)

Although the fashions have changed, there's a lot in the Couples series that you'll find in teen romances today. I hope you all had a great Read A Romance Month!

Special thanks to Librarian Deimosa Webber-Bey for her ongoing help with this series!

Gina Asprocolas