I want to go on record as saying something, because I don't think I've ever said it before: I always approved of the Harry/Ginny pairing. Always. I'm talking about from the very first book, before we even knew anything about Ginny. But once Harry started fancying Cho, I basically put it out of my mind, swallowed my disappointment and moved on, just as I have learned to do in my own life many, many times.
So when Harry finally came around in Half-Blood Prince, I was shocked, as though one of my own ex-crushes (other people have ex-boyfriends; I have ex-crushes) had shown up at my door saying, "Oh hey, I've suddenly decided that I'm in love with you after all!" Shocked and, if I'm honest, perhaps a little bit resentful (like, "what took you so long, Hotshot?"). It took another major recalibration in my attitude to accept that it was really happening, but once I was able to readjust, I was pleased. Because I've always approved of that pairing, and I always will.
(I have said before, and will maintain until my dying day, that the chemistry between Harry and Hermione always seemed more surrogate-sibling to me, to the point where I would rather have seen Hermione not end up with anyone at all than end up with Harry. So the Sunday Times is dead wrong when it says, "IT WAS the romance every Harry Potter fan wanted to see." Nope. Not every fan. So there.)
I received a book for Christmas called The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott which is, as the title suggests, biographical fiction. I'm no great Alcott scholar--I've read approximately two of her books (although reading this novel about her made me want to read more)--but it struck me as a story that could have very plausibly occurred.
Now, I've always been torn on the Great Laurie Conundrum in Little Women. On the one hand, I--like virtually every other reader throughout the book's history--believe that the Laurie/Jo pairing has better chemistry than either the Laurie/Amy pairing or the Jo/Bhaer pairing. On the other hand, generally speaking, I kind of like it when characters in books don't end up living happily ever after with their childhood sweethearts because, in real life, things rarely work out that way. For that reason, and because of the age difference, the Laurie/Amy pairing gets a little bit creepy but, as a girl who once nursed an agonizing secret crush on one of her older brothers' closest friends (who was--and is--at least ten years older than me), I'm really in no position to criticize.
But whatever my opinions on how the pairings ended up, I really respect Alcott's decision to stick to her guns and refuse to give in to pressure from the fans. I don't mean to say that authors (or creators in any medium, for that matter) should disregard constructive criticism entirely, but there's nothing I despise more than when such creators pander to an audience.
(I really feel that this is what's happening with the whole Emma/Hook thing on Once Upon a Time, because I refuse to believe that someone as smart, independent, and distrustful as Emma would be able to completely disregard Hook's ESTABLISHED PATTERN of manipulating women with his masculine wiles and also brutalizing them--often, but not always, in that order. While not the final straw, it is a major factor in my decision to stop watching the show.)
I guess Jo's (Rowling, not March) comment can't really be taken as pandering since the series is long since completed, but still, I'm disappointed in her publicly second-guessing herself. Have a backbone, Jo! Stick to your guns, as the other Jo and her creator did!
On the other hand, it gave me a good excuse to get a lot of tangentially related stuff out of my system, so thanks for that, I guess.