Likes and Dislikes in Romance

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Time to link up with The Broke and The Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday! Aptly (Valentine’s Day is around the corner, in case you’ve been on call for two weeks straight or not seen the inside of a store for some other reason) today’s topic is our likes and dislikes when it comes to romance.

love is in the air

I am not the biggest fan of romance, but it’s pretty hard to read a book that does not have love in some form or another. That’s okay because, well, I believe in love and all that. (Don’t tell.)

Dislikes in Romance

1. Insta-love (and the debates around insta-love)

I don’t care that people say “insta-love happens in real life!” because it’s still annoying as fu…stuff. I get that insta-ATTRACTION happens but if a character can’t even make the distinction then it’s not the kind of character I am going to like.

2. Bad-boy with Plain Jane

This is such an overdone trope I just can’t anymore. I probably liked it the first time I ever read it though. Similarly, the whole “makeover and all of a sudden he luuuuuurves her” thing just. Grates. Me.

3. Pretentious dialogue

It’s kind of annoying in all kinds of books, but it seems that it is really hard to write genuine dialogue when the contents are romantic in nature. I hate the way an attempt at flirting can come across as really pretentious on the pages.

4. Tormented past

Each character has their own dark past that torments them and they are the only ones that can help each other with the healing properties of their kisses, and whatnot. Again: overdone, although not necessarily a “bad” book. Just not one that I will read.

5. Cheating

Nope. Nope. When a romance involves cheating I can’t bring myself to like it.

Likes in Romance

1. Two average kids who find each other in their spectacularly geeky way

Can you tell I’m speaking of Eleanor & Park?

2. Diverse characters

I especially love LGBTQI romance plots. I’m not sure why, but there just a goldmine of beautiful works coming from this subculture. For examples, some of the original works in Love Hurts.

3. Heroines who don’t swoon

It may be nearing a little overdone too, but I love it when the male actually has to do some chasing too, instead of having the girl faint into his expectant arms. Case in point: Cinder.

4. Cute dates

Usually because they are described so vividly. These include travel dates, like in Just One Day (I haven’t read Just One Year yet, so no spoilers please!). Or dates with incredible food.

5. Humour

This just takes a romantic plot or subplot to a whole new level! Miles and Lara’s little incident in Looking for Alaska was one such moment that just endeared them both to me.

Have you read any fantastic books with romantic elements recently? Drop me a line if you have one to recommend!

7 thoughts on “Likes and Dislikes in Romance

  1. Tormented pasts can be done right, but I agree it’s really overdone, and often done thoughtlessly. It’s kind of like the “rape as character development” trope—there’s nothing necessarily wrong with having a rape survivor character, or any character with a traumatic past, but it has to make sense in the context of the story, be depicted accurately and sensitively, and impact that character’s whole personality. Not just used as a cheap, easy way to have a complicated or wounded character who needs healing.

  2. Your list is really good. I so agree with most of it; humor is always great. I forgot to mention on my own list but cheating is a big turn off for me too: sometimes the author handles it well, having the characters break it off before things get really serious, but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way.

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