Top Things I Like/Dislike in Romances


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.

If I were making a fake statistic, I’d say that 99% of YA novels contain a romance of some sort whether it’s implied or not. I love romance in books but I’d have to say that it’s a complicated formula of balance. Too much romance might overwhelm the rest of the book. Not having enough can result in a complete lack of feasibility.

Without a doubt, the best romances have a simmering tension, the ones where you know the characters would make a great couple. Chemistry is crucial to a well-written romance.
There are a lot of constants in romance that people hate. Quite possibly the most common one is a love triangle. I don’t know why so many people hate the love triangle so much but I have a feeling it might have to do with the fact that they are in too many books and because Twilight popularized teams. I don’t have anything against love triangles. None. No hate for them because I haven’t had too many bad experiences with them.
So without further ado, my favorites and most hated aspects of romance.

1. Nerds

I love reading about nerdy love. Nerdy pick-up lines or super smart shy guys. Or the confident smart ones. Okay I just like smart characters. I absolutely love how they act in relationships. I find them more attractive than just a hot guy with a nice personality. I find something endearing and adorable about the nerdy character. My most recent fave was David Petrakis from Speak. I know there wasn’t really a romance but it was implied that he liked Melinda and his confidence and intelligence was something that I loved.

2. Meaningful gifts

If they have some special gifts like jewelry or promise rings or pictures… memorabilia that has some semblance of emotion or memories. I love stuff like that. It brings an element of closeness to the couple and depending on the gift and how well it’s written, it can make me so happy.

3. Friends-to-Dating

I personally think this would be the most reasonable way I’d want to date someone. Okay they don’t have to be my BFF but it’d be nice to at least know the person. It’s definitely riskier but I wouldn’t want to jump into a relationship without knowing them at all. To me, it’s weird to label someone you barely know as your “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” especially since the term implies that the two people are close. I like reading about these relationships a lot because it puts a lot on the line. It’s the ultimate gamble. Stay safe as friends or take the plunge and risk it all for a possibility of love? Oftentimes, couples that begin as friends have some of the CUTEST relationships and scenes.

Unfortunately, in pop culture and most books, the best friend often gets friend-zoned and given the “nice-guy” personality. The protagonist just ends up with better chemistry with the second guy.

4. Unique situations

When couples meet by coincidence or at some really unique setting, it hooks me in quickly. Things like weird settings where they might not be able to be together or the funny reunion is the type of stuff I love the most. One I thought of easily is where the couple meets unexpectedly somewhere and help each other. They part but then they meet again in some more permanent location. I don’t know if that communicated well at all but really different stuff like that is more memorable to me.

5. Cheating

I. Hate. Cheating.

A lot of books have cheating in it because it heightens the tension and chemistry. There’s a sense of sexiness and suspense because it’s so so forbidden.

Yeah well I hate cheating because it immediately tells me that the characters that are involved are untruthful and probably give in really easily. Honesty is something that I value a lot. It’s a sign of trust and closeness. And cheating goes against all of that.

6. Useless drama

I hate it when a romance is established and the characters are finally together and then some unforeseen drama comes and splits the characters again. The two have gone through so many trials and then something as petty as one of them getting jealous causes a rut between them. Or the girl gets so emotional she yells at the guy for something absolutely ridiculous. Or there was already so much drama that this addition just makes it all the worse. Some examples would be in The Ring & the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz or To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Or any of your standard crappy fanfictions.

7. Nonexistent interaction

When there is a relationship, there is supposed to be interactions between the characters. How am I supposed to like it if the two characters never talk or see each other? Having them come back together once every hundred pages is not enough for my shipper’s heart. It’s even worse if the characters have horrible development. It’s like watching two strangers awkwardly hug.

8. Really trashy looking covers

For this particular qualm of mine it’s not even the fact that the cover is scandalous. It’s more like I find it a lazy idea. There are hundreds of romance novels that have the exact same idea for the cover. Shirtless guy with a big-chested girl leaning against him or some kiss scene. The cover itself isn’t notable or memorable since so many other books share the same idea. I think I’d be more inclined to pick up a romance with a unique cover rather than the same recycled idea.

9. Sex or love confessions the first time they meet

Please characters. Please have some dignity.

10. Loss of character

When a romance begins to define a character’s every decision, I’m pretty sure I want to slap somebody. I hate it when a super badass character suddenly becomes a cup of pudding when the romantic interest appears. It undermines the characterization that exists and it makes every other decision from that point on either dumb (bad) or infused with a lot of meaning (good or bad depending on situation). Generally, I don’t like it when this happens.

So what things do you like or dislike in romances?

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