Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme is:
Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books
This is definitely a subject I can sink my teeth into! I can probably think of more things I personally ‘dislike’ when it comes to romance in young adult books but I will try to come up with five examples from each, just to add a bit more flavour.
Always, always, always. I love it when books depict diverse romances – whether it be same-sex relationships or interracial couples. I also like it when there are supporting characters who fulfill that role – most particularly when it is depicted in a completely realistic manner with lots of support from the other characters. We need diverse books especially in young adult.
2. Friendships developing into something more
I am a sucker for the friends to lovers trope – what can I say? 😉 It’s honestly one of my very favourite tropes (when it is done right).
3. Strong female friendships
I know this isn’t strictly related to romance, but I love it when the main character has friends who are not complete bitches. For some reason, young adult books seem to perpetuate the myth that most female friendships are unbalanced, unhealthy, or downright hostile. So when there is a strong friendship between two female characters I rejoice – I had some really amazing friends who were not out to backstab me at every turn when I was a teenager. Not all girls are catty and bitchy and I hate seeing it again and again in YA books.
4. Enemies to lovers
OK, I know this is another over-used trope but I can’t help but love when two characters are initially antagonistic towards each other but then fall in love as long as it is a believable switch.
5. Great banter
I love reading a story where people have witty repartee. I have a great appreciation for sarcasm and snark and I really enjoy it when the love interests have that kind of back and forth (as long as it doesn’t get mean).
I can just bet that this is on quite a few bloggers lists! This is a big no-no for me. I have read the occasional book where it has worked for the story but only in very rare circumstances. I do not believe it is possible to fall in love at first sight (though attraction at first sight is definitely possible).
2. Love triangles
Hate, hate, hate!!! I am so over love triangles in books. I hate it when the protagonist dithers over two guys (it’s always a girl doing this, I don’t think a guy doing it would go down very well with readers at all). The whole ‘Oh my God, who should I choose?’ thing is just old and tired. It is patently unfair for anyone to string two people along and I absolutely do not enjoy a protagonist who cannot make up her mind. I just don’t believe you can be in love with two people at the same time. I can believe someone having feelings for but not being ‘in love’ with more than one person.
3. Controlling and/or abusive guys as viable love interests
I actually do not mind unhealthy relationships being depicted in books – as long as it is clear that it is an unhealthy relationship. There are too many books that seem to glorify this type of controlling/stalkerish and outright abusive behaviour and it makes me really uncomfortable. Dysfunctional relationships are not inherently bad – there are some where the two characters overcome their own shortcomings/issues and grow together – but I will never enjoy books where the controlling behaviour is accepted because the character is viewed as broken or traumatized.
4. When romance is shoehorned in just for the sake of it
A book doesn’t have to have a central romance to be a great book. I do enjoy a well-written and believable romance but I would prefer that it wasn’t included in some books because it just isn’t always necessary.
Doesn’t matter who is doing it, I just hate it and do not want to read about it. I can only think of a few examples where there was cheating in a book and I didn’t immediately nope right out of there – and that was really only because the overall story was just so darned good. These are the very, very rare exceptions though.