Top Ten Tuesday, a concept started by The Broke and the Bookish, is a themed post that connects bloggers to bloggers, bloggers to readers, and readers to readers. Every Tuesday has a special topic, and this Tuesday is Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When it Comes to Romances in Books.
What an interesting topic! A lot of what I enjoy about romances in books can also be things I dislike as well. Sometimes it all boils down to the writing — how the characters and their situations are portrayed. We’ll start with Dislike so that the post ends on a high note!
Five Things I Dislike* When it Comes to Romances in Books
*It all depends on the writing
- Insta-love — Sometimes this works. Most of the time it’s just annoying.
- Bickering — When the dialogue is all “witty banter” and suddenly it’s love, I roll my eyes and close the book. That’s not witty. That’s bickering, and it’s unoriginal.
- All Sex, No Depth — Don’t get me wrong, sex scenes are great, but that’s not enough to constitute love and romance. That’s just pure physical fun. It’s extra frustrating in YA when it happens too quickly into the story.
- Love Triangles — Just…why? Sometimes I understand if the protagonist has a long-time crush at the start of the novel and about halfway she likes someone else, but…do we need to have love triangles all the time? YA is notorious for this.
- Totally Hot Guys — Why is it (again, notorious in YA) when she meets the guy, he’s always super chiseled and muscular and beautiful? I mean, there were some hot guys when I was a teenager but they definitely weren’t marbled gods. (I just about cried when I met Levi in Fangirl. What a relief!)
Five Things I Like When it Comes to Romances in Books
- Depth — Several of my favorite romances begin with an established friendship, comfort, honesty and understanding. Whether or not the romance blossoms slowly or rapidly, if it has depth, I love it.
Discovery of Witches, Winter Witch, Outlander, Letters from Skye
- The Rush — You know the feeling! Your heart’s beating fast, you’re rooting for the couple, it feels just like your very first crush. Heck, it feels like that very first time you meet any love interest, so full of possibility.
Anna and the French Kiss, Just One Day, The Bronze Horseman
- Total Honesty — When the characters are completely honest with one another, whether or not they’re together at the time…it just makes my heart flutter.
Fangirl, Rebel Belle, Seraphina
- The Tension — Cause heck, who doesn’t love tension? Sexual tension, repression, emotional tension, all brilliant.
A Mad, Wicked Folly, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Clockwork Angel
- Teamwork — When the couple works together as a team, not necessarily putting their love before anything else but at least making it just as equal as whatever else they’re passionate about, that’s when you know it’s real.
The Night Circus, The Truth About Forever, Shadowfell
What do you like most about romances in books? What grates your nerves? Do you notice differences in adult and YA?
22 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Romances in Books”
I really hate when sex happens when there’s no meaning to it, I want sometime to happen because it’s mean to.
Love triangles are just the worst. I usually close a book once I realize I’m on the fast track to Triangleville. It’s why I enjoyed Tris/Four in Divergent so much; no awful love triangle!
YA didn’t always have triangles. It makes me wonder when they popped up. Twilight? *shakes head*
Most likely. Twilight became super popular, everyone was either Team Jacob or Team Edward. It totally glorified the love triangle/ boys fighting over girls thing
Totally agree with the hot guy one! Also when the heroine is carried away “like she weighed nothing at all”. I would like some average sized and average looking people falling in love sometime.
YES! I’ve always wondered about that (the carrying away bit). I’m quite tiny, and even my guy friends while I was in high school could never literally sweep me off my feet like a feather. Let’s toss some variety in there and show some more average people in fiction!
Caught Read Handed
I like your note that it all depends on the writing. That is very true. I usually don’t like love triangles but then I really enjoyed the one in Throne of Glass because it was well-written and felt true to the book.
Haha! I included witty banter as a like on my list, but said I don’t like it if that’s all it is, so I completely agree with you there.
There are a handful of books with love triangles that I didn’t mind simply because the confusion and struggle was justified and realistic. (Still need to read ToG!) Witty banter! *shakes fist* It works at first, like a stumbling flirtation, but please oh god PLEASE don’t make every conversation a game of wits. Just no. No. Hahaha.
The Bookish God
OMG I totally agree with all this points! I love when relationships begin with friendship. You get to watch the whole relationship evolve!
EEE! I think you would really like Emery Lord’s upcoming book THE START OF ME AND YOU (review to come soon!).
The Bookish God
Great! I’ll be looking out for that 😀
Morgan @ Gone with the Words
Awww I love banter hehe, maybe I pick books that do it well because it’s never crossed the line into annoying bickering for me.
Love triangles are very very touchy; I think I’ve only read 1 or 2 that were actually done well, that would be believable. Generally speaking, I’m not a fan either.
Depth is great, I love the friends that blossom into something more 🙂 And that sort of goes with The Rush because once you figure out it’s happening, it’s amazing! Anna is such a great example. You might like When Joss Met Matt, not totally sure. But it has some of these elements, including sex but more than sex 🙂
Sexual tensionnnnn god that’s the best. I just love romance in books, even if it’s only a smidge 🙂
Please tell me the titles of those books! I seem to pick books off shelves that borderline bicker instead of banter.
Are you reading WHEN JOSS MET MATT right now?
SEXUAL TENSION. Every time someone says that about a book, movie, or TV show, I can’t help but think of all the loose cravat scenes in North & South bahaha.
I included banter in mine as a like, but not pre-bickering before the love hits, banter in the relationship when it’s already established if that makes sense? I love me some banter lol R x
My TTT: https://confessionsofabookgeek.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/top-ten-tuesday-loves-and-loathes-in-romances/
That totally makes sense! Bantering like…”we were acting like an old married couple” sort of banter? I find those sweet. (Gosh, see? It all depends on the writing!)
It really does – banter like Chaol and Celaena banter – sarky and poking fun with “in jokes”, in a cute way! Lol R x
I feel the EXACT same way about the chiseled perfect man- what about the realistic guys who are sweet and nice? Lol Ohhh the rush, the whole reason we love romances in the first place, right? 🙂
Here is mine this week 🙂 http://busybrunettesbookshelf.blogspot.com/2015/02/top-ten-tuesday-likesdislikes-about.html
I love love ❤ 🙂
Who are your favorite realistic guys? I mentioned Levi, and there's a guy in Emery Lord's upcoming book that I really like. They're both tall, awkward, good, nerdy types. Haha.
I love how you set this up, Laura! I especially love the examples that you put under all of your “likes” – I chose to do GIFs for the ones I liked, and just list out the dislikes. Haha! 😉
Let’s talk about “The Rush,” because UM HECK YES. There’s really nothing better – it’s such a real emotion, and anything fictional that can replicate that definitely wins in my book. *sigh*
Depth? Yes. Honesty? Hell yes. Tension? UM. YES. Teamwork? Yessssss – I actually put the same thing on my TTT!
Dislikes: I one hundred percent agree. Especially with the insta-love and the love triangles! I almost think the love triangle can sort of be an easy out to create difficulty, when there could almost always be a better, more interesting way to do so. Great list, as always!!!
Thanks, Lindsey! Haha I’ll have to read yours. Attention on the positive, ticks on the negative XD
YES! It’s why I love love! You can get The Rush at any point in the relationship, and it’s just so fun at the very beginning!
You make a great point: triangles really can be an easy out. Kinda makes you wonder how long the book(s) would be without that added element, and if it would still be just as interesting…
Lety @ Gone With The Words
I agree with all your points!! I especially love tension in books, my heart starts totally hammering in my chest, my hands get sweaty… I mean I’m all about emotional investment. And yes the greek-god-looking males. Seriously? That’s not realistic at all!! I mean they exist, but that is not what the average male looks like and I have had some serious crushes on men that did not resemble those descriptions AT ALL. I need to read Fangirl!!! Eek. 😀