Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!
Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish!
This week’s topic is: Ten Things I Like/Dislike about Romances
Bry: Bahaha, I definitely have to go the DISLIKE route with this one. Sorry Romance lovers. I’m going to sound like a total cynic below, I know, so I feel the need to point out that I actually love romance in real life! Just not in my books.
1. Romance in general: I’m not a shipper, and I don’t generally root for the romance in a book. Sure, its nice when love interests pan out in interesting and exciting ways, but its often blah, boring and irritating.
2. Predictability: If you can spot a love interest in the first 20% of the book, or when you can already tell who is going to end up with who, everything else is just a formality to get there, and that sucks. I want excitement and surprise that has actual valid plot, not just something to fill the appropriate gap before the inevitable.
3. The relentlessness of it: Characters who fall in love tend to stay in love. It doesn’t matter if one character makes a huge mistake, or betrays the other, or whatever it may be, because their love interest is just going to love them anyways. There is rarely any form of struggle to test the sincerity or intensity of feeling, or major disruptions that throw doubt on characters to challenge them.
4. Blah sex scenes: Don’t get me wrong, writing a thrilling sex scene is hard, and there are very few that stand out in my mind as actually being hot. Erotica novels are the worst for cheesy cookie cutters, but romance oriented novels really aren’t that far behind. Sex needs substance.
5. Its Tendency to Mary Sue: As soon as there is a love interest, there is this idea that the character in love, or the love interest becomes just oh so fucking perfect. They’re the most beautiful person the other has ever seen, they’re impossible to stop thinking about, everything they do is just so appealing and funny and intelligent and shoot me in the face.
6. Shippers: Oh god I hate shippers so much. Stahp, just stahp. As soon as you start shipping I can’t have a serious conversation with you about a book. Sorry, not sorry.
7. It Kills the Plot: The world could be an apocalyptic nightmare with a totalitarian government about to ravage and destroy the characters in question, and they’re still going to be wondering if their crush likes them! They could be prisoners on trial for witchcraft, facing torture and execution, but does that boy like me the way I like him? (yes, that happened and it was rage inducing). Seriously, romance deters from the good stuff.
8. Cheesiness: I like my cheesy to be done in sci-fi, nerdliness or cult style movies. I can’t do cheesy romances.
9. When the Love Interest is a Hateable Character: How can I take a book seriously when the protagonist is swooning over some prat without enough personality to fill a teacup, or no redeemable qualities whatsoever? I mean, yeah, I have been called out on my villain boner so I’m not talking about just being evil, but some of these love interests are annoying as hell!
10. That it has to exist in just about EVERY BOOK EVER: Pick any book in any genre, and 90% of the time there is going to be a love interest. Maybe 95%. Maybe 99%. Anyways, its just always prevalent and sometimes I could really just do without it.
1. When it’s shoehorned in. You know what, that plot didn’t need that romance, did it? Couldn’t we just infer subtext? There is such a thing as a slow burn. They don’t have to get together in the first book.
2. When it’s a love triangle. Nothing get’s me more than when there’s suddenly a love triangle. I’m alright with it when it’s done well, but when it shows up like that old school daytime reality dating show The 5th Wheel, I need it to get out.
3. Awful erotica. Thing shouldn’t spill. Balls shouldn’t be described in flowery loving ways. You did not shatter. Your heart did not go boom clap. Stop.
4. When it plays out like a stereotypical plot from a 90’s teen heartthrob movie. Did the love interest get bribed, threatened, paid or otherwise extorted into dating or paying interest in the main character (I’m looking at you Winner’s Curse)? Are you sure you aren’t fantasizing about Freddie Prince Jr right now? I thought we killed that genre.
5. When it’s not there at all but somehow it is. Sometimes I don’t understand. You can write that a character loves another character all you want, but as the adage goes, it’s not what you say, it’s what you do. And they’re just not doing anything to suggest that they’re even remotely in a romance.
6. When they have poor love interests to choose from. Can they just be team independent woman? They don’t need abusive, clingy or otherwise emotionally manipulative partners. THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE WITH THE LOVE INTEREST.