TOP TEN TUESDAY | THINGS I LIKE/DISLIKE IN BOOKISH ROMANCES

Top Ten Tuesday - New

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday on The Broke and the Bookish is: Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike About Romances In Books. First of all, I’m not big on romance. If it happens in a book that’s about something else, and it’s well-executed and not too saccharine, okay. Whatever. But I don’t read romances, and I cannot stand when it’s too heavy-handed. I’m rarely swoony. I don’t have “book boyfriends.” That said, I’m going to try and break down what it is I tend not to like and see if I can articulate what I do like. Who knows? Maybe I’ll come out of this feeling more romance-inclined just in time for Valentine’s Day. Okay, okay, stop laughing.

What I Dislike:

  1. Overly sweet, very predictable romances (along with any mention of “fate,” “meant to be,” or “soul mates” and the instalove that usually goes hand in hand).
  2. Love triangles.
  3. Cheating (especially when it’s “justified” because two people are “soulmates” or “made for each other”).
  4. Love blinders (when the couple suddenly ditch their friends or don’t care about anything/anyone outside of their relationship).
  5. Unrealistic overcoming of obstacles, or putting up with ridiculous behaviour because the characters are “blinded by love.” Also when a character completely changes their personality to fit their relationship. Like that ever works out well.
  6. The weakling girl character who needs to be “protected” – similarly the manic pixie dream girl stereotype.
  7. Disrespect or abuse. OF COURSE.

Some examples of books that had one or more of these things:

Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer       Paper Towns - John Green  
Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James  

 

What I Like:

  1. Humour (and sarcasm).
  2. Realistic responses to behaviour.
  3. Loyalty, patience, respect and encouraging one another’s success.

Some books that had one or more of these things in them:

Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick       Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green & David Levithan
The Fault In Our Stars - John Green       Horde - Ann Aguirre

So there you have it – my perspectives on bookish romance. I like my romance with a healthy side of reality and a good sense of humour. What about you guys? What kind of bookish romance makes you crazy – either in a bad or good way? Share in the comments!

32 thoughts on “TOP TEN TUESDAY | THINGS I LIKE/DISLIKE IN BOOKISH ROMANCES

  1. M.

    That actually sounds pretty okay to me, too. Maybe I'm getting old, but I have so little patience for melodrama. I forgot to include it on the list, but whenever there's a situation where everyone's getting their panties in a twist over something that could easily be fixed with one actually honest conversation, I'm out. It's too frustrating. Ditto the trope of one character breaking the other's heart “for their own good.” Come on people. Let them make their own decisions, why dontcha??

    Reply
  2. M.

    That actually sounds pretty okay to me, too. Maybe I'm getting old, but I have so little patience for melodrama. I forgot to include it on the list, but whenever there's a situation where everyone's getting their panties in a twist over something that could easily be fixed with one actually honest conversation, I'm out. It's too frustrating. Ditto the trope of one character breaking the other's heart “for their own good.” Come on people. Let them make their own decisions, why dontcha??

    Reply
  3. M.

    Amen. I like my romance with a very generous side of realism, thank you very much. And is it too much to ask for a bit of common sense?? Like, seriously.

    Reply
  4. M.

    Amen. I like my romance with a very generous side of realism, thank you very much. And is it too much to ask for a bit of common sense?? Like, seriously.

    Reply
  5. M.

    I think what concerns me the most is when either of these things are written in such a way that there is the perception of a grey area or that either can be justified at all ever. I think that's a dangerous message. I particularly hate when the abusive character is written as being “damaged” and therefor either not responsible for their actions, or in need of being “saved.” *biggest eye roll in world history* This is not how it works, people!

    Reply
  6. M.

    I think what concerns me the most is when either of these things are written in such a way that there is the perception of a grey area or that either can be justified at all ever. I think that's a dangerous message. I particularly hate when the abusive character is written as being “damaged” and therefor either not responsible for their actions, or in need of being “saved.” *biggest eye roll in world history* This is not how it works, people!

    Reply
  7. M.

    I can see that. I think, for me, I was okay with the particular type of unrealistic in that book, because the dialogue was witty and the story flowed well. I also let YA books get away with a *little* bit more… 🙂

    Reply
  8. M.

    I can see that. I think, for me, I was okay with the particular type of unrealistic in that book, because the dialogue was witty and the story flowed well. I also let YA books get away with a *little* bit more… 🙂

    Reply
  9. M.

    Thanks! And I completely agree. There was one book (I feel like I shouldn't name it, but the cover is in that section of this post) where the couple you're supposed to root for both start off with other commitments, then one of them does and yet you're supposed to be all wanting them to get together… and I just could not. And that was the entire point of the book. And it's a beloved book of many. And it makes me worry about the messages that are being sent about what romance and love really look like, you know? Ugh.

    Reply
  10. M.

    Thanks! And I completely agree. There was one book (I feel like I shouldn't name it, but the cover is in that section of this post) where the couple you're supposed to root for both start off with other commitments, then one of them does and yet you're supposed to be all wanting them to get together… and I just could not. And that was the entire point of the book. And it's a beloved book of many. And it makes me worry about the messages that are being sent about what romance and love really look like, you know? Ugh.

    Reply
  11. M.

    Yeah, I went back and forth on including that one, because shouldn't that be common sense? But apparently it's not, and with the dubious prospect of the 50 Shades movie on our collective horizon, I felt like it bore mentioning! And cheating… don't even get me started. Not cool or romantic in the least!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
  12. M.

    Yeah, I went back and forth on including that one, because shouldn't that be common sense? But apparently it's not, and with the dubious prospect of the 50 Shades movie on our collective horizon, I felt like it bore mentioning! And cheating… don't even get me started. Not cool or romantic in the least!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
  13. Julianne (Outlandish Lit)

    You've nailed it all perfectly. I didn't even bother doing this TTT, because I'm just like romance yuck! I mean in real life, I'm all for love. I don't have anything against romance or love, but books that are too heavy handed in that area do nothing for me. You articulated the kind of love I tolerate perfectly, so thanks for that!

    Reply
  14. Julianne (Outlandish Lit)

    You've nailed it all perfectly. I didn't even bother doing this TTT, because I'm just like romance yuck! I mean in real life, I'm all for love. I don't have anything against romance or love, but books that are too heavy handed in that area do nothing for me. You articulated the kind of love I tolerate perfectly, so thanks for that!

    Reply
  15. Martha Woods

    It definitely bugs me when characters cheat and it's okay because they were “meant to be”. Also, abuse–duh. I'm shocked that so many women read these books and don't have a problem with it!!

    Reply
  16. Martha Woods

    It definitely bugs me when characters cheat and it's okay because they were “meant to be”. Also, abuse–duh. I'm shocked that so many women read these books and don't have a problem with it!!

    Reply

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