Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Top Ten Fictional Romance Preferences

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme for list-loving bloggers that is hosted by the team over at The Broke and the Bookish. Every week, readers compile a list of their favorite books, authors, or other literature-related things that fall under a certain category.

In honor of Valentine's Day, today's topic asks us to spotlight tropes we love or hate to see in fictional romances. I decided to split up my list, featuring five things I like and five things I dislike. Authors take note—I want to see more of (or less of) the following items. 

Things I Like
1. When there is no romance
This is pretty uncommon, so I'll also take minimal romance. I don't want fictional romance to disappear, but I would appreciate more books that don't fixate on it. There are other important things in life!

2. When the couple does not end up together
Not every couple that gets together in high school stays together forever, but many YA couples live happily ever after. Is this realistic? No.

3. Diverse romance
Give me more LGBT romances and more romances between people of different races, ethnicities, and cultures. I especially want more books like Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour, which portrays a relationship between two girls as totally normal, although I do love reading about societal oppression.

4. Witty banter and meaningful discussions
I'd much rather read a clever conversation than a kissing scene.

5. When larger, powerful forces threaten to keep a couple apart
This setup gives the author so many opportunities to play with readers' emotions. For example, I loved the romance in Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman because it features a girl raised in the Nazi party falling in love with a Jewish reporter.

Things I Dislike
1. Bad boys
There is nothing appealing about tattoos, cigarettes, and delinquency, even if the boy is "misunderstood." I'll take a clever geek chic love interest instead. Case in point: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. Despite all the hype, I couldn't love this book as much as everyone else because I was not a fan of the boy.

2. Love triangles
Dividing into "teams" that support two different love interests is slightly fun, but as I have discussed before, I hate it when love triangles distract from a book's actual plot and messages. And at this point, love triangles are so common that each new one feels unoriginal—and gives me the feeling that the author only included it out of obligation.

3. Insta-love or "soul mates"
Soul mates don't exist. Sorry. And I think we all have the same opinion on insta-love.

4. When a romantic relationship magically allows a character to overcome a tragedy
A character's mom dies, but luckily, when she has just hit the depth of her grief, a boy who understands her shows up out of nowhere. I disliked Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott because its entire plot follows this too-common trope.

5. Too-beautiful love interests
There is no way every available boy in the YA world has a six-pack and hair that falls perfectly in front of his eyes.

What do you think about these tropes? What are your favorite and least favorite things to see in fictional romance?


  1. Yes to all of these :] I totally agree with you on all of these!! :]

    My TTT :)

  2. Wait, not every guy has a sixpack?! I love everything about this post. I don't need a romance in my books. I don't need a kissing scene that is so deep, you can stare into the other person's soul. Give me a couple who insults each other on an hourly basis, the playful jabs are what makes me love a relationship.

  3. You've got it exactly right!

    Check out my TTT.

  4. Oooo... as a self-confessed romance lover I want the romance turned up high but some of your points are pretty damn valid.. You should read 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist'.. I usually find romance book girls very shallow and irritating but something tells me you'll love feisty Norah! She's wicked :3
    Bad boys are predictable and done to death, and they're never really even that bad >:( They're always lovely people who wear leather jackets and such business! With you all the way with geek chic!
    Instalove is something I just had a big bashing with on my blog ^_^ Don't read 'Soulmates' by Holly Bourne if that isn't your style it really was sickening!!
    Anyway! Great blog post, really enjoyed reading this one :3 And as always, keep up the good work!

  5. I agree 100% with you on the too beautiful love interests. It's just so unrealistic. Not every guy needs to look cuter. In fact I find that I like books where the guy has flaws and isn't perfect physically more than the books where the guy is portrayed like a greek god. It just gets old, I crave the change.

  6. I so agree with you on bad boys! I've never understood what's so interesting about them. Oooh, they're dangerous - yeah, if you want your heart broken. I don't think it's very fair to let an entire generation of young girls believe they can change a bad boy, because they can't, and they'll end up hurt. Nice guys are always better.

    - Love, Felicia
    ( http://asillygirlsthoughts.weebly.com/ )

  7. Love this list!!!! I changed mine up a bit check it out :) http://bookbabble.weebly.com/blog/top-ten-tuesday2

  8. I don't mind "bad boys" at times, but I really do adore the more intellectual, geeky types. These are the guys I tend to fall for in real life too. I also really enjoy witty and clever conversations and moments...sometimes they ARE much more interesting than a kissing/romance scene.

    Plus, I totally agree that more books need to leave OUT the romance. It's not always needed.

  9. Love the list! :) Insta-love and too beautiful love interests makes me roll my eyes. Especially if the MC keeps on describing them every single time. It feels redundant and is simply annoying.

    Danna @ A Reading Habit


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