As usual, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the fantastic blog The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is inspired by Valentine’s Day, and focuses on tropes you either like or dislike when it comes to reading a romance. I’ve decided to split my list to include five of both topics!
Things I Like When It Comes to Romance In Books
1) Witty Banter. Nothing pulls me in more than a couple who can verbally spar with one another, as well as have an intelligent conversation. Sometimes it needs to be about more than just the swoons.
2) The Slow Burn Relationship. While it can be infuriating, it’s also immensely rewarding when your ship finally sails. Bonus points if this doesn’t happen in the first installment of a series.
3) Realistic (and responsible) Intimacy. Now, I know there’s a large split between NA and YA and how the boundaries of PDA and physicality and what not are usually written, but I find it unrealistic when teenagers/young adults are treated like they either don’t have hormones or that they cannot be trusted with their intimacy. Exploring intimacy realistically and responsibly is important.
4) Human/Supernatural Pairing. I’m a sucker for paranormal romance, especially when the human isn’t the stereotypical damsel-in-distress stereotype. I just think it’s so much more interesting to read about then normal people falling in love.
5) Equality. I love it when both people in a couple-regardless of gender- can kick butt and take names. I’ve never complained of a story having too many heroes!
Things I Dislike When It Comes to Romance In Books
6) The Best-Friend-Turned-Boyfriend-Trope. It just never seems realistic or exciting or mysterious when the kid the protagonist used to throw cheerios at turns out to be the source of her passion.
7) Insta-Love. No explanation needed.
8) Overly Possessive Partners. Especially now that I’m an “older” YA reader (if old is being in your 20s…) I find that I have little tolerance for possessive and oppressive dynamics in relationships, especially when it’s not to serve the purpose of portraying how power imbalances in relationships are bad. No one should be telling anyone else what to do in a romance.
9) Slut Shaming. I hate when characters are shamed by other characters in the books for their personal behavior. I don’t like the novels I read to be morality tales that define their characters’ worth by their intimate interactions (or worse, judge them by the mere rumors of such interactions).
10) Love Triangles. There’s nothing more annoying than constantly having your ship interrupted by some troll third wheel who comes in and is so obviously written to create “drama” between the main couple (ESPECIALLY when you KNOW that there’s no chance of the protagonist actually ever choosing this person…it all just feels like such a waste of time).