I don't normally read books with heavy romance. But there's some romance I'm good with. Like the author "did" it right. So I decide to figure out what works for me and what doesn't.
Here's what doesn't:
(Buckle up for a long post.)
1. Smooching every hour/ 5 minutes/ millisecond
I can't stand it when the couple is always kissing. It's kind of cheesy. Plus, the author is cheating themselves out of an awesome opportunity for a build up to a long awaited kiss. If the couple is kissing every millisecond, there's no build up for that final kiss at the end.
It's just their friends looking around saying, "Hey, where are so and so and what's her face? Oh." *rolls eyes* "They're kissing. Again. While we're trying to save the world."
It becomes cliched within a single chapter.
2. We don't like nobody else. The WORLD is our enemy.
Allow me to introduce you to the obsessive couple. It's the two cute sweethearts who don't talk to anybody else. Since they've found each other, their friend life has virtually withered to small conversations like, "Nope, I can't come for pizza tonight. I'm going to the movies with *insert googoo eyes* him."
This is the unhealthy couple who talk about how they love each other so much and hate everybody else.
Now, there does happen to be these life and death situations, like in dystopian, when the whole world really is against the couple and they only have each other to trust.
But that is very rare.
Why do I not like this?
1) It is unhealthy. Incredibly so.
2) Possibly a lot of first time couples may fall into this mistake of shutting the rest of the world out. It'd be nice if YA was realistic. Either encourage the healthy relationships by showing more. Or at least truthfully depict the negatives of bad relationships. (I think Hate List did the latter, perhaps to the extreme. Though I didn't actually finish the book. . .)
3) It's awfully gooey. I roll my eyes. A lot.
4) Most importantly, stories are life. Life is a story. Vice versa. Turn it however you want. But life is not all about your boyfriend/girlfriend. It's also family, friends, ups and downs, careers, education, hobbies, ARCH ENEMIES (because those are very important to remember).
3. I must save the world! After I find someone to kiss. . .
Aww! That's so -- anti-climatic.
Seriously, though. How often do save-the-world protagonists drown their plots in romance? Instead of saving the world, like their premise promised, they spend most of their time worrying about what dress they're going to wear to the dance. Or how terrible they sounded/looked when love interest walked into the room.
Hello! I thought the world was about to end here!
This is why I like Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles. *SPOILERS AHEAD* Yes, she likes Kai. But she has bigger things on her plate. She happens to be on the run. Currently, Kai can't fit into her life. He has a empire to emperor over. She has a rebellion to plan.
So does she cancel her plans and cater her life to her crush? No. That's stupid. She does what she has to. She gets tough and does the hard things. The important things come first (then she kidnaps him.)
Not saying that love is unimportant. But romance and love are different.
(By of way, Kai prioritizes also. Except he does something really stupid. And I don't want to talk about it.)
4. Hi, I just met you. And this is crazy, but-- Can I kiss you?
Crazy is exactly right.
Ever wonder about when a relationship goes from acquaintance to we-want-to-get-married overnight?
They meet, they have a crush, next day they're kissing. What?! Maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but is it ever healthy when things escalate like that? (I'll confess, this is Wolf and Scarlet from Scarlet by Marissa Meyer They might be my OTP of the series.)
"We just met, but let's start dating now." I know people do this in real life. If you do this, I'm not judging you (I've come to the realization that I'm weird). But I don't exactly understand it either.
Why would you give your heart to a virtual stranger? Isn't that just asking for pain? I'm confused.
5. The sex scene
This actually is the number one reason I won't finish a book (so, why is it point #5? I. . . don't know). It could be the number one reason I don't even open a book.
I'm not going to say you're a horrible person if you don't mind reading a sex scene. This is just my preference (actually this whole list is, so total disclaimer here). It's not my cup of tea. It's not something I want to read about. But it's also a big turn off for me. I get the impression that authors think they have make their characters go "all the way" (as people used to word it. . . it almost makes me laugh now). They all seem to write it simply because everybody else is writing it. I find that tiresome. I want a different story, with different characters.
You can call me whatever you want, but I personally believe sex before marriage is not okay. I don't think it's even smart (but whose heart is set on logic when in such situations?).
I especially don't like reading these scenes in YA. Aren't teens taught that this isn't a good idea? Usually, or I would expect at least, parents discourage them from having sex. So why are we encouraging them? Why are we writing about characters who do this, AND making it all okay? Why are there rarely ever consequences? The aftermath seems unrealistically depicted, if you ask my opinion.
I have read a few sex scenes. Skimmed most. Sometimes skipped others. To be honest, I'm just tired of them. Recently, I've been closing the book altogether. Which makes me very sad.
It all makes me exhausted.
6. So physical
Some relationships seem physical from the very start.
I am a huge Divergent fan. But at the end of the first book, Tobias says something to the effect of, "I think I'm in love with you."
And I was like, "Wait a minute! Put on the brakes!" He and Tris have been kissing and cuddling all this time and he's just now saying he loves her? No, no. This doesn't make sense. I know everybody is different. But I'm not going to kiss some guy and then hope love comes later. Kissing someone should be that love put into action. The love has to instigate it. Therefore it has to exist first.
I read One by Leigh Ann Kopans. I love One! But when Merrin and Elias are together, at first they are all each other thinks about. And they kiss. A lot. Only after they've been spending weeks and weeks together does Merrin mention that she still hasn't told Elias her life dream. You know, her desired career choice and chief aim in life. If they were that serious, shouldn't this topic have come up before?
Maybe that is what I don't like. The relationship gets physical before it gets serious.
That sounds backward to me. The physical and emotional aspect shouldn't come in such totality before the commitment comes. Otherwise, you could be putting yourself through a ton of heartache. Or it seems so to me.
I've never had a boyfriend, so what do I really know? But it feels like things shouldn't move that fast. If I did have a boyfriend and things moved that fast. . . I would probably get a little scared. No, a lot scared. I'd be running the other way.
Honestly, I want to know where the platonic relationships are. I miss those. (You see that in The Mentalist by the way. LOVE that show!) What about things that last and matter? What about getting to actually know each other beforehand? What is this mentality of let's kiss and then find out if we really like each other?
Sorry. I being ranty. Maybe I'm just reading the wrong books. But this is what turns me off romance.
Do you like romance? What are your bookish romance pet peeves? Oh! And what's your current OTP?
P.S. - Summer Writing Camp #6 is due this Friday! If you want to join here's a link.
|This pic is has no real purpose here; it just kind of happened.|