Today we're going to talk about love and romance in books This is going to be kind of tricky for me because while I love book romances (see what I did there?), I have a hard time articulating things I like and don't like about them. So I think I'm going to split this into two categories: likes and dislikes.
1. Love: Slow-builds. Give me all the scenes where they gently flirt, and smile at each other, and watch each other out of the corner of their eyes.
2. Hate: Moving too quickly. I understand there are only so many pages, and a lot of other things need to happen, but if they met yesterday and they're getting married or exchanging I love yous, it's moving too fast for me. Build in some time!!
3. Love: Meet-cutes! I know lots of people will be like, but how can you love both slow-builds and meet-cutes, and to them, I say, BECAUSE I CAN. But really, if you bump into each other while holding hot coffee, or hold the subway door open for one another, or realize that you keep seeing each other in the weirdest places (grocery store, gym, the street, I don't care where, honestly), and it ends in love, I'm all about that shit. FYI: My grandparents met because my grandpa asked my grandma if she liked his car at a drive-in. Like real life meet-cute, am I right?
4. Hate: Needing the relationship to complete the book. Like obviously, if it's a book about the relationship itself, I'm not going to hate that. I know that going in. But it it's a kickass story about a woman cop whose hunting down a serial killer, I don't want the romance to become the overwhelming story line. I don't want my murder mystery to suddenly become all about how this girl wants this guy or vice versa.
5. Love: When book relationships give me that happy buoyant feeling in my veins. Like I read the dialogue and my heart skwees. That's the perfect relationship.
6. Hate: Forced dialogue. If you're trying to make them seem like the perfect couple that can complete each others' sentences (sandwiches!) I'm going to be turned off your book. Make it natural!
7. Love: Beyond average stories. I get so tired of the Nicholas Sparks-esque white man, white woman fall in love and get married, happily ever after crap. Like don't get me wrong, sometimes that's what you want to read and I'm glad those books are out there, but I also want more diversity in my love stories! I want to read about the girl who has a crush on a boy and a girl and they both like her back. I want to read about an angel who falls in love with a demon and stays in love with her for hundreds of years (lookin' at you, Laini Taylor, bless you). I want to read about worlds that reflect the diversity of real life.
8. Hate: Love triangles! I've ranted about love triangles before on my blog, and I'll surely rant about them again, but seriously. Get over it. You do not need a love triangle to have a plot. And if that's the basic plot of your story, I'm going to get real tired of it, real quick. ( I did enjoy The Selection, but again, that's like the definition of the plot on the cover. I knew what I was getting in to.)
9. Love: First kisses! Give me awkward first kisses. And shy first kisses. And kisses where you accidentally bump noses or knock each other's glasses off. Give me first kisses where someone's knees go weak. Where someone's brain just flatlines. Give me terrible drooly first kisses, and perfect tiny pecks. I seriously love every first kiss in every relationship. FIRST KISSES AHHHHHHHHHHH.
10. Hate: Romanticizing abuse. I really wanted to include this point with the 50 Shades of Grey movie coming out this weekend. It does not accurately reflect BDSM relationships, and it should not accurately reflect any relationship. I know that some people really loved it (maybe it was their first time reading something so risque), but it is a really awful depiction of a relationship, and frankly should never have been published.
So there we go! My favorite and least favorite romantic tropes in books. What do you think, lovelies? Do any of these push your buttons too? Let me know in the comments!