Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Formulating Thoughts on: Romance Part I - Does it work for you?

I finished reading a book recently and after thinking a lot about what to rate it I realized that quite a bit of what I didn't like was the romance. Your first thought is probably 'oh the dreaded love triangle!' and I'm not gonna lie, there kind of was one, but that wasn't actually the reason as to why I didn't like it so much. It was because every single time one of the guys, smiled/did googly eyes/complimented her/so much as brushed her arm, she would go all simpering, weak knees, and pathetic. It put me off so much! I'm positive that if that had been taken out, my rating would have been like a whole star higher (on Goodreads, I don't do ratings here in case you hadn't noticed ;))

Not two days later I picked up an anthology because it had a short story from one of my favorite authors. It was a total fluff romance and it was only a few pages long, but there was more chemistry/spark between this couple than there ever was in the whole 400+ pages of the other book and I'm just left wondering, How do they do it? How can you manage to get couples to have that spark, that chemistry, that sexual tension, even without the sexy times, in such a short amount of time, but there are other books that can't manage that in 400+ pages? 

What makes or breaks a romance? And I guess most of it all just comes down to the writing, but there is still just that something, that connection, between you and the characters and that spark between the characters themselves that just brings it all together to make your heart race, make it ache, and just make you bawl your eyes out whether it's from joy or devastation, but it makes you feel. Because as much as personal preferences come into play, and the authors writing and dialogue, there are plenty of occasions where the romance is just not working out, at all, even though all the elements are technically there.

I haven't even touched upon the overuse of love triangles and the overuse of blushes, and sighs, and heart flutters that after a time you are just sick and tired of it and wondering if the girl just doesn't have a heart condition or something. (I didn't mention guys because I just haven't come across any whose heart flutter quite that much).

I'm just talking about simple chemistry, which turns out isn't always so simple, and I'd like for all authors to know that it's okay not to have romance in your books. Don't feel forced to stick it in there just cause virtually almost every YA book out there has it (half the time to the detriment of the actual plot). All I'm saying is not having romance is perfectly good too.

So what's your take on romance in (insert genre here) books? Why do you think some work and other don't?

*In Part II I'll be taking about 'traditional' romance, the dreaded insta-love, and insta-friendship.*


  1. There are quite a few books where I wish the romance wasn't there, but at the same time there's a lot where it works. I think it all really depends on what the story is about and how the romance is written, and the author's skill in making it believable.
    For instance, a book that I read had a bunch of awesome ghost hunting, but the romance was so bad that I actually rated down the book, because I wanted the whole thing removed. It was the typical girl falls for two boys, goes for the bad boy, problems arise, other boy still likes her triangle. And insta-love with them (they're twins).

  2. Oh wow, insta-love, love triangle AND brothers, that's a triple whammy, no wonder you rated it down. I agree sometimes it's harder to write a romance when there is an intricate plot as well, the authors has to be able to not only balance it well but sell them both, and unfortunately it doesn't work out a good chunk of the time.

  3. Bea @ Bea's Book NookMay 7, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    THIS, A 1000X THIS - "I'd like for all authors to know that it's okay not to have romance in your books. Don't feel forced to stick it in there..."

    If the book isn't specifically a romance, then I don't need a romance in the story. If there is one, it better fit and be needed, otherwise scrap it.

  4. Exactly. Unless it's an actual romance book, then there is really no need for one, if it develops as the series goes on, excellent, if not, that great too.


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