Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week we’re discussing Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books
Click on an image or the title to add the book to your GoodReads shelf too!
We’re combining again this week because we really have the same taste in books. There’s a reason we’re working together on this blog my friends.
Different People Working Together Perfectly.
Sondra: I won’t lie, for me this usually entails something like sworn enemies. If I start a book and we’re discussing sworn enemies I am so on the game. That being said, I really love when people find themselves questioning things, questioning things about themselves and who they are when they start falling in love with someone. I see so much character growth when characters are forced into these situations and it just makes me so happy.
Polina: Most of my OTPs are people from different backgrounds/worldviews/etc. slowly growing to understand each other and becoming a team and realizing they have more in common than they originally believed. It doesn’t even have to be romantic–I’m perfectly fine with friendship. This kind of dynamic gives the characters potential for growth and makes the story so much more interesting.
We’re Married. Except For The Fact We’re Not.
Polina: The fake-married trope has so much potential for cuteness and I hardly ever see it, but when I do it is super fun! Plus, it moves those characters who just won’t admit their feelings one step closer to figuring out how in love they are.
Sondra: I’ll admit that when Polina mentioned this one to me I was surprised and then very instantly in love. It’s not something I see often in books, and I’m fairly sure it’s because I mostly read YA, where a trope like this isn’t really needed. But when it does happen (*Cough* Cress and Thorne) I wind up falling hard for the characters. Especially when neither of them realize, or are even thinking, about love.
Chemistry Isn’t Just A Class In School.
Sondra: Ahh chemistry, between banter, and picking on each other, jumping on each others nerves. This is my favorite part of any novel. This is where I can really fall in love with a couple, if you give me a couple that will bicker and poke each other even though they’re head over heels in love with each other? You have found me a couple I will read forever.
Polina: Banter between characters is just so much fun. I could read it for pages and pages and not get tired at all. This trope goes hand in hand with the first one as well–characters who argue a lot realizing how much they enjoy arguing with that one person who is so good at countering everything they say.
He’s Just My Best Friend. I Swear It.
Polina: The best romances are ones that are also friendships, so of course, I love slow-burn relationships that begin with a strong, supportive friendship, and characters who begin to realize how much they love and need each other.
Sondra: These romances are the best, because you have a couple that understands each other, that knows each other. He knows her favorite bands, she knows he likes sugar in his coffee. These two are so comfortable with each other already that they don’t often realize they’re in love. I won’t even lie the best part of any of these books is that awkward moment where they try to figure out where their friendship and relationship fit together and “is it still awkward to sit together on the couch now that we’re dating?”
I’m Only Me When I’m With You.
Sondra: This happens in a lot of books, but it takes a good author to do this right. I love seeing characters who are pains in the butt to everyone, and then slowly they let someone in, they start to fall in love with someone, and as the reader you start to see someone else underneath. Slowly throughout the book you start to see that character start to change with others and just, yes. Yes it’s good.
Polina: Basically anything where a side of a character we don’t normally see shows up around the love interest! Characters whose barriers are up nearly 24/7, but who melt into puddles of adorable when the person they love is around. Stoic characters who FREAK OUT when something happens to the person they love. That sort of thing. (Exception: characters who don’t treat anyone except their love interest with basic decency are usually THE WORST.)
Flip Flops Are Shoes, Not Relationships.
Polina: This is the one where the girl meets the strange, mysterious guy. He’s a complete jerk to her. She can’t stop thinking about him. They run into each other again. He acts like a human being. She decides maybe he isn’t so bad. The next time they meet, he’s even worse than the first time. She decides to forget about him forever, but she still can’t stop thinking about him. Lather, rinse, repeat. Honestly, there’s only so much flip-flopping I can take, especially without an explanation.
Sondra: Y’know I’m not even sure I could explain this better than Polina. Because this is exactly it. “Wait, I see a guy under all that meanness that could love me!” Sure I get the whole trope of ‘changing’ the guy but c’mon guys.
I Just Met You But I Swear I Love You.
Sondra: Oh I could rant about this for a very, very long time. Insta-love is probably my least favorite thing that you see again, and again, and again, and again. Couples that meet each other and at the end of the scene are so infatuated with the person they can’t stop thinking about them. Wait they meet again. Oh, aaaand we’re kissing. Yup.
Polina: …do we even need to explain this one? Some authors can make insta-love work, but an overwhelming amount of them just make my eyes roll back into my head.
Haven’t I Met You Before? In Another Novel?
Polina: That love interest who is so generic you couldn’t pick him out of a line-up, and who clearly only exists to be a love interest, rather than a character in his own right.
Sondra: I had a friend explain this to me as a character that’s just C&P. You can copy him from a million novels, give him a different sad back story and drop him into a new novel. Now he’s a bad boy with a problem. (I should mention here there ARE authors that can take these kind of guys and actually make them characters and make them great)
I Know This Is Vital Information. But I Just Can’t Tell You Yet.
Sondra: I just read a book with this in it, and quite literally, it lead to a main character dying. It was that bad, and in this instance there was at least SOME reasoning behind the girl not talking to the guy. But, most times? There’s no reason for her to not talk to him. There’s no reason for her to continue hiding whatever secret it is.
Polina: Communication issues happen, and a lot of them are understandable from the characters’ perspectives. This doesn’t make them any less frustrating, or take away my urge to throw the book against the wall and scream, “JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER ALREADY!”
You Can’t Sit With Us.
Polina: The main character likes a boy. Unfortunately, so does another girl. She is usually popular, attractive, and can’t seem to finish a sentence without insulting anybody. The main character often makes comments about this other girl’s level of sexual activity. She never receives any development beyond these unflattering traits. It goes without saying that Girl #1 ends up with the guy. Honestly, we do not need any more shallow girls-pitted-against-each-other type of conflicts. I don’t see this as often as I used to, but there’s still too much of it for my liking.
Sondra: Ohh this one. It’s…I mean okay I get it because girls who are the bullied, down trodden girls, want to read a book of the girl getting the guy. The girl that’s bitchy gets taken down a few notches but…But it doesn’t mean that this mean girl doesn’t need some sort of character development, turn her into someone author. Just make her someone that’s all I ask.