Why I Usually Avoid Reading Romance

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Today I would like to discuss romance novels, especially of the young adult genre.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy romance, however I prefer not to read books revolving solely around the romance, and here are a few reasons why.

(Please note that these are not always present in all romance books, and that they are just observations based on a few books I've read from the genre.  Please also note that I have read some romance books I thoroughly enjoyed.)

1. The dreaded insta-love.  This is not the case in all romance books, but it is rather prevalent within the genre.  The girl falls in love with the guy at first sight, or something like that, and it's all:


I'm sorry, but… What?!?! I may not have ever been in love, but come on, it can't be that simple! Just stop.  Please.  Maybe a character is instantly attracted to the love interest, but attraction and love are not synonymous.  Maybe there's a spark.  I'll allow a spark, I'll allow instant chemistry.  But no way am I ever going to believe that you fell in love with someone within a day or a week of knowing each other.

2. The cliches.  Opposites attract: bad boy falls for good girl, nerd and jock/cheerleader become the power couple of the school, etc etc.  It gets extremely old extremely fast.  I'm not saying it is impossible for these things to happen, but there are other kinds of relationships too.

I mean, I absolutely adore The Breakfast Club and I totally ship Bender and Claire, but lately it's just been crazy how often a good girl falls for a bad boy.  I mean, seriously?!? Is that all you've got?

3. The plot.  I know it isn't true for all romance books, but it usually seems to be one of the following (similar to my point about cliches, but specifically in regard to the plot):
  • Main character hates the eventual love interest's guts, but is somehow forced into a situation where he/she is stuck with said love interest.  The two start to get to know each other and realize the other isn't as bad as they thought, and start to have feelings for one another that eventually grows into a true romantic relationship.
  • Main character pines for the love interest, but is too shy to speak up and said love interest is already in a relationship.  Said love interest eventually breaks up/is broken up with and is single, and begins to get to know guy/girl and realizes he/she the one they want to be with.
  • Main character gets the love interest of their dreams, only to lose them to someone or something.  The main character either finds a way to prove his/her love or find some new love interest who loves them back.
  • Main character is in love (or falls in love) with love interest, but something from main character or love interest's past is revealed and nothing is the same.
  • (Or something along the lines of one of mentioned plots)

4. Love triangles.  Need I say more?

What are your thoughts on romance novels?


  1. It seems to me like every book has some romance in it, but I stay clear of books that have half naked men on the cover or are obviously purely romance. I just need some substance in my books and though I like the fluffy YA books every once in a while, in general I like having some bigger issue in the background. Most recently this has been suicide, teenage parenthood etc. But these topics are really hard to do good so I'm always looking for recommendations of any sort.

    1. I agree with you there. I like when books have some romance in it, but like you said I enjoy having substance as well. (And like you, I also steer clear of books with half-naked men on the cover…) Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)