In this post I’m going to say what I don’t like about fictional romance. These days, most novels or series have some romance in them; if it’s not the main plot (romance novels), it’s an important sub-plot. In my opinion, there isn’t too much variety; it’s like you read the same formula, with small differences, even thou the novels are suppose to be different. Here is a list with some of my pet peeves; the order is random.
1. Instant Love
She sees him, he sees her, and BOOM: they’re in love, star-crossed lovers, meant to be. I don’t find it romantic when two people say “I Love You” after 5 minutes, a day or a week. In real life, it’s kinda odd to be told you’re loved by someone you just met. Sure, there is physical attraction, but that’s about it. Lust =/= Love.
Don’t get me wrong, I like abs; I approve. However, in most books for some reason, the girl’s love interest is always half-naked. They either meet when he is with his shirt off, or the guy walks around topless. And we don’t get just one a description of his hut body and his hard, defined abs. On every chapter we get abs, abs, abs, and more abs. Kinda objectifying, isn’t it? Change the genres. A book where a women is always in her bra or topless, and the guy is always describing her boobs. Every single time he sees the girl of his dreams, the first thing he mentions are her boobs. Yea, not very nice. A similar thing with girl loves boy. Every single time the girl stares at the guy’s abs, and that seems to be one of most important thing about him. Hey, lady, eyes up here!
By the way, why on earth every single fictional man needs to have abs? What, a guy without abs cannot be a good boyfriend? Cannot be handsome?
3. Amazing First Kiss
The first kiss between our lovebirds. Of course, it is described in detail, and it’s the most amazing kiss on the planet. Magic fairy dust is sprinkled upon them, the angles sings, the butterflies are happy dancing. And this kiss is one of the main reason our girl loves this guy; she falls for him due to this kiss.
Kissing is not love. Sex is not love. If the protagonists think this, I find them to be stupid and immature, not romantic.
4. The girl forgets to breathe
I think I encounter this phrase in all the novels that I’ve read this year; doesn’t matter if it’s a novel about Greek Gods, dragons, or a contemporary romance novel. If it’s not “I forgot to breathe”, it’s “I exhaled the breath I didn’t know I was holding”. These girls don’t know how to breathe. They clearly need to see a doctor.
I find it ridiculous. Just try it for a minute. Hold your breath, and see if you can tell you don’t breathe!
Usually this phrase is connected with the amazing kiss or with the abs. She sees the abs and forgets to breathe, or she forgets to breathe while they’re kissing.
I’m not pointing finger, but in most books the assholes are men. A good girl falls in love with a terrible person. He is rude, sometimes abusive, doesn’t know or care about boundaries, and yet our protagonists likes him. Most of the time, the guy is an ass because of some reason: he has a dark secret, he has a terrible past and so on. The female protagonist wants to change him, of course. And she tries her best to heal his wounds, and to let his goodness shine!
Lady, why do you want to change him? Why do you think it is your responsibility to change him? He’s not an injured baby bird that you can nurture back to health! Why don’t you find a guy who is not troubled? Who has his life together? Who has more confidence? An insecure person lashes out all the time, not a confident one.
Usually these guys need therapy, not romantic relationships!
6. The Man-whore and the virgin
You know, the hot guy sleeps with the whole school/college/town, and the girl is a virgin or at best she only had one relationship. And of course, the man-whore will change his behavior for our beloved protagonist.
Sometimes it is connect with point 5. He is like this because he has issues or whatever. He is afraid to get closer, to be vulnerable, so he uses girls like Kleenex. And of course, the girls who sleep with him are sluts, while our Princess is a virgin. For some reasons, our Princess doesn’t mind that this guy used to treat other girls like dirt, because he loves her now.
Why can’t we have more variety? How about a book where both of them are virgins? Or where both of them had had sex? Or where the girl is not a virgin, and the guy is?
8. Love Triangles
I’ve notice a pattern, especially in YA/NA fantasy or paranormal. Most of these books have love triangle. Now, I don’t mind to read about love triangles here and there, especially when they’re done properly, but when every single book has one, it gets boring and annoying. I think I’ve read only one book this year that didn’t have a love triangle (Snapdragon Way).
Now, I do understand that it is possible to love two people at the same time. However, in most novels, the girl doesn’t know which guy to choose, and the guys just stand there, and fight with each other over her! Why?
If I liked a guy, and he liked me, but he also fancied another girl, I wouldn’t waste my time. Here, let me help you make that decision for you:
9. They love each other, but they cannot be together
I am not talking about serious situation where they really cannot be together. They like each other, maybe even love one another, but they dance around it for five books! And most of the time the reasons are silly, and could’ve been resolved easily by having a proper conversation; like the mature people they pretend to be. But then, if they have that conversation from the start, there wouldn’t be a book . . .
10. The Ugly Duckling and the Swan
The protagonist is ugly or average, has the personality of a rock, no ambitions, always sad, but for some reason she makes the IT guy fall in love with her. There are many couples where one of them is better looking then the other, and they love each other. However, in books the protagonist is not only ugly, but she has 0 personality as well.
There is another scenario. The girl describes herself as being ugly, she’s insecure, and she self-loads herself. But in reality she is beautiful, she just needs a guy to tell her that. And of course, because he give her the of day, she does everything for him, and she cannot live without him.
Insecurity is not attractive at all; it doesn’t matter if your a model or not. Why can’t we have a confident protagonist? With more backbone?
Or who likes to let go from time to time, and she doesn’t care what other people think?
Or a protagonist who doesn’t fall for a guy just because he’s handsome, and he called her pretty?
11. Literary Rape
The girl gets almost rape, and the man has to save her, or she got raped in the past and the boyfriend helps her heal. However, the only reason why rape was included in the story is to give the girl a darker aura. As in, rape is the worst thing that can happen to a women. Is it though? How about murder, torture, slavery? It is not the worst thing that can happen to a man as well?
I am not against novels that talk about this subject. I am referring to novels where the rape moment can be replaced by another violent scene, and it wouldn’t make much difference to the plot.
You can also read this post about this subject: This is a Post About Literary Rape
These are some of my pet peeves. I think they wouldn’t be pet peeves if there was more variety in books.
What do you think? Agree, disagree? What are some of you pet peeves when it comes to fictional romance? Let me know in the comments below.