As Young Adult readers, we’re quite familiar with romances in books. Actually when I first started to blog again I was actually pretty irritated by all of the romance (which is odd because I can read shojo manga for hours). Most of the time I felt that when I started reading YA again it was now becoming a marketing and selling tool. I felt that it was no longer something that was genuinely born from the story, but something shoe horned in to sell more copies. Call me a snob or whatever, but I would rather read something that’s so incredibly genuine that I don’t bat an eye at the romance (or how this romance comes to be) whether than recognize that a well written romance was there, but only for copies being sold.
Now a little more context, I had a really bad slew of novels that were just filled with really bad romance so I was getting sick of it.
But that’s not really the point of my post. I wanted to talk about things that are constantly criticized in novels:
Insta-love and Love Triangles
What about them?
To be honest? I don’t really mind either. Hell I don’t really mind a harem. As long as it is genuine and not something that’s so campy and tropey.
Shit, sometimes you just click with someone and the next thing you know you’re best friends for life or you’re in a perfect and normal relationship. It doesn’t happen very often from my life, but I’ve experienced the kind of just spark with some people. Sometimes you just get someone right off the bat and with that you build a great relationship.
Now, this doesn’t mean the relationship goes on to be void of obstacles, squabbles, and even the occasional silent treatment. It just means that there’s a connection that’s strong from the beginning and that there’s a foundation already laid–but there’s still a journey to be had. I love slow burn romances and relationships, so while two people might automatically have a connection (good or bad), where they go from there is the important part of me.
For instance, what if a MC automatically finds some kind of romantic (or platonic) draw from a person and pursues? They think they’re in love with them, but then they find that the person has all of these layers and demons, etc. etc.? That’s what I care about. I don’t really care if the person is like “OMG I LOVE YOU” already (though granted, it can be v. annoying. I’m looking at you Cal). I mostly care what the person does with that emotion.
What do I not like? I’ll call this the “Romeo and Juliet” syndrome. When two characters are so infatuated and automatically in love with each other to kill people (or each other in the case of Shakespeare) in the name of love. I think this is what gripes most people about insta-love. It’s this sudden devotion. Where does this devotion come from? I want it explored and tested.
“Alexa, you… do you like love triangles?”
I love love triangles. Blame it on me watching a lot of kdramas when I was in middle school or reading a lot of shojo manga, but I love love triangles. I thrive on the tension that builds among the characters and usually the two love interests complement two completely different sides of our MC and it’s really interesting to see where the character goes with these endeavors. I mean I’ve been in the position where I’ve thought about falling for the dark, mysterious kind of character, but I’m drawn back towards a sweet and overly kind character. I mean sweet and spice right?
The thing that I really don’t like about love triangles that can happen? When, for instance, the two love interests are guys and they begin to fight over the MC (as if she couldn’t make a decision herself). It’s incredibly possessive and that’s when I get a pit prickly. I don’t like it when two guys try to out alpha-male each other. It’s irritating and just so eye roll inducing, to be quite honest.
I thrive on love triangles, if I were to be completely honest. Esp. when it’s between a very safe and “good” love interest and a not so safe “villain” love interest. It’s just a trope I enjoy reading and exploring, but again, it’s only when it’s built organically and it earns the romance. Maybe I picked this up while in theatre, but everything is earned somehow. Is this love interest seductive, but there’s also something rippling underneath that is begging to just be pulled out? Or is this love interest a stable, sturdy foundation in a world that feels like it’s crumbling apart? These kinds of things are important to me.
Are you against these tropes in novels? Do you agree or disagree?