This week's topic is Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books.
Things I Like
1. When the romance begins as friendship. I really enjoy friendships in books anyway. I also think that it allows the relationship to grow slowly - so it takes away some of the worry about insta-love.
2. The characters have lives outside of the relationship. I love seeing both characters have other interests, friends, family - something that sets them apart from the other person. Too often we see characters who are "the love interest" and not much else. I like characters that feel like real people!
3. The relationship isn't the only thing happening in the story. This goes along with the last point, but I think it's a little different. Sometimes, the characters have lives only until they meet one another, and sometimes they supposedly do other things, but readers never get to see them happen. I like when there are several things going on at once - because in real life, our lives don't just go on pause so we can complete our love story!
4. The characters aren't complete opposites. It's not that I don't like seeing completely different people fall in love - that's a trope I really enjoy in books. But I do wish there were more books about people who are similar to one another - not exactly alike, obviously, but with the same hobbies or major personality traits, etc.
5. Realistic relationships. I think this is what most of my first points are saying, anyway - I like relationships to be believable. I want to feel like I could meet both characters in real life, and they weren't just thrown into the story so the main character had someone to fall in love with.
6. The actual relationship is shown. This is another thing that I really want to see more of. Not characters getting together, not them fighting so that their relationship doesn't have to be shown for too long in the book - just the characters actually being together. I feel like there are very few books where couples don't either get together at the very end, or break up a time or two throughout the book. Aren't there other problems for them to overcome that don't involve fighting with one another? I would like to see that portrayed more often.
Things I Dislike
7. The characters fall in love too quickly. I'm actually pretty lenient when it comes to this. I enjoy light reads where the characters fall together quickly. I think, if that's what the book is meant to be, then it's perfectly okay. But some couples fall in love too quickly for even me to overlook.
8. One, or both, of the characters have awful lives that are "fixed" by the other person. This applies to home situations, mental illness, etc. It's okay to depend on other people, but when the love interest does everything and the main character isn't trying to help themselves, their problems shouldn't be solved. In real life, they wouldn't be.
9. The love interest is there for the sake of the main character. (Or, the side characters are there for the sake of the main couple.) I know I mentioned this above a couple of times, but it's something I really dislike. The characters should be their own people. The love interest should have a life, as should the best friends.
10. There is someone (usually a popular girl) trying to keep the characters apart. This comes in several forms. She likes the guy as well and feels he was "stolen" from her. She's an ex, but he's so great that she just can't get over him. She has absolutely no reason, but she does pointlessly hate the main character, so there's that. I don't mind this one if there's a reason, and if the character trying to keep them apart is developed some, but that's rare.