Top Ten Likes/Dislikes in Love Stories

Hey y'all!It's Grace, here to do Top Ten Tuesday. For those of you unfamiliar with the feature, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish. I'm a sporadic participant in this one but I saw this week's topic and had to give my two cents.I love Valentine's Day. It's sappy and cheesy, but I'm a puns person at heart and I love seeing all the affection and kindness and joy surrounding the holiday. Even if you're not in a relationship, I think it does everyone a whole lot of good being around a good feeling.Naturally, there are a lot of romance-themed blog posts floating around the blogosphere. And honestly, I'm down with that too because most of my favorite books are romances, or feature a romantic subplot. This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic? Top Ten Likes and Dislikes in Love Stories.I have a lot to draw for this one so here we go:

LIKES

1. Realistic dates - As much as I love reading about the rappelling-and-a-picnic date, that doesn't just HAPPEN, particularly for most of us average seventeen-year-olds who are so exhausted from schoolwork that we'd rather just be unoriginal. I think one of the best parts of reading is being able to live vicariously so I enjoy these adventures thrown in every once in a while, but sometimes the characters should just stay in and watch a movie and that's okay. I love reading about the takeout date just as much.2. The unusual pairing - By this, I don't mean the head cheerleader and the Goth. I don't mean the goody two-shoes and the bad boy. I mean, I love reading about relationships in which each person brings a unique perspective to the table and each one challenges the other. There should be a learning curve, and I love reading that.3. Texting, pictures, and modern froufrou - A huge THANK YOU goes out to authors who incorporate this annoying bit of reality. As much as we desperately wish it could be like a few years ago, the truth is that a lot of communication between couples, in love stories, is through text. Those little things - an author mentioning a girl picking up her phone to check for a text - makes it realistic and fleshes it out just enough for me to thoroughly enjoy. Prime example? Lauren Myracle does this perfectly in The Infinite Moment of Us.4. Physical little details - I talked last year about Peeta's eyelashes. C'mon, not every YA hero has the same face. Can we NOT describe the same square jaw over and over? Mention freckles. Mention weird quirks. The little things that some girl - or guy, depending on the narrator - would actually notice when they're together. It makes any love story much less stale when you know that the characters actually notice each other.5. Friendships - I'll admit, I love a good best-friend-turns-romance. But that's not all I mean by this. I mean that I want to read about the couple who are best friends, mess with each other. And I love banter that's done successfully. If your characters love each other, shouldn't they like each other too?

DISLIKES

1. Convenient encounters - Naturally, the love interests run into each at the same restaurant and then just HAPPEN to run into each other at the gym the next day. Even in a small town setting, really? It's out of character and it feels bizarre.2, Distant heroes - Repeat after me, young adult authors: IT'S NOT LOVE IF YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT EACH OTHER. That's attraction. There's a distinct - and important - difference and if you're writing about love to a ton of impressionable fifteen-year-olds (me circa 2013), that means something. Please please please let us know the love interests.3. Tunnel vision - Okay, I get this one. I know it's realistic for a teen to get total tunnel vision when it comes to his or her relationship but if every scene involves a romantic encounter, I'm going to get really tired really quickly. Do you not have any other interests?4. Tragedy as a necessity - There are some beautiful, well-done books in which a significant other dies or has a distinct tragedy. It's lovely, if done right, and adds a much needed wrench to the story. But it's not NECESSARY, and YA is becoming oversaturated with these titles that only carry a punch because (shocker!) somebody dies at the end. Let's not turn into Nicholas Sparks, okay? I'll read about mental disorders and tragedy, but make it matter to their perspective as a character, not as a paltry plot device.5. Instalove - This one's pretty much a given and it's such a facet of YA by now that I've essentially written it already. It bothers me to no end when book couples (and real-life for that matter, but that's not my domain) start using the word "forever" or "destiny" when they've known each other for WEEKS at best. Convince me that it's going to last, or I won't root for the heroine trying to save her fallen angel boyfriend. (I use that example because this was especially prevalent during the paranormal boom of 2008-2012.)

What are y'all's book-love pet peeves? What romances do you like to read?

 

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