Young adult and paranormal romance books are 1000% my guilty pleasure! BUT, as a person who self-identifies as a hopeless romantic even I have to say that there are certain recurring themes I see in these books that anger/irritate/disgust me. And I would just appreciate it if they could simply, stop being a thing because they are ridiculous and shallow and unbelievable.
1) “Love at First Sight”
Is not a thing and no one will convince me to the contrary! I can understand, that people would do crazy and maybe impulsive things because of love but not for the sake of someone you’ve known a whole three days. That does not make you sweet or romantic, it makes you irrational and insane. Imagine in real life how it would sound if someone declared love to you after three days. You would run in the other direction so fast and probably start blocking them on all of your social media accounts. Think about how short three days is in real life compared to the three days spanned out over one hundred pages in a book.
I can’t write an essay in three days! I can’t find a job in three days. I can’t write a chapter in three days. I sleep and I nap for the better part of a 24-hour day and I work. I go to school. I hang out with my friends! A lot of times I can’t even write a blog post in three days. In the past three days, I have accomplished next to nothing of importance, let alone found the love of my life. And now I’m expected to believe this character is going to declare love to someone after three days which, assuming that it was even possible, tells me that this character likely has too much time on their hands to learn that much about a person in three days.
And then you have those stories where two people get thrown together in some traumatic event over the span of three days where they are spending all of their time together and come out the other end of it madly in love. More believable would be they come out the other end as lifelong friends, if that! I don’t understand how two people being held hostage, fighting for their lives have time to fall head over heels in love with each other. At the very least, when you make it out alive try going on at least a few dates under less extreme, dramatic circumstances when you’re not forced to be together and thinking that you’re going to die.
Honestly, I think it is the cure to my obsession with romance novels. The books that I’ve been picking up that claim to be romance are more funny than anything else to me. Don’t get me wrong, I understand as a reader wanting to get to the good stuff fast but, please, for the sake of believability and writing a good book get a grip!
2) Neanderthal Love Stories
Chivalry is not dead and passionate is nice but there is a very fine line between being passionate and protective and just being terrifying. Seriously speaking, there is nothing romantic and nothing okay about showing off jealous, controlling, and temperamental as an ingredient toward a happy ending. I get to the end of the book and I’m waiting for someone to come to their senses but the author is just writing this like it’s totally normal to turn into a jerk when you get insecure or angry. It’s not cute and it’s not romantic and it’s unrealistic to make it seem like that relationship would pan out so well in real life. I read paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction books a lot and to me a good book is supposed to make the fictional at least sound like it’s realistic.
Again we see a fine line between fiction and lies. Do NOT put the idea into a young girls mind that a guy who is controlling her and jealous all the time, feeling the need to let everyone know, that she BELONGS to him is something to dream about in a relationship. Don’t lead people to believe that possessive equals fairy tale because there are people out there who will take those things to heart and get hurt because of it.
3) Weak Female Characters
Long story short, a girl falls in love with a guy and that is the story of her life. In the middle of an apocalypse she’s distracted about the annoying thing her boyfriend said last night. On the run from people trying to kill them and she finds it’s the perfect time to talk about the relationship. Really loves this guy that she’s known for three whole days, she’s ready to abandon her home and her family and her friends to run off with him. #Priorities
Her boyfriend did a really bad thing and she’s mad at him but then he kisses her and everything is okay with no actual conversation or addressing the problem. This whole thing actually goes both ways, I need for the characters to have ambitions, hopes, dreams….a life, outside of their significant other.
4) In the Past
This one goes for books and for movies. Character is crushing on a person who is or has been in the past taken by someone who is a bully or a jerk. You’ve got a person who is apparently perfect in every way. Smart, funny, and “kind” while they are dating the school bully. If the guy that you like is dating a girl who is mean, stop liking them. If the girl that you like is dating a guy who is a bully and picks on other people, move on and find someone else. In general, if the person that you like is dating somebody else, DO NOT PURSUE THEM! I think that there is good inside of everyone but why would you go from dating a bully one day to dating the person that they bullied the next day. Or even worse, the person that you’ve always secretly been in love with anyway. On top of having bad judgement, you admit that you were using somebody else because you couldn’t have who you really wanted, which is cruel and callous and not in the least bit sweet.
I don’t care how mean somebody is if you don’t really like them, you need to cut ties and stop playing them like you really want to be with them and if you’re going to date somebody who bullies other people how can you expect to just treat that like it’s nothing when you decide to move on to someone that you watched being bullied and did nothing about it. Even if they weren’t being bullied it’s ridiculous. Because really, I’m going to want to know why you were with them in the first place and I can’t automatically think of any reasons that aren’t vapid and shallow. Good for your reputation? They were popular? Attractive? They were always nice to you, while they were mean to everybody else and you were okay with watching them bully people.
No, no, no, and NO! I’m not saying that someone who made not so great decisions in the past should be penalized for that the rest of their lives but from one day to the next or even one week to the next, I can’t believe that you’ve fully dealt with whatever made you okay with standing passively by, dating someone who is constantly a jerk.
All that being said, I do really love romance books that have actual depth. Something slightly realistic and believable. Please stop ruining my favorite genre by writing characters with no self respect or common sense as if it’s normal and romantic. Please stop having all the men be Neanderthals and the women be blinded by love with no real personality. And PLEASE, actually tell me a story.