So romance... it inevitably shows up in most YA books. It doesn't even matter the genre. Girl could be in the middle of a futuristic war with no food, dirty, freezing to death, and you better believe she'll be crushing on some boy who she met along the way.
Now, I have zero problems with that. It's a book, we want to be entertained and feel something and romance is part of that. Plus, young adulthood is a time of hormones and first loves and crushes and all that. So I get why it's a popular book element.
The thing is--- I'm picky about my romances. It almost has to have this perfect unexplainable FEELING for me to like it. What I mean by that is, if some small thing feels wrong to me, I'm OUT. Abandon ship. Bye Girl.
Like-- the guy comes on too strong, NOPE. the guy makes it super obvious he likes the girl from first sight and just blurts it out, nope. There is a really traumatic event and a romance feels out of place for the story, nope. The guys starts acting like the girl is made of porcelain, HELL NO.
But-- these allllll have exceptions. Like in The Vincent Boys.
The Vincent Boys Exception:
- The Vincent Boys is about a "good" girl, the preacher's daughter. She's been in a relationship since forever with Sawyer, who is also a "good" guy. But she's always been attracted to his bad-boy cousin Beau. They grew up together and Beau and Ashton used to be partners in crime... but as they got older, Ashton and Sawyer paired off. There's a bunch of BLAH things in this book like Ashton being a virgin and alluding to that making her "pure". Also, there's like 999 descriptions of Beau's abs. So all of that together and I would normally be like-- NO!
But the way it was written and the setting and the family, I was LOVING every minute.
Other Romances That Did and Didn't Work For Me:
My Life Next Door-- Jase-- YES!!
- Loved how their romance developed. Jase may have been a TAD too good to be true, but it was a sweet relationship and didn't annoy me at all.
The Female of the Species-- Jack--- LOVE
- This definitely isn't a romance book, but when Jack and Alex get together it's kind of adorable. Jack was bordering on the cliche "hottest guy in the school who likes the girl that no one notices", but we get to see from his POV and it just works.
Tell Me Three Things-- Ethan-- BLAH
- Ethan was fine, it was Jessie that ruined this romance for me. It was one of those things where she's constantly in her own head drooling over him, but then telling herself she can't do that.
Stalking Jack the Ripper-- Thomas-- no then YES
- At first I was like here we go-- another I hate you, then I love you romance. But while Thomas was frustrating to Audrey, eventually it became this really cute back and forth banter that was fun and inappropriate in all the best ways :)
The Creeping-- Sam--OMG YES
- Another exception. I shouldn't have liked this Sam/Stella relationship. He's this nerdy guy that's carried a torch for Stella no matter how horrible she's been to him through the years. And he says weird things like "say the word and I'll be all over you". Maybe it was the wishful thinking part of me, but I thought Sam was too adorable to get annoyed at. We need more Sam's in the world.
This is Where it Ends--NO inappropriate
- This book takes place during a horrific school shooting and while I know tragedies bring people together, I don't think it's appropriate for people to be outside DURING the shooting getting together. SO insensitive. A true example that every book does NOT have to have a romance forced in.
The Lunar Chronicles-- Too many couples
- I love this series, but the romance elements are probably my least favorite parts. There is too much coupling up and besides Cinder and Kai (or Cinder and Thorne), I'm really not a fan of any of them (Scarlett and Wolf and totally Insta-love and Cress and Thorne is Stalker-city).
To All the Boys I've Loved Before-- Cute
- Another example of a romance I should have not liked, but somehow I did. Peter and Lara Jean are really cute, and to be against it would be like looking at a puppy and being like "I hate you".
I will say I don't read a lot of straight-up romance, which could be a reason that I don't love some of the romances. The reason I don't read a lot of romance books though is because I'm super picky about it.
The end result is, it all comes down to how it's written. Romance can go bad really easily, and it has to walk a fine line of being swoony without being overly sickening. It probably also depends on my mood.
Now Let's Talk:
Are you super picky about romances or are you able to just go with it? What are some of your favorite and not so favorite romances?