When it comes to romances in books…wow, hmm, look at them all, it’s like a plague.
JUST KIDDING. Look, I’m not the most romantic (read: n o t at a l l) person on earth, but in my old age I’ve actually softened up to reading the cute fluff romances. They’re adorable, ok?! Look at these little babies GO, being awkward and having crushes and starting the actual apocalypse! Such a fan of the last part particularly!
It’s also empowering to read romances were teens think they might never get one because they’re marginalised or mentally ill or disabled, or have to face sexism or homophobia or racism. These stories are needed.
However there is a lot of romance in YA particularly and I really do think there could be less. Just sometimes!? PLEASE THO.
And since Chloe tagged me for the Anti-Valentine’s Book Tag…I mean, WHY NOT! Even though it’s not February anmore because I am slow here! I’m also going to be devious and use my questions + some of the ones she was asked too. I can’t be reasonable ok. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ And feel free to take these questions for your own blog too!
Also please appreciate the pun of my title. You know…romance, nomance!? NO IT PROBABLY DOESN’T TRULY MAKE SENSE BUT WHAT IS SENSE ANYWAY!
1. BOOK THAT SHOWS THE UPS AND DOWNS OF A RELATIONSHIP, NOT JUST ALL THE HIGH TIMES.
- HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME…although let’s be real, just pick an Adam Silvera book and nominate it because he just believes in making everyone cry. (VERY NICE.) But this one features lots of messy couples and exes and still-being-in-love-with-a-boyfriend-but-then-he-dies-and-wow-this-is-a-mess.
- ALWAYS AND FOREVER LARA JEAN…which honestly stressed me out so freaking much because I just wanted a happily ever after and the dRAMA of Lara Jean and Peter actually admitting they like each other. (Also who else is super excited for the Netflix movie?!)
- DEFINITIONS OF INDEFINABLE THINGS… I love Reggie and Snake so much. I swear I didn’t even mean to love this book and then I was full on slapping 5-stars everywhere and naming my firstborn fish Definitions in honour of it. (I do, actually, have a fish! It has 2 babies! I think it ate the rest but what can you do motherhood is hard.) Anyway I liked how this one talked so openly about how brutal depression can be, and about your ability to believe you’re worth loving.
2. BOOK WHERE ROMANCE FELT FORCED AND WOULD’VE BEEN BETTER WITHOUT IT.
Oh UGH SO MANY. Literally 95% of epic fantasies. And going to point at Tyler Johnson Was Here too because that book is so beautiful and powerful and about brothers…and then the romance felt like it was filling a quota?! And I’m obsessed with Ink and Bone alright? OBSESSED. But my love for my toaster is better than Jess/Morgan’s romance.
3. WORST / BEST LOVE TRIANGLES.
I don’t like triangles, except for sometimes…and I’d really like to see some actual triangles where we have everyone’s hearts torn in different directions?! Otherwise it’s not e v e n a triangle, C’MON BE ACCURATE.
Ash Princess (SHE SHOULD’VE KILLED HIM LIKE SHE PLANNED)
From Twinkle, With Love (actually this was a love square and I’m so tired haha)
And I Darken (I love this book and HATE Mehmed so both Radu/Lada deserve better)
Half Bad (again LOVE the story but no @ Annalise)
4. AN OTP THAT THE BOOK COMMUNITY LOVES BUT YOU HATE
I do not ship Ron and Hermione okay? I DON’T UNDERSTAND. He’s awful and she’s really smart! Ron is like the wilted lettuce lost in the back of your fridge. hERMIONE IS THE QUEEN WHO DESERVES EVERYTHING GOOD.
5. LOVE DOESN’T CURE ALL…BOOK WHERE THE LOVE “APPARENTLY” CURES EVERYTHING.
- Optimists Die First — also this is just an awful book that mocks anxiety
- Holding Up The Universe — cures a disability ?!? like literally not possible lmao but it’s his TRUE LOVE so it cures his face-blindness.
- Thanks For The Trouble — looool WHAT ANXIETY if there is a pretty girl !! to fix !! everything !!
6. A CONTEMPORARY EVERYONE LOVES BUT YOU’D GLADLY BURN.
13 Reasons Why is literally SO PROBLEMATIC I COULD COMBUST. I don’t actively believe books “shouldn’t exist” but this one is so heckin’ problematic because it:
- gives a “free pass” to abusive people if they’re mentally ill (no)
- it blames people who don’t speak up against bullying as basically murderers (this is so dangerous to tell teens it’s THEIR job to fix everyone’s, often time invisible, problems)
- uses suicide as a revenge tactic, making it seem like GOOD OPTION
- doesn’t actually raise awareness for suicide prevention or mental health care despite claiming to
- romanticises suicide
- the author is actually an alleged sexual harasser if that isn’t the icing on this disgusting sandwich
7. FLOWERS AND CHOCOLATES OR BOOKS? WHICH WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE AS A VALENTINE GIFT?
I actually hate being given gifts, ha! No really, I find it so awkward, I hate surprises, and then I feel like I have to give back x 1000 of what I was given? So like, oh you gave me a book? I AM INDEBTED TO YOU FOR 97 YEARS AND WILL REPAINT YOUR CEILING 12 TIMES OVER.
However, I would be totally down to like ACCIDENTALLY INHERIT a small fortune, which I would spend, obviously, on books.
8. BOOK WHERE ROMANCE ADDED TO THE STORY.
- The Raven Cycle! beCAUSE I SHOULD MENTION IT MULTIPLE TIMES
- The Wicker King (brb sOBBING but also this was a perfect conclusion to a tumultuous relationship)
- Lady Midnight (it’s pivotal to the actual plot)
- The Art Of Feeling (I don’t talk about this one enough but it’s SO CUTE and the romance is adorable and dysfunctional…Eliot mostly just googles it and Sam whacks people with her crutches if they bully him)
9. BOOK FEATURES MALE / FEMALE RELATIONSHIP THAT DOESN’T TURN ROMANTIC.
I love LOVE love Radio Silence for doing this! It isn’t a love story between Frances and Aled. It is thoroughly nerdom, anxiety and friendship and mental illness and I loooove it so much.
Also some other books with NO romance between the main characters if you’re interested:
10. BEST VS WORST LOVE-TROPES.
Now we get to the NOMANCE. (Shhh I’m aware it still doesn’t make sense but I’m incorrigible.)
alpha male romances (puking)
love curing anything
unbalanced romances (one loves the other a LOT but it’s not deeply reciprocated)
unlikeable/mean people having 398 people crushing on them (how?!?)
falling in love with abusers
when two people with 0% in common walk into a room and fall in love (#so #tired)
soft cinnamon romances
Slytherin/Hufflepuff pairings (!!)
when it’s just really tentative and smol and you nearly miss it but it’s there
friendship-to-lovers and enemies-to-lovers
when it takes forever for them to get together
endless snark that turns into romance
when they’re super busy outwitting / running schemes / juggling complex cunning plots, but accidentally fall in love toooooo