Discussions

Romance Novel Tropes I Hate

Hello bookworms !!

First of all, you can now follow me on bloglovin’ !! Also, follow me on twitter @ABookishHuman (although most of you are probably here because of twitter) and instagram (where I post mini reviews, and reading updates and book hauls)

I got bored of doing tags and awards so thought of putting this up instead. Before I start this rant/discussion, let me say, if you’re someone who LOVES romance novels, good for you. I’m not judging you (I mean it !) and I have nothing against you or the authors. In fact, I think it’s quite difficult being a romance novel author. These are just my personal opinions based on books I’ve read or heard of from people around me.

As I’ve mentioned on several occasions, Romance is a genre I don’t like reading (trust me I’ve tried reading a few). The major reason for which is that most Romance books I’ve ever read are essentially the same and have one or multiple of the following tropes that I absolutely hate.

Dead/Terminally ill character/ character having memory loss

Yes ! I decided to start with the big one. I understand the appeal of this trope. Loving someone who’s terminally ill, loving someone who doesn’t even remember you, losing a loved one are emotions everyone either relates to or find “sweet”. But let’s be honest, it’s over-used now. I mean come on, is that the only definition of “TRUE LOVE” ?? Can’t two perfectly healthy individuals be completely in love with each other ? Is it really the only way to portray “UNCONDITIONAL” love ??

The Best Friend CAMEO

The main characters of EVERY romance novel are HORRIBLE “friends” really. They have so-called “best friends”, who are non-existent in their life until the point where they misunderstand their lover. The moment they have problems in their relationship, all of a sudden, out of NOWHERE appears the BEST FRIEND to listen to their problems and give them advice. If you call me your BEST friend and expect relationship advice from me, you better remember my existence when you’re happy in that relationship !! Otherwise, we’re NOT friends, you bitch !! I’m supposed to be a friend, not your fucking counselor !! Friendship works both ways.

Hate you only to love you later

Okay, when was the last time you ended up loving someone you absolutely HATE ?? You can go from disliking someone to loving someone. But HATING someone to LOVING them in the span of a few days/week ?? HOW ??? If the story takes YEARS in that transition, maybe I’ll buy it (maybe). But within week ? you’ve got to be kidding me !!

Love at first sight 

DOESN’T FUCKING HAPPEN. You might be attracted but “true love” takes time !

Lack of a personal/individual life

Dear authors, every person’s “love life” is a PART of their life. It is not their entire life. I understand it’s a romance novel and is supposed to focus on the love life but is it really that difficult to atleast give us a glimpse of their life OUTSIDE of that relationship.

Repeated Plots

Here’s the synopsis of most romance novels I’ve come across-

Girl meets boy, misunderstand each other and hence immediately HATE each other. Both of them are forced into dealing with a situation “together”, in the process they end up falling in love. Enters the second misunderstanding via jealous 3rd person/ one of them is dying so tries to push the other person away to avoid them the pain/ family/ they’re bloody stupid. The misunderstanding gets cleared and they live happily ever after or if it’s the dying/terminally ill story, one of them dies and the other lives on with the memory of the one who’s dead.

If there’s a different plot there, let me know. And don’t tell me the minor details vary and that’s the beauty of it. Honestly, the minor details aren’t different either except for names and the way they look. Even the clothing doesn’t vary much.

Edit (thanks to Grace): Girl & Boy are best friends who realise they love each other

I forgot to add this point until Grace from City of Novels commented. So thank you Grace for reminding me.

WHY ?? Can’t best friends remain best friends ? WHYYYY ? Not every best friend ends up becoming your boyfriend/girlfriend !! This one is also frequent in movies.

Extra : Naked or not naked people on covers

I hate people on covers (unless they’re illustrations or just a silhouette). This is also why I hate movie tie-in editions of books (any genre). I have no sensible valid reason for this, I just DON’T like it. Simple as that !!

The one romance novel I did like a bit is The Time Traveller’s Wife, which was mainly because there was the whole time-travelling thing in there that was new and thanks to that, a lot of the tropes were avoided or at least made sense (What I mean is, it wasn’t there just to move the story ahead).

If you know a romace novel that doesn’t follow the above trends AND doesn’t have a naked dude or any person infact on the front cover, do let me know in the comments below. I MIGHT (just a possibility not a guarantee) check it out.

If you feel offended despite that second para, well…

Thanks for reading through that rant !! Have a lovely day !

Also, in case anyone’s wondering, You’re right ! I don’t like Romcom movies either.

-Vrinda.

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45 thoughts on “Romance Novel Tropes I Hate

  1. Oh my god….I am SO over the whole “hate you only to love you later” trope as well!! Especially when the characters are really rotten to one another!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that trope when it’s done well, but it’s seriously abused a lot of the time. I read a story recently with that trope where the man destroyed a sentimental possession of the woman out of malice and a need for control and I’m like, “well I’m not going to like you now, even when you guys do start liking each other.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Even though I do enjoy reading some romance novels,I have to agree with you! I hate the whole “love at first sight” trope like how could you possibly love someone when you know nothing about them?! Ah it’s just annoys me haha🙈

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG gurl!! I LOVE this post! I don’t like reading purely romance novels either! I like when romance is a part of other genres but a story just about two people falling in love….NOT my cup of tea! Also these tropes drive me oh so crazy!!! I also HATE the Love cures all :/ It’s such an insulting trope to people with health problems!

    Person suffering from depression meets ‘romantic interest’. Person’s depression is washed away by romantic interest’s lurveee. Uma takes a pen and stabs thyself in the eye.

    And also the whole “If you won’t listen to me, I’ll be aggressive and then you’ll find me romantic…” Like sorry NO that is NOT romantic!!!

    Sorry, got carried away..I love ranting about such tropes 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is literally the most accurate thing I’ve ever read. I’m not big on romance novels either… especially YA romance because EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. HAS. ALL. OF. THESE. TROPES. (Ok maybe I’m exaggerating a little… but not really)
    The best friend thing I kind of get (but still it’s used so often it’s just annoying at this point) and the “love at first sight” makes me literally want to punch something. It’s so annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t read a lot of exclusively romantic novels, but romance is part of most of the stories I read. I really enjoyed the discussions around romance novels in the books Kissing in America (which, despite the title, isn’t really a romance) and What I Thought Was True (which is a romance, but still has a great best friends and family and ‘more to life’ than romance, which is how it should be.) I agree that these tropes have issues, but I guess there are also reasons they exist so *shrugs* I love your gifs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Shanti 😊 And of course every book has a little romance in it and I like those, because there’s a lot more to the story. Also the characters have a lot more depth and strength to them in those stories. This rant was only about exclusively romantic novels. Of course they work for those who love romance novels, just not for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t tend to read romance, because the stories tend to just be recycled and dull. I’d prefer a book where the romance just happens to tie into an actual plot, and isn’t the main thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha..This post is great 😀 Though I like the romance genre, all these things are true and I can’t agree more. I hate people on covers too and This the movie tie-in editions of books.. seriously.. Hi-five Sista’ 😛 seriously, I don’t understand why they make such covers.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Haha love this post! It made me smile 🙂
    I love reading romance books but even I can’t help but agree with some of these points. I hate instalove, because it’s just not real. And I agree that characters need to have their own life as well and that not everything should revolve around their significant other!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Let me see… true, true, true… yes, it’s as I suspected – I agree with everything.

    I think another issue for some people is that romance tends to be character-centered, meaning not so much happens except for character development. Which I particularly don’t mind, but some people mind it a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I do have a problem with a lack of plot but I don’t mind if atleast the character development is good. Unfortunately, in most Romance books, the bad guy turns nice because of the nice girl but “miss goody two shoes” hardly undergoes any character development at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ooooh I’ll add to this list: Girl and boy are best friends their entire life and then suddenly realize they like each other and fall in love. Why can’t a girl and a boy ever just be friends? It’s like some authors think a relationship can’t be deep and meaningful unless it’s romantic.

    Liked by 1 person

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