Favorite romances from someone who hates romance

In honor of Valentine’s day, I’ve decided to put my usual, cynical self aside, and talk about Love.

Maybe it’s a bit of an exaggeration to say that I hate romance. Let’s just say that I only like romance when it’s not really the main focus of the book (it can be a big theme, but there has to be something more to the story) and when it’s written in a very specific way, and most books fall short of that expectation.

I like the slow-burn, the build-up, the pining in your corner for an undetermined period of time … But, all that without the drama. I don’t like crazy and stupid twists, like “omg, he’s holding another girl’s hand when I thought we were together !”. The miscommunication is only fun when it’s done well, and it’s never done well. I don’t like when characters act in irrational and exaggerated ways because of jealousy. I don’t like unhealthy relationships that are not acknowledged as unheathly relationships. I don’t like emotional manipulation when it comes to love. And most of all, I don’t like when authors/publishers/readers force those things I hate on me and expect me to just be grateful, because that’s what Love Stories are all about. I mean, you can make romance interesting without adding all those unhealthy and exaggerated stuff. If you write it well.

I like characters who take a long time to meet in the middle : because of outside forces, because of their personal journey, … What I like is when relationships come as a reward, like, the characters managed to pull through when you felt it was an impossible outcome.

That being said, here are some of my favorite romances.

Simon vs The Homo-Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli

cherryandsisters.tumblr.com

.

When I picked up this book, I knew that most people only had good things to say about it, but I wasn’t sure where I would stand. You’d think that I’d be more lenient when it’s about queer romance, but that’s really not the case (Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan was a really tiny book, but one I had a hard time finishing, and that’s when I learned my lesson). So, that’s why Simon took me by surprise. I was invested in the romance from the beginning, and I want you to know that it’s a rare phenomenon.

.

Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

jovaline.tumblr.com

.

I’ve read Fangirl when people were still stuck on Augustus Waters, and I thought it was a right shame that no one mentioned Levi. Yes, Augustus is amazing, and witty and blah blah blah, but Levi is the sweetheart you need (also he doesn’t die). I loved his relationship with Cath, it was all gradual and effortless and, at the end of the book, those two are an evidence. I think I really liked that they were friends before they became something else. You don’t dive right in, you’re brought quietly along the way.

.

.

.

.

The Raven Cycle, by Maggie Stiefvater

meabhd.tumblr.com
picapicae.tumblr.com

Whether you ship Blue/Gansey or Adam/Ronan (or both, like me), Maggie sure gives slow-burn a new meaning. It’s basically the perfect example of the type of romance stories that I love : it’s not in the forefront, and the glimpses you get actually make you crave more. The way she writes romance is soft and subtle, but still meaningful. Maybe even more meaningful that grand gestures.

.

Afterworlds, by Scott Westerfeld

discordanddarkness.tumblr.com

.

.

The same way I loved the effortlessness of Levi and Cather’s relationship, I love Darcy and Imogen’s cuteness. They were very much “No big deal” about it, although Darcy was internally freaking out.  And I loved every minute of it. I’m also craving more books with queer girls.

.

.

.

.

Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Or, as I like to call it : “Epic Romance Of All Time”. There isn’t another book that’s labelled “Love Will Make You Cry” as this one is. And I loved it. I was with them from beginning to end, and I’ve loved every adaptation of the book I’ve seen (movie and BBC series – Colin Firth, my love !). I felt like “such a girl” but I didn’t give a shit, because I understood the hype and why it’s classic. Good job here, Jane Austen.

..

.

The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller

feliciores.tumblr.com

.

Another romance that made me cry. I was basically reading this because it reminded me of my actual OTP, but then I ended up being so invested in the story, that I kept going because of Achilles and Patroclus. Their relationship is also very gradual, and so fierce ! Everything gets in their way, but they’re the constant and it’s beautiful.

 .

.

.

What kind of love story makes you swoon ? Do you have a favorite fictional couple ?

.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Favorite romances from someone who hates romance

  1. You and I are the same. I don’t think I ever pick up a book because of the romance alone. This is one of the reasons I hardly venture into the contemporary genre. I need adventure with my romance and I need to feel the build-up and get to know the characters individually. Elizabeth and Darcy are my ultimate OTP. Great list!

    Like

  2. Simon and Blue’s relationship is THE CUTEST. I admit it, I read a lot of contemporary, and I like romances, but, like you, I love slow building and when the relationship has ups and downs, but not for the stupidest reasons like, did he hold another girl’s hand, or something like that. Even if I DO happen to read that, it’s not my favorite. I love when the relationship comes as a reward, like you perfectly said 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pride and Prejudiceeeee!! Yes! Also Cath and Levi are so cute.
    I need to read Simon vs The Homo-Sapiens Agenda soon! It sounds great!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s