Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week we get a new topic for a top ten list. Romance in books is probably one of the most contested things I see in the blogosphere. Everyone has an opinion on what works and what doesn’t. Here’s what works for me.
1. The slow burn. Very anti-instalove over here, people. I need the development, I need the growth, I need the journey together. It’s one of my least favorite tropes. That and love triangles.
2. Equals. I hate it when one person is always trying to protect the other. Why can’t they just protect each other? I don’t like it when one person has all the power in the relationship. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses but I like it when these even out.
3. Touching. Get your head out of the gutter! I mean the innocent kind. One of the reasons why I usually enjoy YA more than NA or adult is that there’s more of the fade-to-black kind of situations. I like a steamy read as much as the next girl, but I prefer when we get more of the kind of physical intimacy that isn’t just about lust. The forehead touches, the hand-holding, the I-can’t-not-be-touching-you-right-now type of intimacy.
4. Banter. I love me some banter. It’s the first sign that two people are going to get it on. Give me pages and pages of witty, clever dialogue.
5. Not getting pulled apart for something stupid. You know those moments where the couple you’re shipping finally has a chance to be together, they’re both in the right place, and then something small like a misunderstanding ruins it? I HATE that. I like when couples get together and aren’t pulled apart by some ridiculous plot point. Just let them be together! That doesn’t mean things have to be easy for them.
6. Friends first. I love, love, love when a couple starts off as friends. This ties into the slow burn thing. It just feels so much more natural to me when they finally get together if they’re friends first.
7. Camaraderie. I love it when a couple can be a couple but still have really strong friendships outside of the relationship. Group friendships are my favorite and I love when a couple can have meaningful interactions with other people and don’t just ignore everyone else to be with each other.