But romance has to get it right, which can be tricky. As much as I love romance, I can be a very picky romance reader. falls I've come across many books that have romance in them, but I feel like the romance falls flat. So I've been thinking about what makes a romance work. If a romance is going to get it right (for me at least), I think it needs to avoid these things:
-I really really hate "love at first sight" that never develops beyond that. No more of these stories where the characters see each other and are immediately have a "connection" all based on the other persons hotness.
-Relationships need to develop beyond making out. If the characters spend all their time making out and staring into each other's eyes and then three days later are saying "I love you"-I'm not buying it.
-Stop confusing "lust" with "love." So many romances are lust based, with the characters never getting beyond that lustful stage. Yes, I know it's YA and they are teens and hormones are raging, but really can we move on from that and actually have a deep meaningful relationship?
-I know bad boys are all the rage, but can't there be some love for the nice nerdy guys once in awhile? Why do most love triangles involve a sweet (and sometimes nerdy) best friend, and dark mysterious bad boy-with the dark mysterious bad boy winning?
Basically, for a romance to work for me, it has to have a believable romance. I need the characters to hang out, get to know other, experience the awkwardness of dating (especially the awkwardness of dating in the teen years!), and ultimately fall for each. For a romance to work for me, I need to fall in love with the love interest, not just be a bystander watching the characters lust and pine. I need to know what it is about these characters that make them fall for each other and if I come away from a book with a book crush, even better!
So who do I think gets romance right?
-Elizabeth Scott-especially with Something, Maybe. I fell hard for Finn and loved the way the relationship developed between Hannah and Finn.
-Meg Cabot-gotta love The Princess Diaries Michael and Mia and the slow friendship turned crush turned to romance
-Pretty much anything by Sarah Dessen-she knows how to write realistic contemporary romance!
-Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles-not only does she manage to pull off an incredibly steamy hot romance, the characters have more depth than each one thinks and their growth from hate to understanding to love makes it totally swoon worthy
-Graceling by Kristin Cashore-Katsa and Po don't start out in a romantic relationship-that element grows as their friendship grows and I have a soft spot for friends turned love interest-friendship is the best basis for a relationship! (Plus, when it does turn to romance, it's so hot because their friendship is so deep)
-Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker-a swoon worthy romance because the characters relationship is one that turns from annoyance to romance-and it has a very realistic feel to it (I love that Melissa didn't sugarcoat the ending too-she kept it real!)
And when in doubt, go to the ultimate romance comparison: Anne and Gilbert:
I mean, they had how many books to develop their relationship? They aren't even really romantic interests until book three!! Sure, Gilbert teased Anne and we all know it's because he likes her, and yes, we know Anne's indifference really is her hiding her love for him. But they take time to work things out, develop a friendship, and when they actually come together we the readers have fallen so in love with them and we can't help but cheer for them to be together at last!
So who gets romance right for you? What makes a romance work or not work?