Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing? How are your holidays going? I’m just sitting here sipping peppermint mocha coffee and procrastinating writing this post. I don’t know why I have no motivation. It’s another number thingie, so it’s not like I have to think of a topic. I’m just lazy. This week’s pick is courtesy of the amazing Olive (a fellow Stonecoaster)! She chose number 6. I’ve done 13 (you can find the prompt list there), 7, 2, 8, 3, and 10. I’m down to 14, 11, and 1, so only a few more weeks (plus a couple of book reviews and a possible birthday post) before I have to think of things again. Ugh. Anyway, this week’s prompt is “Tell me which book had the most swoon-worthy romance.” Le sigh…
I’m going to be completely honest. Romance has never been high up on my lists of must haves for a good book. I don’t mind the whole romantic subplot thing. In fact, it’s usually expected in a lot of the genres I read, but it’s very rarely the point of the stories. I’m actually a bigger fan of the found family trope. Enemies to lovers is fun. Angsty doom and gloom personality vs. sunshine and glitter queen/king is nice too. But how do I pick? And it doesn’t help that I gravitate toward the psychopathic characters. In other words, I’m having a really hard time thinking of actual swoon-worthy romances that won’t get me weird looks. Books. I need to think of books, not manga/manhwa. This is hard.
I’m going to go with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell as an example of a relatively healthy (from what I remember) budding relationship. Sure, there’s the conniving asshat that we all know isn’t the endgame romance interest and a bunch of missteps with the actual endgame dude that could be cleared up with a simple talk, but for a college first love thing, it has all the right warm and fuzzy moments. And when they finally get together… -chef’s kiss-. Plus the book sets up one of my favorite dysfunctional romances: Simon and Baz (from the Simon Snow books). I know I shouldn’t love them, but I do. They make me squee, which is as good as a swoon.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is weirdly one of my favorite romantic subplots. Why? Because it’s barely there. You can feel the growth and changes in the relationship between Puck and Sean, but in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t important. Life is happening and things are kind of nuts and this subtle shift into love is there, but other stuff is taking priority over it and that’s fine. It’s more realistic to me than those stories where love overpowers everything else.
Don’t get me wrong, I do occasionally go looking for obvious romances, but it’s usually just fluffy gay stuff that gets all the d’awwwwwwwwwwwws. Or really dark stuff, like The Beast Must Die by Lee Hyeon-Sook. Yeah, I had to slip a manhwa in here. Sorry, not sorry. I’m not fond of the trope that brings the two main characters together (woman they both know kills herself because of bad things and they set out to avenge her), but all the murder is fun. Kang Moo is one of my favorite little psychopaths. I swoon over him. But yeah… it gets dark fast. Don’t read if you’re delicate.
So, since I’m not very well read when it comes to romance and romantic subplots, feel free to suggest books. Or manga/manhwa/webtoons. Whatever. Or just tell me what some of your favorite romantic tropes are. As always, feel free to share your comments or questions or whatever here or on my social media pages!