Top Ten Tuesday #25: What I Like/Dislike In Romance Novels


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/original feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the link to go to their site to see the original list.

We Filipinos love romance, there’s no denying that. Just look at the books we read, the songs we write and the movies we watch. Almost 70-80% of what I read has some romantic element in it, too. And I’m most comfortable writing in this genre. I daresay I’m most familiar with this style of writing and with the most commonly used tropes and what the readers expect from it.

This is probably my most favorite Top Ten topics so far! So, shall we start?

What I Like:

  • The great chemistry between the characters – A romantic book has to have characters with great chemistry. We Filipinos call it the “kilig” feeling. It’s equivalent to feeling giddy or swooning. For me, this is the best part of the story.

swooning gif


  • The you-and-me-against-the-world kind of romance – This is the kind of trope where one character discovers a huge secret (usually the girl) about themself or some huge proble m occurs and then the other character (usually the guy) helps them to overcome or accept it. Two great examples are Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and Hopeless by Colleen Hoover.
  • The Happily Ever After – Ah, this one is the most prevalent in romance books. We know that real-life romance doesn’t always end in happily ever after but books remind us that the power of love can still overcome even the toughest obstacles and everything will be okay in the end.
  • The dreamy beau – Who among you admittedly have a crush on an imaginary character? *raises hands* Yep.

rapunzel dreamy gif


  • Headstrong, badass females – I like a damsel in distress who can stand up for herself and is not afraid to kick ass!

charlie's angels gif


What I Don’t Like:

  • The abusive relationships – Or abusive boyfriends. Being a “bad boy” is one thing but being abusive is taking it too far. I don’t want my girls to settle for abusive boyfriends, no matter how hot and irresistible they are.
  • The love triangle – This is a double-edged sword. Some people like love triangles, others don’t. There are two types of love triangles I notice in romance books. The first one is where the main character already has a boyfriend/girlfriend but they fall in love with another person. While this may count as cheating (because you’re only supposed to be in love with the person you’re in a relationship, right?), it’s still justifiable if MC’s boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t truly love them or they’re only in the relationship because of social status. Some great examples of this kind of love triangle are Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, Faking It by Cora Carmack. The second kind of love triangle is where the girl (it’s usually the girl in this case) can’t pick just one guy and she goes on to love BOTH of them. *rolls eyes* Sometimes it could take three books before she settles in a decision. Seriously, how hard can it be to pick just one? I’m looking at you Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass and Shatter Me Trilogy by Tahereh Mafi.

narrow eyes gif


Side note: The first kind is fine for me but the second type of love triangle annoys the heck out of me but just because it’s annoying doesn’t make me automatically hate the book entirely. Tee-hee!

  • Too perfect characters – The guy is ultra-mega hot, he loaded, he’s a varsity player, the head of the student council. The girl has great body, ultra-rich, perfect swishing ponytail, she’s a straight A student, the head of the cheer team. Boooring! I love me some characters who mess up, characters that feel human, someone who the readers can relate to.
  • Expert Virgins – How can someone inexperienced be an expert in the field of love-making? Seriously? It doesn’t add up.
  • Cliffhangers – To be fair, I hate cliffhangers in all genres (if it’s not justified) but it’s the absolute WORST in romance. How dare you take me to the clouds above and leave me hanging? Luckily, I have yet to see this in romance books but if I do, you’ll be sure to hear me shriek like a banshee and burn the book.

Feel free to leave your Top Ten Tuesday below. 🙂

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday #25: What I Like/Dislike In Romance Novels

  1. I also hate when virgins (male or female) are depicted as so sexually talented their very first time. Even in the heat of the moment, you don’t go from nothing to everything overnight, and it takes time for most people to feel confident about sex and know what they’re doing beyond the basics. Even more unrealistic is when a character who starts out as some timid, shy, naïve virgin is suddenly asking for or engaging in rather advanced sexual activities.

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