Debate It: Romance as a Plotline

Romance in books is a wonderful thing, that is one of us here on the blog agrees. Welcome to a new feature we plan on starting called Debate It! Where you get to see the kinds of arguments that Malka and Chana have firsthand. Lucky you!

Malka:

Malka is the sucker for a good romance in books. See, I read books to enjoy myself. I read for a good time. I like my books the fluffier the better, most of the time. And to get that fluff, you need a good romance in my opinion.  

See a good romance can really help the book. You get to see the beginnings of a relationship usually. You get to see how the main character reacts to different issues that come up along the way in her relationship. And you just get to see cuteness. WHAT DO YOU HAVE AGAINST CUTENESS, CHANA?

so cute cady heron GIF

Chana:

Okay so here’s the thing. When I read books I aim for the least fluffy, least romance oriented books that I can find. I don’t like fluff. I don’t like love. I don’t like happiness. And no Malka, I don’t like cuteness.

Just kidding. I’m not a total monster. But there are definitely some things that I have some beef with within the romance oriented genre. I don’t like it when a book focuses solely on a weak romance forced between two characters. For me it seems like there’s no plot. And yes, I know that the romance storyline is supposed to be the plot, but it just seems so trivial to me. Honestly, I think my taste for fluffy and romancey books has been spoiled by bad fluffy and romancey books. Seeing things like insta love, or dopey main female characters whose thoughts are always centered about some dumb guy bores me and makes me cringe. I don’t like reading about idiots, and I’m sure most people would agree with me. And when you have a poorly written fluffy novel with two dumb main characters, the overwhelming fear that the two characters will procreate to produce a child that’s dumb squared is terrifying.

Malka: 

Huh, I hear your concerns. And I agree. Not all romance is done well. But I have two things to say. Number one, if I romance is so supremely bad because of dumb characters, there doesn’t have to be a romance for it to be a bad book. It’s just a bad book. In fact, many books that I don’t like feature main characters who are plain dumb. But they usually aren’t just dumb when it comes to love, they’re morons in general. And secondly, I like my baseline to be a romance. I take it from there whether it’s good or bad. But I like to know that there’s the potential of a love story for the characters. It means there’s a much greater chance of a happily ever after.

Chana: 

I definitely can agree with you on the dumb people front, but I think that when I look for a book I like looking for one that doesn’t involve romance within the plotline. It just seems to be something I’m not very interested in, and I’d rather immerse myself in a plot devoid of such things. I have to admit that I’ve recently been letting up on my romance ban bit by bit, since I have been reading books where the romance is passable. Though I also have to add that one of the reasons I may be opposed to romance is because of my Old Man Syndrome, in which I just think all young people are dumb and should grow up and learn better. In general I’ve been trying to keep more of an open mind when it comes to books, going so far as to not even look up the plot and genre of the book before reading it. I know that this is something you disagree with, but we should probably save that for another debate it.

 

Do you like romance focused novels? Are you #teammalka or #teamchana in this edition of Debate It?

26 thoughts on “Debate It: Romance as a Plotline

  1. I like romance in my books, as long as I like both the characters individually as well. I wish there were were more fluffy books without romance though, sometimes you just need something light that’s not romantic? A nice fluffy friendship novel would be nice sometimes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear that. If I dislike a character, or don’t think they’re developed well enough, that will definitely impact my enjoyment of a book. And as long as a book promises fluff, I want to read it, so why not diversify what counts as fluff and add in some cute friendship stories.

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  2. Ohhh what an interesting post and what a great way to talk about the topic, I love it so much! ❤
    I have to say, I'm a marshmallow and fluffy at heart, I'll always seek out a great romance in books, but I also really seek character-development and great characters, too, so… if there is romance, but the characters individually feel, somehow, poor or one-dimensional, I won't be too into it, either. and I agree on the insta-love and bad romances, too, these are so frustrating and sometimes very unnecessary, in some books, where the story could be great without any kind of romance.
    Anyway I'm kind of rambling haha, I always like a little romance in my books, but when it's well-done, too, haha 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!

      Yaaaaaas! Another one for #teammalka! I totally agree. I reach fro books if they promise fluff, but I also need there to be substance. I don’t necessarily love all the romances I read, and I reflect that in my ratings of the books. In fact I’m currently reading a book that I picked up because I thought it would have a cute enemies to lovers romance going on, but alas, all the fighting is just making me dislike both characters without me shipping them at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. First of all, I LOVE this feature and I can’t wait to see even more debates in the future. Secondly, I think I might be a very watered down version of #TeamChana. I actually really love romance in books, but I tend to prefer when there’s something else going on as well and the romance isn’t the only focus.

    That being said, I’ve read some fantastic books that were pure romances—when the characters are well-drawn, a romance will capture my heart. And I agree with Malka that ANY book with lackluster characters is just a poorly-written book; it doesn’t matter what genre it is. In the end, I think I sit firmly in between you two, but if I had to edge over to one side, I guess it would be Chana’s (sorry, Malka!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yaaay! #TeamChana for the win! If you have some recommendations for some good romances let me know! I’ve been trying to test the waters recently, and have become very very very slightly more open to reading books whose plot-lines centered a bit more around the romance (though not completely romance, baby steps 😂).

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  4. I feel a little bad picking a side, but I think I have to be #TeamChana on this debate.

    While I do enjoy a nice, fluffy romance every once in a while, I mostly read fantasy and science fiction. Those genres tend to be more action and world-building focused than romance-based. I think that a bad romance can definitely ruin a book for me, no matter how large or small of a role it has.

    I also don’t think that a romance is necessary for a happy ending. Especially in fantasy and sci-fi, I don’t think there even needs to be a romance in every story. You can get those cutesy feelings from a friendship or other relationships in a novel that aren’t romantically oriented. For example, I LOVE a good parent-child relationship in novels. It is pretty rare in YA, but I love family-oriented relationships.

    That being said, I am still a huge fan of some contemporaries (most recently To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) and I don’t want to give them up necessarily. My preference is for books to focus on character development, world-building, and action; I don’t want a book to compromise any of these factors to squeeze a romance in.

    Thanks for the great discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also tend to stick to sci-fi and fantasy, which I think is why I’m generally a bit unused to super romantic books. And yes! I wish there were more YA books with family-oriented relationships, they can’t do that though because all family must die in YA books 🙄 Thanks for choosing #TeamChana 😉

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  5. Gah this is a great question, and I can’t fully decide where I fall! I do enjoy a good romance (key word being “good” hah) but only when part of a bigger story? So I think perhaps I fall somewhere in the middle! I don’t want to only read about mushy stuff (mostly because it just makes me feel even worse about life hahah) but I do like some romance, try as I might to feel otherwise hahah. Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’ve also started to enjoy some books that have romance in them when they’re not the main focus. Mostly because there are so many books I want to read that just happen to have romance in them, but I’ve started to notice that I’ve begun enjoying some of it along the way.

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