Discussion, Guest Post

5 Reasons Why Love in Books is Overrated | Clo from Book Dragons 24/7

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5 Reasons Why Love in Books is Overrated | written by Clo from Book Dragons 24/7

As you may know I’m away for a long weekend as a birthday treat so I very kindly asked the #NewBloggers group if anyone would like to guest post whilst I was gone.

The lovely Clo stepped up with a few ideas she’d happily write and “5 reasons why love in books is overrated” was one that stood out to me as I was intrigued to hear her thoughts as its something I agree with.

Keep reading to find out her reasons why!

INTRODUCTION

Before I get into the points, I’d just like to say, I love reading about love. I enjoy a good love sub plot or main plot. I enjoy contemporaries and I’m not bothered by romance, though I don’t read it all that much. I tend to stick to YA. There are so many different forms of love within books, that could be explored. Romance, family, friendship are the main three though. Typically, we all find the romantic kind thrown our way, sometimes it works. You really believe in the love being portrayed, you want them to get together. Hell sometimes I get annoyed if one of them does/says something stupid. Cause I just want them to kiss already haha. Then there are other times where it flops. It feels forced, added in almost like it has to be there. As both a reader, writer, and aspiring author, I believe if it starts feeling forced then it’s not meant to be.

In one of the stories I was writing, the two characters I wanted to be together, ended up not being together. It felt forced and awkward so I switched it up, after realising that the girl and this other male character, had better chemistry. As someone who’s been writing since she was 11, I suppose I have an idea of what I’m talking about.

In our lives, we first find friends. Friendships are the foundation to any relationship, any good, healthy loving relationship anyway. So, let’s get into my 5 reasons why love is overrated.

 

PORTRAYING PERFECTION

Typically seen in contemporaries, and a lot of books actually, when the relationship is cute. Like…OVERLY cute. In my very limited experience, relationships aren’t cute, perfect, you don’t just instantly know how to kiss a person. I’d assume you’d have like awkward moments, which in some books are there briefly…so briefly you almost miss them haha. Within YA, it’s the genre marketed towards teenagers, impressionable teenagers who, if they don’t have their eyes open, may think what these relationships are showing how it is in real life.

It took me a while to get a handle on what love is actually like. It’s not like a book, nor a movie, it’s more of a board game. Of wondering if you’re doing the wrong thing, you said the wrong; of over thinking things particularly if you’re not experienced. The smallest things, can sometimes be the biggest things for you.

A date? Sure they’re so romantic, cute in this book. In real life. I panicked, I learned from the experience though that I wasn’t ready. And that love, is imperfect, it’s a learning curve. As you learn what your partner likes and dislikes, as you slowly get more comfortable around them. I imagine, that’s more what it’s like. But it’s rare for a book to show that, they tend to show it as being perfect from the get go. Not that I have a problem with that, if I’m in the mood for it.

 

PREDICTABLE

We’ve read it a thousand times, boy meets girl, they fall in love, something kicks off. They fall out but by the end they’re back together. Yeah we know people! We know they get back together, which is not always a bad thing. Sometimes you need a predictable book (check out my post on needing predictable stories here). The problem with love is, some of us can get tired, of reading the same love plot over and over. Not all of us will want to be able to guess what happens, if we wanted to do that, we’d skip reading the book; just yell on twitter for people to come at us with spoilers. By the end of the week, we could probably piece together the entire book.

Love isn’t predictable, at least not the way I see it. I always imagine it to be this boat, and the couple are the boat, and life is the sea. The sea can be calm, stormy…the boat has to deal with the sea. Just like couples deal with life, sometimes life gets to be too much, or something causes one to get annoyed. There’s so much you could actually explore within a relationship, like how they are as a couple, the moments when it’s just them vs. them and friends. How they react to certain situations, as well as how they show the other their love. There’s more than just making out, cuddling and sex to show someone you love them. Also, saying ‘I Love You’. That too, like it’s great and all but sometimes I feel like they’re just words? And the writer has just shoved them in there, because well it has to be said at some point.

 

FORCED ROMANCES ARE NOT ROMANCES

Ever read a book, which has a romance, where it’s just not working? Like you can’t feel the chemistry, at all, and the book would’ve been better with no romance? Or like, pick another character chuckles see love can be tricky to write, yet it’s also not needed. Not every book NEEDS to have a love story. Nor does it need a goddamn triangle, like I get it, triangles are fun but it’s not even triangle and it’s usually a girl picking between two guys. I’ve yet to have two guys like me at the same time?! So erm, unrealistic maybe?

Whilst I love a good love triangle, I can’t stand instant love. That’s just a no-no. That’s worse than forced love sighs two people don’t instantly fall in love, it’s probably lust if anything. If the love feels forced, don’t add it, or change it up see what does feel right.

 

STRAIGHT LOVE

Yeah. It’s not a secret that a lot of contemporaries are focusing on heterosexual love. No there’s nothing wrong with that at all, just maybe consider showing diversity within love? Love is and can be a beautiful thing, it can also be a deadly thing. But love doesn’t care about the gender, race, religion or anything. Who you fall in love with, shouldn’t be down to their looks either, yes they have to be good looking to you. But their personality is why you fell for them, no?

Normalising LGBT love, make it so it’s not this big thing to be seen in a book. Make it so it’s there, just like it’s here in the world. You don’t know if that person loves guys or girls? You don’t know if they like having a label or not, maybe they just go with the flow and they love who they love. Whilst I love a good bxg romance, and bxb…I rarely come across many gxg romances. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places, but the point is, straight relationships in love books are overrated. It’s just a typical thing to see, it’s not a bad thing, it’d be nice to see a different kind of romance. Spice it up, make the love a bit more real and current in todays world.

Additionally there are other ways to be exploring love, especially for those who may have grown up struggling with romantic or sexual attractions and perhaps feeling broken when the reality is they’re not. Its okay to identify as aro or ace but perhaps it may be easier for us to realise it exists, that we are okay, if there were more explorations within literature and entertainment. – Lauren, added in with permission from Clo!

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Photo by Lauren, a great example that explores queer relationships
FRIENDSHIPS

Friendships are the building blocks, to a lot of relationships. I guess you could just jump straight in there, and skip being friends, but I’d have thought you’d still want to get to know one another. At least, if you plan to be together for a while. Sadly, friendships are often overlooked for love. Love is great. As is friendship. Both play important roles in our lives, yet finding a good group of characters who are friends is rare. Usually there’s a falling out, over a guy yawn you know, girls have more to talk about than boys. Sometimes…it’s entirely dependant on the girls, what they’re interested in and if they want to talk about guys.

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Photo by Lauren, a great series with awesome female friendships

Just like to say THANK YOU to Lauren for having me, you’re amazing and let me know your thoughts on love in books.

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34 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Love in Books is Overrated | Clo from Book Dragons 24/7”

  1. I love this post soooo much. Its exactly right from my point of view. These are the reasons why I stopped reading this genre and read it only on recommendation. And I find these cheesy love stories and repeated plots very annoying.

    1. aaah thank youu so glad you loved it! Well I do still love YA, but I also think there’s room to improve within the genre you know, not just on the romance aspect elsewhere too. I’m always down for cheesy love stories ;) repeated plots I don’t notice tbh…maybe cause I’m in it for the characters a lot of the time? Who knows hehe

  2. Wow, this was really interesting to read! I`ve never exactly thought about this topic even though I have been annoyed by certain love stories. I guess the worst thing about love in books is the predictabiliy (sorry if that`s not a word – but I think you know what I mean if it isn`t). I mean there are great books where the love is predictable and great books where it isn`t but when you can literally tell the story yourself after the first twenty pages it gets boring…

    1. aha I don’t mind predictability though, sometimes its nice to just relax and not get stressed out because characters are being total idiots haha. Though there’s a fine line between it being alright to read and being a ‘oh well this is actually boring and I’m not interested in the characters’

    2. I agree with this a lot, I’m not a fan of predictable stories and I really don’t like being told that a story is predictable as I will then read the bookvery aware I can guess whats going ot happen and will make more guesses haha

  3. Wonderful post, Clo. Though I agree with all the points, I’m definitely a sucker for romance :P I love when the relationships are done in a good way. They always give me a happy feeling. But yes, sometimes writers definitely go overboard and try to put a relationship that sounds fake.

    1. Ah Sim! I do love romance, like you said though sometimes the author doesn’t quite manage it and it feels forced. But I’m down for those fuzzy feelings that happen when you ship characters hehe, and thanksss glad you liked the post!

    2. I really need like a good recommendation for something that’ll work for me. My best experience with romance books are more fantasy/sci fi books that have romance with in them. I cant bring myself to pick up a romance only book even though i have read a few good ones in the past. I’m too picky.

    1. yup, I mean I can still enjoy it in YA but that because I can sort of separate out the stuff and just enjoy the love in the book for what it is haha but it does get tiring particularly within contemporary where it’s nearly always a girl x boy and like…we know they end up together which is fine if you went into the book wanting something sweet nice and predictable, which sometimes is what I need xD

  4. I love reading romances and YA but I also agree with your points too… And I definitely would like to see more focus on friendships because that’s all I had when I was young…
    Awesome post 😊😊😊

  5. This topic really resonates with me :D

    Yeah, that’s a good point. Relationships ARE cute, but ONLY like for.. a few months xDDDDD and that’s if everything goes well! You’re absolutely right, most relationships have a lot more angst in them than cuteness, because you essentially don’t have a clue about what the other person is thinking. ESPECIALLY if you’re a teenager xD

    And I’ve read SOOOOOO many books where it would have been better without the romance. Especially when they try to make a triangle that’s just ridiculous (say, with a villain and the main character acts like they’re forced into the relationship. By the author xD)

    What a great post!

  6. I just can’t stand forced romances at all. I mean ‘leave those two alone and get on with story please’. Why do you have to have two people in love in ALL the books? Great post, @clo and @Lauren!

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