The prompt for this week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is "Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books (can do a full list or split it up in likes/dislikes or even things you want to see MORE of in romances in fiction)". I chose to go a split...sort of. You'll see.
THE STIGMA. If you openly read romance novels, you are judged. People assume that you don't appreciate "great literature" or that you are too lazy/dumb to read anything else. You are judged by the cover of the book in your hands.
THE COVERS. It probably doesn't help that covers are kinda cheesy and quite risqué. It can be embarrassing to hold one up in public as you read (thank goodness for ebooks, am I right?); and this lends itself to #1.
LOW STANDARDS. The writing in these books can be quite...terrible. That's not why most if not all the fans of this genre read these books, though.
CLICHES. Some romance novels rely a little too heavily on cliché characters. Those are not the kind of romance novels I like to read. Sometimes I get tricked, though. I'll think I'm reading one with a strong female lead, and then 2/3rds into the book, once the romance starts "for real" she becomes basically helpless. It is SUPER frustrating to see a female protagonist go from taking care of business to solely reliant on her love interest to save her.
TERMINOLOGY. This is a love/hate for me. The thesaurus of human anatomy and sex moves these authors use is hilarious. I love the silly names these writers come up with for the reproductive organs, but sometimes it detracts from the overall narrative.
- THE ESCAPISM. The thing I love about all fictional novels is the escape from reality. To live in someone else's shoes for a few hours. Romance novels are designed by nature to provide an escape to their readers.
- FINDING THE RIGHT ONE. No lie, when I look for a dime-store romance, I'm looking for saucy scenes ::wink wink::. One of my best friends from college and I developed a fool-proof technique to find the books with plenty of sex scenes. You pick it up, flip to any page, and if there is some hanky panky going on, it's going to be a real page turner.
- THE WELL-WRITTEN ONES. Dime-store romances are good for literary porn (I'm not going to sugar coat it), but there are romance novels that are true literature. Peyton Place anyone?
- V.C. ANDREWS. V.C. Andrews was my introduction to this genre, although I didn't know it. I devoured every book by this author (actually, most of the ones I read were written by a ghost-writer after the author's death) that I could get my hands one. I never read the incestuous Flowers In The Attic, instead I started with the Logan Series. I moved on through The Landry Series, The Orphans Series, and the Wildflower Series before I moved on.
- THE CAMARADERIE. When you are open reader of romance novels, there is a wonderful community of other fans of this genre. Just check out Felicia Day's Vaginal Fantasy Bookclub.