What Makes a Good Romance? | Book Snacks Babbles

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Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! Hence another themed post for today—this time a discussion… about romance. Hey, what can I say? I like to get in the spirit of things! (…When I’m not being a sour lemon, that is. Which I like to think is not often, but I guess I’m kind of biased.)

So, it’s been incredibly clear, throughout the Young-Adult genre, romance is definitely one of the most common components. Am I right? Come on, you kind of have to admit it. For every one book without romance, there’s like, 20+ that have it. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. But I’ll be leaving the pros and cons of having romance in books for a discussion on another day. Today, I was thinking more along the lines of what makes a good romance. There’s so much romance in our books these days, why not talk about the ones that we love? Get comfy, and let’s babble!

What Makes a Good Romance?

*Clears throat* Ahem. There are a few things a good romance should and should not be, in my opinion. And, because it would be the most efficient way for me to share them with you, let me list them!

The things that make a good romance (in my humble opinion):

  • They (usually) take us on some kind of adventure. And I don’t mean, an action-filled war and battle kind of adventure (although I suppose it could be). It could be as simple as conflict that prevents a couple from getting together, or an obstacle that the characters need to overcome, you know? (Although when you think about the conflict or obstacles aren’t exactly ‘simple’ but you know what I mean.) A romance—unless we’re talking about insta-love, I guess—should have the emotions, and obstacles that comes with falling in love, and that in turn becomes our little ‘adventure’, don’t you think?
  • A good romance makes us feel things. No duh! There’s little point to a romance, to be honest, if the readers aren’t able to connect or feel things for the romance. Whether it makes us laugh, squeal or fan ourselves, there should be at least a semblance of feels involved! And admit it, the emotions we go through when reading romance are one of the best parts of the whole experience. It shouldn’t be limited to only one kind of romance either! Be it a sweet romance, a steamy romance, or a slow-burn, let’s bring on the emotions! Yes, please.
  • They focus on character personalities, not only hotness level. Ever read those books where, say, the girl falls for the attractive, mysterious and moody, oh, and did I mention attractive, love interest? Uh yeah, you must have. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, nor that these kind of books aren’t good books. BUT for me, a romance is worth more and holds a bit more value and emotional investment, when I can see a character’s, well, character, not only attractiveness. Like, okay, I get he/she’s hot. Anything else? ‘Cause if not, well.. no offense, but you ain’t anything special. But having said that, that’s not always the case!
  • Doesn’t overwhelm the plot. This doesn’t exactly apply to romance novels, seeing how the focus of romance novels is, the romance. But in genres such as fantasy, dystopia, sci-fi, etc, I’d prefer it if romance doesn’t, like, take up the whole plot—when it’s not what I’m there for, you know? That isn’t to say that books that do have romance-focused plots are bad, but it’s just that sometimes the romance can become slightly too distracting and does more harm than good, if you know what I mean (especially if it detracts from the purpose of the story).
  • A good romance usually has enjoyable characters. Whether characters determine the level of enjoyability (yes, that is a word now) for every romance is hard to say, but just as it’s hard to like a story without liking the characters, it’s hard to like a romance without liking the characters involved in the romance, no? Of course this means that some readers might enjoy a romance based on the characters whereas another reader might not, so I suppose it’s kind of difficult to judge whether ALL ‘good’ romances have to have enjoyable characters. Because it’s also possible that a reader ends up liking a romance despite not being a fan of the characters. It’s not common, but it’s possible!
  • They usually have satisfying resolutions. Ahhhh isn’t it just the worst when you feel as if the romance is ruined because of how it ended? Whether it be that the characters didn’t end up getting together, or a character died, or something..? Or perhaps the character got together with the person you didn’t want he/she to be with? I don’t know, I’m kind of just listing possibilities. But still. When the ending is ruined, it often feels as if the romance was ruined too, hence why happy endings are most common with romance novels. That isn’t to say you can’t have a good romance without a happy endings, but… happy endings are happy endings! They’re happy and that’s what most people look for.

Basically, at the end of the day, I just want to enjoy romance, and be able to connect with a story and its characters. Romance is often used as a device to rend the story more interesting—and I guess that’s what I look for in a good romance; entertainment. (And of course, another opportunity to ship bookish characters…As if I didn’t have enough ships already, oops.)

As much as I’d love to go on, I think I’m going to stop there! However there are plenty more things, I’m sure, which makes up a good romance, so please feel free to comment on them down below! Again, happy pre-Valentine’s Day, I hope, even if you’re without a bae like I am, you still enjoy V-Day tomorrow. 😉 I suppose there are always books to keep us company, right?! I would love to continue this discussion though, so don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts down below!
Hugs, and lots of love!!
Until the Next Meal, Analee

21 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Romance? | Book Snacks Babbles

  1. YES, I agree with this! There was this book I read, called Qualify, and the main character had a crush on someone for their appearance first of all, but THEN it developed, and I think that was the point. Ooh also, I can’t stand romances where they CONSTANTLY, and I do mean CONSTANTLY, talk about how attractive the love interest is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ❤ Yes, I'm good with that too! When the romance starts off with attraction but then develops (instead of being all insta-lovey, which is annoying most of the time) I'm able to enjoy it. Oh gosh yes, that's SO BOTHERSOME! Okay, they're hot. I get it. Can we move on please? XD

      Liked by 1 person

  2. YES TO EVERYTHING! I love reading romance because a happy ending is almost always guaranteed. AND THE FEELS!! I especially agree with the romance not overwhelming the plot cough-TheSelection-cough XD

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with everything you said. I like that in either romance driven books or books with a romance element a happy ever afters is almost always possible. I also like having other elements to read about and not just two people falling in love – I think personally for me to enjoy it there has to be some struggle for them to either get together or stay together. Like Prima said above I liked the selection series a lot but it was just a romance book. Although I liked it I feel adding in the complex background of the two sides fighting kind of made the whole plot a lot more complicated than it had to be. This was a great post and a fantastic read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, happy endings are so lovely! ❤ Very true, conflict in romance can also be important to making it *mean* something, you know? Otherwise it's just to easy for them lolll. XD Not to mention not that realistic? The Selection series was a fun read, for sure, and it did have conflict surrounding the romance for a bit but then it kind of dragged out to the point where it didn't have as much of an impact and the romance just became more tedious? The conflict should also be purposeful, I think. 🙂 Thank you so much! ❤


  4. Fantastic post! I agree with everything you listed, especially about the romance not overwhelming the plot. I mean if the writer wanted so much romance just make it into a romance book! I think slow burning romances are good ones as well as romances that are actually realistic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! ❤ I know right? Readers are picking up your book with specific expectations as to what the genre is like… and filling the book with romance, clouding the plot can definitely be frustrating to read. Oh yes, slow burn romances are so great to read–and I feel like those tend to be the most realistic, because they take their time developing the romance? 🙂


  5. I can’t agree with your points any more. Perfect! However, I have to say the only time where the plot was overridden by the romance would have to be The Winner’s Curse. Have you read that one? I literally just finished it and its sequel and LOVED it. I really admired that the romance was the driving force of the plot but somehow it did appear overwhelming. The Winner’s Kiss, the third and final installment, comes out the end of the month. And it’s my most anticipated release of the year (even though I’ve only just joined the Marie Rotkoski bandwagon). 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I suppose that means my points actually made some sense through my rambling nonsense. 😂
      Omg yesss!! The Winner’s Curse is definitely an instance where having the romance be the focus of the plot works–or so it worked for me. I loved it so much, agh the final book can’t be coming soon enough!! Haha better late than never! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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