Investigated – Can romance make or break a novel?

Posted April 6, 2015 by Emily in Investigated / 8 Comments


Romance has become a key ingredient in YA novels. Nowadays it’s extremely difficult to read a book that does not contain an ounce of romance. It is everywhere! But can it affect your opinion of a novel?

Personally I think it really depends on the novel. For me, usually romance does, unfortunately, affect my opinion of a book. For instance I can’t stand certain romance elements like love triangles or instant love. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. They are really only good at irritating me and make me want to bang my head against the book repeatedly instead of reading it. And as a a result, I usually end up DNFing the book because of those elements. That being said, when done right, they can really add to the story. Also, if my OTP(s) in the story don’t end up together, and instead with another character, I will get really sad… and angry and frustrated, but really sad.

On the other hand, if the romance is really cute (and hot!) and at least somewhat realistic, it can make me love a novel I was feeling a bit iffy about. It was just that little something that book was missing and the romance filled in the little gap.

Another reason why I think romance can make or break my opinion of a book is that romance is kind of hard to overlook. Whether it is good or bad, you always remember the romance. You might forget how well the world building was or how bad the pacing was but its kind of hard to forget how you felt about the romance between the characters. Romance is usually more “in your face” than the other elements of the books and while you might not notice all the small metaphors the author subtly included. Usually romance (in most YA books, at least) are anything but subtle.

And finally, let me just say that I hate a lot of books because of the romance in them and I love a lot of books because of the romance in them. So yes, I do think romance, to some extent, can make or break a book.

What do you think?
Can romance make or break a book?



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8 responses to “Investigated – Can romance make or break a novel?

  1. I absolutely agree with you. I cannot stand insta-love. Love triangles are sometimes ok but authors really walk a fine line when they decide to use one. As you said, you always remember the romance in a book, whatever the genre. I actually applaud authors that decide *not* to include romance in books of other genres and instead focus on developing strong characters, immersive worlds and plot-lines that make sense. I feel like too many authors think they have to include an element of romance or people won’t like it. I do enjoy a good swoon every now and again though. 🙂

  2. I dislike hate to love – the hate and love are two sides of the same coin thing. But if you both hate and love books for romance it seems as though romance being the common thing would not be why you hate or love the book but it is something about those characters in love, or the way the story leads to the romance that you lover or hate.

    Am I not the snooty, free with my opinions blogger?!?
    It’s just a thought I had.

    My post is listed above I think~

  3. Totally agree with you there. If romance is done right, it can turn a good book into a GREAT book (and it’s a good way to capture a wider range of us “mood” readers). But if it’s thrown into the story poorly, it can take right-out annoy readers and/or take some of the focus away from the actual plot of the story. Personally, my biggest pet peeve with romance is when it overshadows the plot — the PLOT is the point of reading the book, not the lovey-dovey.