Why I Don't Read A Lot of Contemporary Romance

July 20, 2017

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     Don't think I've written off the entire genre, that's not what this post is about. This post is just a little rant about some of the YA contemporary out there, and more specifically, YA contemporary romance. I would never just assume that I hate a book because it's a genre I don't like. I am, however, not likely to pick up a more contemporary novel when there are other fantasy, sci-fi, ect. books that I really want. The only one I've wanted to buy recently is Fangirl because I want to read it before I read Carry On, and that's what I really want to read.

      Dont' get me wrong, there are plenty of things to rant about for YA fantasy, and a lot of the complaints are along the same lines, but I don't really get into contemporary and I wanted to answer why I don't. If you have any book recommendations that you think could change my mind about the genre, please comment them down below! I do want to get into the books, I just really can't with the ones I've tried.

     The romance tales follow the same premise. There are some really good YA romance novels, like The Fault in Our Stars, that break from the commonalities, but for the most part, they follow the same plot. This can be seen in a lot of romance in fantasy novels, but there's usually something that sets it apart, like a zombie apocalypse, or wizardry. In most contemporary romance novels, there's a bad boy or a boy that stands out because he's an extremely obnoxious football player or a super quiet good boy, and he goes for the shy quiet girl that was either infatuated with him or completely hated him. From there the guy usually does something wrong or the girl feels intimidated and leaves him, but they always come right back together without a problem.

     I understand that all books have a sort of template that sets up a traditional plot line for whatever genre, but there's very little to set each book apart, especially when the novels come from the same author.

     They take place in present time on Earth. I don't know about you guys, but when I read, I want to be transported. I want to be enveloped in another land or another time or some place that doesn't exist. I, sadly, don't travel, like at all, and when I have it was because I was moving, but I have never left the United States. So for me, books are my form of travel. It's like I can pick up a novel and go on a round trip to whatever place I read about that day.

     The girls are sometimes dull. They're always the same and they don't usually have any real parts to them. Yeah, they're relatable because they're just an average girl, but they're not usually strong or empowering in the romance novels, they're just extremely average. And if the guy is extroverted or a bad boy, he usually runs all over her. I love relationships in novels, but I like when the girl takes some control, no matter how difficult the guy may be. There was one random novel I bought for like four dollars at BAM called The Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly, and I got like one hundred pages into it. It was a decent story, it was set in the fifties, which I love, but there was just no substance and nothing to keep the story moving. I had no idea what the story was even leading to because there was no plot in sight, just a girl falling for a guy who ran all over her.

     Someone always does something wrong. It's either one person cheats or it's something they said, or didn't say, and that's always the twist of the story. Why can't someone get kidnapped? Where's the brutal fight scenes? There are a lot of great contemporary books that are like that, such as Looking for Alaska (again John Green is great).

     John Green is great at adding that twist that sets his stories apart from the others, and I love his books. It's just the books like Sarah Dessen's that get to me because there's really little substance. I went through a whole Sarah Dessen binge my freshman year of high school, and I devoured those books, but thinking about them now, they're just not my thing. Every book is pretty much the same by Sarah Dessen, there's just a few things that differentiate them, like ones on the beach, in one the guy is a druggie, in one there's a baby that won't stop crying. Those are really just the highlights that stand out to me because the plots all blurred together.

     I didn't mean to offend anyone in any way, I just wanted to put my thoughts out there. I don't read a lot of contemporary, so if there are some great books that you think will sway me, leave them down below and I'll check them out!

     Thanks for reading!

                      -Taylor

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28 comments

  1. I totally agree with you on all of these points! I had a phase where all I read was Contemporary Romance (and that was just recent as in like a month ago) and all of a sudden I can't even bother to pick up a contemporary romance and fall deeply in love with it. I mean there are some that I enjoyed reading, but none that I will rave about for months on end. I did not understand why that was until after reading your post! I COMPLETELY agree with your post!

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  2. I don't read contemporary romance much at all and its exactly because they're all the same. I do have some on my TBR because especially after I read a bunch of classics or nonfiction I want something light and fluffy. In general they don't do it for me, unless they treat your heart out and stamp all over it at the end πŸ˜‚

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  3. Thank you!! I was so afraid of being judged for this!πŸ˜‚ I'm so glad someone agrees!
    I wish I could get into them becuase a lot seem really cute, but just the lack of action gets me lol.
    Thank you for reading!!

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  4. Yes! They're only real purpose for me is to just gibe myself a break between intense novels or more serious books. I don't know of many that I would read just because I was dying toπŸ˜‚

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  5. I agree with all of this! I don't read a lot where romance is the whole plot. I enjoy some more important conflicts, even if the book is still contemporary, I need something else to care about

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  6. When Dimple met Rishi and Ramona Blue are the only two on my TBR and one is just for a book club. But its going to be a nice break after A Clockwork Orange!

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  7. Girl don't worry, I totally understand how you feel!! Yes, the lack of action is what gets me as well. Like i always think there is unfinished business or something and I yearn for more! I enjoyed reading it so no problem there!!

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  8. Omg like this post times a MILLION! I agree with all of this 100,000,000%! I want to be transported too!!! I love fantasy because the author has to create this entire amazing world! When it's just our world...that's not very exciting... Omg this post is everything. Thanks for sharing!

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  9. Yes, exactly! That's why I liked the Fault in Our Stars, because yes it was about love, but it dealt with really serious issues and tore my heart out

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  10. Lol yes, you will definitely need a smooth break after that! I've heard some things about that book lol. I am kind of tempted to read When Dimple Met Rishi, it does look really good

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  11. Yes!! There's no closure lol like there's no extreme feat being concurred

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  12. Thank you so much! Your comment made me so happy, I'm a little giddy now lol :)
    Great world building and awesome characters are what I live for <3
    Thank you!!

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  13. I just started it cause I didnt want to think too much and it's good so far!

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  14. TFIOS was one of the first contemparies i remember reading back when I was first enjoying reading. It's a great but incredibly sad novel.

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  15. exactly! I am just glad someone agrees with me on this opinion hahah

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  16. That's good to know! :) I hope you enjoy it!

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  17. I cried so hard for so many scenes in both the book and movie. I refuse to accept what happened to Augustus

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  18. I agree to a lot of what you're saying, especially the 'same plot' bit! I'm totally sharing this in my Sunday update post - it's pretty much why I don't read contemporary romance as well. Sure, it's "feel good". But not all of it IS feel good, and it's always just the same. There are more things in life than just getting together in the last year of school, right? :)

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  19. Yes, exactly! And thank you so much <3
    There are so many books that kind of taint the name of "contemporary romance" just because they're not right for the genre in ways so for people like us who don't avidly read the genre, it makes it a lot harder to get into it!

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  20. Ok so I am a big contemporary ya romance freeeaak! I agree that there are many novels that follow a predictable plot! I just read a real doozy from Sarah Mlynowski and Kasie West! I love strong characters and characters that have a lot of depth and character development! I highly recommend you give any novels from Morgan Matson and Jenny Han a go!

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  21. Oh and another one that I highly recommend is Nicole Yoon and Ashely Poston novel Geekarella!

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  22. Yeah, I've heard good things about Jenny Han😊 I've considered buying a copy but my tbr is jusy so hugeπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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  23. I've heard about that one too!! Maybe I'll try one from the library when I get to collegeπŸ€”

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  24. It's well worth it!

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  25. Ah, I agree so much with this post! I was a huge fan of contemporary romance when I was in middle school, but now I've been in high school for a couple of years, and I rarely read it! It's just so boring to me, and when I read the synopsis of them, they literally all sound the same! πŸ˜‚ It's true that not much really happens in contemporary and they all pretty much go the same way, so it gets boring easily!

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  26. I can definitely relate with your feelings about the dulness of the female characters in much of contemporary romance. Even though there are certain romance novels that are thrilling and packed with emotion to make up for the lack of suspense (i.e. Sad Girls by Lang Leav), I have noticed that many contemporary romance seem to comfortably fit into a certain form that rarely varies. For lack of creativity or ideas? Perhaps, but that's another discussion altogether lol.
    Great discussion post. I definitely look forward to reading more from you in the future... Happy Reading! :)

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  27. Lol I feel like from what I've seen of everyone's comments that YA contemporsry is just a phaseπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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  28. Thank you so much!!
    Yeah, it definitely seems like there's a lack of creativity in the genre, because I mean there isn't much to work with in the genre in most areas.

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