Romance as a Subplot – Let’s Talk Bookish

Good morning everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by me & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: Romance as a subplot

This is Dani’s topic, and I’m very excited to see everyone’s thoughts on this because romance sometimes work for people, and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m just going to be answering the questions for this topic so, without further ado, let’s get started!

Why do you think romance is the most common subplot?

I think it’s the most common subplot because in real life, that is the most common thing that happens to people. Yes, you have a busy life, you’re the CEO of a major company, or a small bookstore owner, or a student, etc. but at some point in your life, there usually is some sort of romantic situation that happens.

Since books are based on our real lives with new stories, plots, and worlds, that romance element will spill into books as well. I actually hadn’t thought about it that way before, but I think it’s a logical explanation for why it happens, even if it can be frustrating at times.

Do you think romance subplots take away from the main story, or add to it?

It depends on the story. Sometimes it adds to it and can help the character grow and become a better person. It can also introduce a very nice and very wonderful side character who makes the story better overall.

But sometimes having romance is super annoying because it’s not done well, and it makes the character become worse personality wise. It’s also sometimes very unnecessary and just used to create drama.

I like drama, but I hate that kind of drama.

If you’re going to write a story with a subplot of romance, please don’t write it just to give a boring book some “drama” or “tension”. It’s more frustrating than having a completely bland plot.

Do you prefer stories without any romance in them?

Right now, I’m kind of preferring books without romance, just because I want to read more action books without a romance becoming a main focus. But sometimes I don’t mind having a story with a romance if it’s not overwhelming and doesn’t take over the plot. If it turns into a love triangle though (and a ridiculous one that’s drawn out for the entirety of the book, or even worse, for more than one book) then no, I don’t like it, and would prefer a story without it.

Is romance better as a subplot or as a main plot?

This is a subjective question, because some people love reading romances, and some others don’t. I personally prefer romance as a subplot in a book, and rarely read novels that are just romance.

I also think romance is mostly unavoidable because it’s the most commonly used form of relationship in books. So at some point, you kind of just expect to see some sort of romantic subplot which I think also makes me not so annoyed about it anymore, if it’s done well.

There is this growing request for books without romance and more friendships which I fully support. Friendships can be just as precious and sweet, and they can offer the much needed relief that some romances offer at times.

Like any genre, romance has it’s cons and pros, but as a subplot, I think it has more pros so long as it doesn’t fall into the traps that most romances fall into.

This Week’s Participants:

Dani @ Literary Lion | Evelyn @ Evelyn Reads | Nicole @ Thoughts Stained With Ink

M.T. @ The Last Book on the Left | Sophie @ Balivernes | Millay @ Millay’s Musings

Jane @ Blogger Books | Dini @ Dini Panda Reads | Rian @ Dogs and Books

Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn Reads

I didn’t have power last Friday, so that’s why I missed last week’s topic. But, I do hope that I’ll start reading through all of your posts this weekend! I also have a post planned for Sunday, so maybe I’m slowly returning back to normal blogging? Hopefully I didn’t just “jinx” it by saying that, but I really hope that this return will last. which it probably won’t because finals are coming up *facepalm*

Why do you think romance is such a popular subplot? Do you prefer romance books, or just having it as a subplot with a different main genre? What’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to romance? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

15 thoughts on “Romance as a Subplot – Let’s Talk Bookish

  1. Absolutely agree with you here. Especially since so many YA books have some kind of romance within the plot. It would be great to see more family relationships and friendships!! But honestly…when the yearning is good and the characters are well crafted, I can tolerate the romance 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would love to read more books that focus on friendship rather than romance! I do enjoy books with romance subplots, but I think it would just be nice to read some more variety. A lot of books I’ve read lately seem to have romatic subplots that are a big part of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t mind romance as subplots, but I also do think certain books rely on it too much. Like every book doesn’t need to have a romance subplot. Some books work better without it, but a lot of authors include it because it’s easy to add interest to a book by having romance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think it is overused. And it’s not necessarily adding interest because sometimes I’m just tired of seeing romances left and right, and I want to read a friendship or something else. Hopefully, authors will include more of those instead of romances or at least with romances in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love reading romance as a subplot, and I also love romance novels, especially because I think in a good romance novels, you get more than the romance. Similarly to real life the character’s life tends to be about more than a romantic relationship – there’s past trauma, current issues they have, work, FRIENDSHIPS etc. I love that. As for my biggest pet peeves – I hate it when a romance is thrown in even though it feels forced and I also hate love triangles; I’ve read very few that were well-crafted. (Felix Ever After has a live triangle, and that’s one of the few books where I think it’s necessary and well-done.) Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that’s so true. Romance novels usually don’t focus on the romance alone and tend to have some really nice friendships and personal growth happening at the same time. But when they’re subplots, I think they don’t tend to be as complex as romance novels. Forced romance and love triangles are the worst lol. I’m glad you liked the one in FEA though!

      Liked by 1 person

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