Happy Valentines Day booklovers! To celebrate this day of love, I thought it only fitting that we talk about romance novels and the fact that they are all in fact, not all that ‘novel’.


Romance tropes are all cliches at this point. It’s the same few stories over and over again. Let’s divide them into two main sub-genres; drama and comedy. And within these sub-genres of course they may be YA or adult. The drama sub-genre finds itself dominated by tragedies, where one of the couple is suffering from a life threatening disease. They die, but not before teaching their significant other about the importance and power of love (See A Walk to Remember, A Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You: another commonality apparently is that they all seemingly make their ways onto the big screen).

The comedy sub-genre however, is a tad more diverse, dispersing its story lines between four main plots (feel free to add more).

1) Boy meets girl, and they hate each other! Or do they?

2) Boy meets girl, they start a fake relationship. Is it really fake?

3) Rich boy meets poor girl (or vice versa), will their love survive classism?

4) Girl searches elsewhere for love, not realising that love was right next to her the entire time.

9 out of 10 times the romantic comedy you’re reading, or watching, will fall into one of these four categories. Go ahead, give it a try.

But cliche doesn’t necessarily mean bad. A cliched plot can still be enjoyable when given the right embellishments. For instance; Crazy Rich Asians. The “rich guy, poor girl” trope is written to perfection by Kwan in this series. The zany dialogues and colorful characters make this series. The cliche plot is long forgotten as we delve into the lives of the many characters that narrate this book.

Cliched characters on the other hand, are unbearable. The Kissing Booth comes to mind. The leather jacket wearing, motorcycle riding “bad boy” and the “girl next door” storyline gets a thorough workout in this wattpad story turned Netflix film. Our protagonist is a quirky, arcade dance game loving high schooler who has a pretty sizable crush on her best friend’s older brother Noah (the cardinal sin). Noah is our “bad boy” who, despite his raging and uncontrollable anger and questionable attendance record, makes it into Harvard. What ensues is easily guessed.

As eye-roll worthy as cliches can be, there is something confronting about them. No matter what happens, our main couple will find their way to each other in the end.

Keeping that in mind, here are some books that fit into the aforementioned plot categories but actually make for enjoyable reads:

1) Boy meets girl, and they hate each other! Or do they?
The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

2) Boy meets girl, they start a fake relationship. Is it really fake?  To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han

3) Rich boy meets poor girl (or vice versa), will their love survive classism?  Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan and Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

4) Girl searches far and wide for love, not realising that love was right next to her the entire time
Save The Date – Morgan Matson

Some honorable mentions:

  • The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella.
  • A Gentlemans Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Pick up one of these books, and they’re sure to leave a smile on your face and a warm glow in your heart, cliche or not.

Happy reading everyone!

Posted by:thewritersboat

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