Grrr, Grr, and Grrr, again.

I recently finished reading a romance novel. No, I’m not ashamed to admit it. I read pretty much everything. No, I’m not giving you the title, nor am I linking to it. I only do that with stuff I like, and this was not one of them. Holy crap this book was poorly written. Not just with clunky sentence structure, and flat characters, but it was like the author had a checklist of romance novel tropes and ticked off each one. See what I did there? I didn’t even mention whether the author is male or female. Yes, males write romance novels, too. I’m trying my hand at one.

“But, Rob, didn’t you write a post about arrogant writers a couple of days ago? Aren’t you being a hypocrite?”

Yes, I did write said post, and no, I’m not being a hypocrite. Here’s why: This post isn’t really about that book, it’s actually about a particular trope within it. One with ties to the real world. Big ones. I’ll explain. About the mid-point of the story is the obligatory break up scene. I’ll give the author credit: They didn’t go with the fight and break up, nor the misunderstanding and break up. No, it can about a week later. I guess you could call it the fallout break up. Or the post-fight break up. Okay, so maybe it was the fighting break up. Back to the point I was trying to make.

The female lead is having a conversation with the male where she says she just wants to be friends (ouch). Then, she goes on to tell him how wonderful, and amazing this guy is (also “ouch”). At this time, I rage quit reading; I tossed the book across the room, and punched a wall. Why? Because that is the most aggravating, and bullshit thing ever for me*. Every time I read it, or worse, hear it, I want to scream: “If he (or I) is so fucking great, why don’t you want to be with him* (or me)?!”

Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with being “friendzoned”. I have a few female friends that I see as folks who are fun to hang out with. What I do take issue with is the inherent lie in the “you’re a wonderful guy*” speech. Evidently, there is something you find wrong with wanting to be with him* (or me). For Feck’s Sakes, be honest with him* (or me). Tell me where the guy* screwed up. Help him* out so he* doesn’t keep messing up relationships, and going years between them. Especially, if during the “You’re a wonderful guy*” speech, you tell him* you want him* to be happy. If any of that is really true, you’d want him* to improve his* chances, right?

*Note: This rant is from a heterosexual point of view because that’s what I am. I’m not edging anyone out intentionally. The same things are for any and all relationships. If you’re gonna break up with someone, maybe be honest with them? Also, that book makes me want to stay away from them for a while.

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