Sunday, May 4, 2014

I Should Be Used to Patterns, Right?

I love a good romance. A good majority of the books I read have some sort of romance in them. Hate-then-love, insta-love, forbidden love, fake relationships, love triangles, slow burn relationships, friends who fall in love, friends with benefits that fall in love . . . I'm not that picky (though the first is my favorite). I just care that the romance is good.

From my experience of reading all sorts of romance, one would think I would be used to its patterns, right?

Nope.

Here's what recently happened:

It feels like I haven't been reading a lot of good romance this year, so I've been craving it lately. Finally, though, I started reading something was perfect for my mood. The main characters had such good chemistry, and I was rooting for them throughout the entire book.

Then the two . . . well, essentially, they "broke up." (Is it really a break up if they aren't really a couple?)

I was so upset with the book at that point because I was convinced the two wouldn't end up together like I wanted them to, and therefore turn out not to be the good romance I was craving. I really wanted the two to get back together, but when when the 98 percent mark rolled around and still nothing had happened, I was so sure that this book was going to be one where the characters just accept their differences and part ways.

As with most contemporary romances, though, I had nothing to worry about. The book ended the way I wanted, and I finished reading with a smile on my face.

My point?

I was tricked by a pattern. I'm very familiar with the patterns of book relationships, especially the one where the characters break up in the last quarter of the book then make up at the end. I know how these books end, yet I still get caught up in the emotions of the characters. I still get afraid that the couple I'm rooting for won't end up together (it's rare, but it does happen!), and I still feel relief when that couple makes up at the end.

This recent experience has shown me that, despite following patterns I'm familiar with, a good book can still surprise me and convince me that something something against the pattern will happen.

Do you ever get tricked by patterns? Which ones are you tricked by the most?

14 comments:

  1. Once!! I absolutely hated it! The two main characters hated each other, they ended up married because of certain situations and they ended up pretty much still hating each other but with more respect for each other too because of the things they went through together. The whole time I was expecting them to fall in love and live HEA. Even after they married I was hoping that they would fall in love. They ended up agreeing that they'll put up with each other since they have no other choice and that was that. I hope I never ever read another book like that again! I want my HEA especially if it's going to be romance which is what the book was under!

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    1. Aw, I would hate to read a book like that! That's a disappointing way to end a romance. :(

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  2. Argh, I am so sick of that break-up pattern in romances! It happens in rom-coms, too--everything is going great with the main characters and then something happens to break them up but they inevitably get back together in the end. I know that every story's got to have some drama to keep things interesting, but I get so annoyed when every romance has to throw in a break up scene of some sort before the couple can really be together. Sometimes it just feels so unnecessary.

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    1. It does get pretty unnecessary. There are times (like the book I used for this post) where that pattern is used well, though.

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  3. Just shows you how good writing can overcome patterns!

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    1. Right? That's what I love about this situation. It made me like the book more!

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  4. I don't read a lot of straightforward romance, so I haven't encountered this pattern yet, but I think that if you're not expecting a cliche plot device or pattern to happen, that's talent on the author's part for making the breakup seem so realistic and out-of-the-blue. Thanks for sharing though! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. You're welcome. :) An author definitely has talent if he/she can do that!

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  5. The pattern I really hate is when a girl meets a guy and then of course those two will be a couple eventually *rolls eyes* and I hate that because it is so freaking predictable! Like why can't the guy die and then the girl meets someone else and then turns out that's her step brother and you know what I mean? Like, give some suspense or plot twist. GRR.

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    1. That would be cool to read! You're right--that pattern happens so often that I don't pay much attention to it anymore. I just focus on things that are more unique to the book.

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  6. The only pattern I really hate is insta-love. I don't think I've ever read a book about characters breaking up, kind of, except now that I think, I can think of maybe 2. It's either they break up OR THEY DIE. But either way.

    I feel like you're talking about a certain book, but I don't want to say what it is.

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    1. Insta-love may be the romance that works the least for me, though there are times that I'm good with it. Oh, books where someone in the relationship is so heartbreaking. :'( I'll take a break up any day over death.

      And I won't tell what book I'm talking about. ;) The book you're thinking of is probably right.

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  7. The pattern that I dislike is definitely insta-love, or the one where the girl becomes interested and actively pursues a guy who is ALREADY in a relationship. :(

    But for books that make patterns good, it all depends. If the pattern is present and the characters are multi-dimensional, I can like it. As long as the characters aren't flat or the plot isn't completely cliched, I can read it and find something good about it. :D

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    1. Those two patterns are definitely among my least favorite ones. :(

      The same goes for me--as long as the characters and story is good, I can find something good about it!

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