The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Arrowhead

The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Student News Site of Souderton Area High School

The Arrowhead

The Arrowhead

Raye of Thought: Romance novels encourage high expectations, deep connections

With romance novel tropes commonly being overused and repetitive, most people expect happy, predictable endings. While books can promote both unhealthy ideals and expectations, they also can inspire connections and different perspectives of love.

Romance novels tend to follow cheesy clichés that set expectations high and even occasionally romanticize toxic behaviors. But, they can also be incredibly fun reads that portray love of all kinds in beautiful and meaningful ways- you just have to find the right ones. 

It’s impossible for romance novels not to become clichés- it’s the same story over and over and over again. 

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy through a series of trials and tribulations entwined in a well-worn trope. Happy ending! 

Whether that trope is fake dating, enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, academic rivals, soulmates and on and on and on- they will end up together. It’s a given.

You go into the novel knowing that the two protagonists will end up together, that’s why you are reading the book. 

And sometimes that’s all you need, a book that you know will end with you feeling warm and happy inside. 


It can also get to be too much when you read those types of books constantly, as there is less excitement and less anticipation. It can also set standards and expectations that are unrealistic. 

People don’t always end up together, real life doesn’t work itself out as perfectly as a 300 page novel does. Your relationship isn’t going to be tied with a bow and handed to you. 

Even though all romance novels have some form of conflict to make the story progress and keep the reader at least semi-intrigued, Romance novels don’t show the struggles behind the scenes of a relationship and it still all ends up working itself out in a timely manner. 

And that is simply not usually the case. 

But that’s why we read romance novels- to escape, to dream, to feel those warm and cozy feelings. It’s just important to not let it all go to our heads. 

Unfortunately, another downside to many romance novels is the portrayal of toxic relationship practices. 

“Booktok” and “Bookstagram” are the coined phrases describing the discussion and promotion of books on the social media platforms TikTok and Instagram.

Book recommendations have blown up with these platforms and many new romance novels have begun to spread.

Many of these books contain love interests that are possessive and aggressive, and readers fawn over them. 

It’s honestly a little disturbing to think that so many people find characters that are borderline emotionally abusive to be attractive. That should not be the expectations we continue to reinforce. 

And a lot of those toxic behaviors are excused as the book hurries to wrap the story up. The couple comes across a major issue to add dynamics to the story, but the issue is hurriedly resolved or brushed aside in the last 50 pages to leave us with the happy ending we have been waiting for. 

All this to say, romance novels can truly sometimes be incredibly moving. 

In my opinion “the good ones” focus on all kinds of love- romantic, friendship, family, self. 

Many feature young women finding themselves, creating a life they want, finding that dream job all while they meet the love of their life. 

Many also have strong bonds of female friendships or deeper connections and healing with family members. 

Because the bottom line is romance novels should be about pure, never ending love. 

Who doesn’t want to escape for a little while to read about that? 

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Melanie Vincent
Melanie Vincent, Features Editor

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