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Holmbo

Romantic stories that you like?

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I'm not romance repulsed but I'm kinda indifferent to it. Most in the time in stories I just ignore it and focus on the rest of the story. However there has been a few times when I've reflected over that I really like the love story  and that it adds to my enjoyment. Most recent have been two different books: Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold and Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I'm not gonna go into the books but I wanted to post the titles in case someone else had read them and wanted to comment. I've been trying to think why I liked the love stories and I think it's because there's no anguish abut the romance. In most stories about romantic love it's portrayed as kind of stressful and draining. The two main women of these books just know what they feel and act on it.
Does anyone else have exceptions to disregard of romance?

   

 

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Ahhh! Someone else who actually reads Vorkosigan! I like the romance in that series in general... (Shards of Honor is one of my favorites.) I think I like them because the way the characters deal with romance is so much in line with who they are as a character (read Komarr and Civil Campaign). Sometimes in other series, it seems like once you add the romantic plot line, you can toss everything you know about that character out the window. 

 

I have also read Uprooted, but I didn’t find it terribly memorable, so I can’t comment.

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I'm romance-repulsed but I like soft-romo or, like, super reserved displays of romance, that carry power because the feeling is too strong to be named. 

 

I rewatched the first Pirates of the Caribbean a couple years ago, and I really liked Will and Elizabeth's portrayals of intimacy. There's a scene when they get reunited and they just stare into each other's eyes and grin. Wishing all IRL PDA could just be like that.

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Just because I like bringing her name into every book conversation I find, I really like Anne Bishop's portrayals of romance. In her many books there are many sorts of love and romance woven into the stories but there are a few that really stuck with me like in the second Tir Alainn book Shadows and Light one married couple have a very soft and practical love for each other, and I really connected with the scene where she plants more beans than peas, because her husband loves beans while she prefers peas. I really love that example of conscious unasked for compromise in favour of another person. I generally like my romance angsty, but the Tir Alainn trilogy has quite a few examples of quietly sweet loves (romantic or not). 

I did quite enjoy Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, and if I ever want a laugh I pull out my copy of Twilight. 

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Honestly I’m a sucker for romance in war settings. Not just all romance in war settings, but the kind that use it as a tool to explore war and how it effects regular people and their relationships with others. I like Casablanca, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and 1984. 

 

You can find a similar post I made somewhere on this site discussing romantic poetry. Rita and the Rifle by Mahmoud Darwish is absolutely stunning. It’s originally in Arabic but I posted a translation for anyone who’s interested (and it’s also a song performed by Marcel Khalife, if you want to hear the lyrics sung. It has a really long intro so don’t be tricked into thinking it’s instrumental)

 

Honestly though, I think I may just enjoy war stories. A lot of my favorite stories revolve around war and don’t involve romance. The Things They Carried is probably my favorite book. It makes me cry every time. I think the reason I enjoy romantic stories in that context is that it’s very connected. Everyone is effected by war. Whatever your orientation, war sucks, and it can tear you apart from the things you love. In this way, I think the element of war adds to authenticity and understanding for me. I may not understand romantic love, but I do understand fear and loss, and that allows me to connect.

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@Apathetic Echidna I read Anne Bishop too! (I haven't come across another person who does before... must have missed your previous comments.) I haven't read Shadows and Light though (it is the only one my library doesn't have :( )

 

I tend to like books where the romantic plot is slower... I don't like to be left thinking wondering when exactly the characters fell in love with each other. I suppose this is because with non romantic relationships, it generally takes time and actually knowing the other person to feel very close to them.  (My impression is that romantic infatuation can cause people to skip a few steps (although what do I know?).) 

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I liked Romeo and Julliet because they die at the end.

 

Just kidding. I usually like very subtle romances that usually don't even get a single kiss in the medium. Or the kiss is unintentional (such as mouth to mouth resuscitation or giving someone air underwater). For some reason I never liked romances where it's obvious they fall for each other since the very beginning. Also, I really like purely sexual "romances". Not FWBs but more like... angry romances? You know, they don't really like each other but end up having random sex encounters.

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I'm pretty romance repulsed, so "romances I like" usually means more like "there's a romantic subplot in this but I can tolerate it". That being said, I loved Disney movies as a kid, especially Beauty and the Beast (although that's less because of the romance and more because Belle is kickass). I also like Rose of Versailles, but I'm not in it for the romance, I just like the cathartic fun of watching Oscar "World's Most Perfect Woman" de Jarjayes brutally roast the entire court of Versailles tbh.

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On 10/03/2018 at 4:40 AM, Kat said:

Also, I really like purely sexual "romances". Not FWBs but more like... angry romances? You know, they don't really like each other but end up having random sex encounters.

Would these be romances though, if they don't even like each other? I guess if their feelings move to a neutral or something maybe. I think I understand what you are saying though (what you are saying basically describes all of the Alpha/Beta/Omega stuff I have ever read, angsty relationships with some weird sexual stuff). 

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On 14/03/2018 at 1:58 AM, DeltaV said:

huh? O.o

Ignorance is seriously the best place to be. But if you must know.... (it is basically a dictionary definition page)

Warning: weird kinky sex words are found in the link. 

https://fanlore.org/wiki/Alpha/Beta/Omega 

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Daaaaaamn… seriously?!?! :gasp::gasp::gasp: I mean, seriously?

 

I wish I hadn't looked – now I have to suffer the just consequences for straying from the Emperor's guidance:

 

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:

IGNORANCE IS BLISS

IGNORANCE IS A VIRTUE
IGNORANCE IS YOUR BEST DEFENCE
BE STRONG IN YOUR IGNORANCE

(source: various Warhammer 40,000 codices and rulebooks)

 

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I mean, I'm gonna be totally honest, it's really hard not to encounter A/B/O if you've ever searched for fanfiction and looked at more than like, the first page of results. I'm not into it myself, but I'm honestly shocked to find someone who doesn't know what it is...

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20 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

mean, I'm gonna be totally honest, it's really hard not to encounter A/B/O if you've ever searched for fanfiction

Never searched for fanfiction and don't understand the appeal of it. I don't waste the considerable effort it takes to read fiction on anything that's not high art. My guilty pleasures are authors like Calvino and Bulgakov, snob snob. ^_^

20 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

but I'm honestly shocked to find someone who doesn't know what it is...

Would you be shocked to find someone who doesn't know what “xargs” is? Did you know what it is?

 

“A/B/O” or “Alpha/Beta/Omega” are even more obscure.

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20 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

I mean, I'm gonna be totally honest, it's really hard not to encounter A/B/O if you've ever searched for fanfiction and looked at more than like, the first page of results. I'm not into it myself, but I'm honestly shocked to find someone who doesn't know what it is...

Ha, this must be a fairly recent (within the last 5-8 years) thing. Back in the day when I was deep into the HP fanfiction world, there was none of this A/B/O stuff. Good to know what the youth are up to these days, lol. 

 

On topic, I'm pretty romance repulsed for movies, but for some reason, have a higher tolerance with books. So, romance stories in the classics (Jane Austen, Brontes, Tolstoy, etc.) I'm into. I'm ambivalent toward YA romance, and I like reading about romance in memoirs (Thru Hiking Will Break Your Heart is a good one). Also, I am neither religious nor romantic, but I find Amish romance novels really satisfying for some reason. More escapist type reading. I don't know why. Maybe the idyllic country setting and sense of community? 

 

Oh, also the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice is 10/10. It's straight up BDSM erotica but I love the portrayal of intimate relationships and connections that aren't a 'typical' romance. 

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42 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

Never searched for fanfiction and don't understand the appeal of it. I don't waste the considerable effort it takes to read fiction on anything that's not high art.

 

Oookay, I know that's probably a joke, but don't ever fucking insult my years of hard work, research, and effort like that again. Please. Thanks.

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2 minutes ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

 

Oookay, I know that's probably a joke, but don't ever fucking insult my years of hard work, research, and effort like that again. Please. Thanks.

Yeah I second that. fanfiction might not be something you're interested in but that doesn't mean you get to call it a lower art form. I've put a ton of time and effort into fanfiction writing, and devaluing that work (that I receive nothing for in return I might add) is very insulting. 

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On 3/16/2018 at 10:39 PM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Oookay, I know that's probably a joke, but don't ever fucking insult my years of hard work, research, and effort like that again. Please. Thanks.

Okay, sorry. I didn't want to insult anybody. To me it seemed such a mild, humorous remark, I mean if you end it like this:

On 3/16/2018 at 9:55 PM, DeltaV said:

snob snob. ^_^

I didn't call fanfiction crap or bashed it like the above mentioned Anne Rice (and many other authors).

On 3/16/2018 at 10:44 PM, arokaladin said:

Yeah I second that. fanfiction might not be something you're interested in but that doesn't mean you get to call it a lower art form.

Didn't say “lower art form”; that would mean that no matter how talented the writer is, if they write fanfiction it would turn out to be substandard. That's not my position. The question is more if a serious, talented writer would decide to take up writing fanfiction permanently.

 

Reuse of characters or the universe from another work can constitute copyright infringement. Here I'm actually on the side of fanfiction: this dissolves the idea-expression dichotomy, which is not okay. Copyright suddenly acts like patents, protecting ideas (e.g. the idea of Harry Potter, not just the text Rowling wrote), but with an insanely longer duration than patents. But still, that's the law and it's unlikely to change anytime soon. That one's work might be illegal (for a very banal reason – not like a political satire might be illegal) is a bad situation for a genre.

 

Of course, in ancient times it was different, when copyright didn't exist and the attitudes about strongly derivative works were more favorable. It's pretty funny for modern standards how Virgil in the Aeneid brazenly lifted the hero Aeneas from Homer's Iliad to concoct a story in which the Romans are descendants from Trojan refugees. Still it's considered as one of the greatest works in Latin literature. Propertius thought it was even greater than the Iliad.

 

But those times are over (for now). Also the works on which (according to my cursory review) the bulk of fanfiction is based on … are … Twilight, Harry Potter, Naruto … ;)

 

PS: Okay, I've edited this post, to make it more palatable. xD If I had only known that anybody takes fanfiction as seriously as you two, @arokaladin, @Jot-Aro Kujo! Please enjoy your hobby and don't be too mad at me!

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Generally speaking, I enjoy romances that are weird and unconventional. The movie "Her", for example, I found really moving. It's about a guy who falls in love with the operating system on his phone(!) 

 

My issue with the Romance genre is that it so easily lapses into cliche, or a predictable formula. Anything that can surprise me and make me feel things I didn't expect to feel is worth watching/reading. :) 

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9 hours ago, Skittles87 said:

Generally speaking, I enjoy romances that are weird and unconventional. The movie "Her", for example, I found really moving. It's about a guy who falls in love with the operating system on his phone(!)


I like that too. I think there so much more than romance to it. The overall longing for connection.

 

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On 4/18/2018 at 7:45 AM, Holmbo said:

I think there so much more than romance to it. The overall longing for connection.

Absolutely. It was a very melancholy movie in a way - everyone seemed so isolated.

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For anyone familiar with the ACOTAR book series by Sarah J. Maas - I very much like the relationship between Feyre and Rhysand. It's healthy, and if we were to take romance out, it is true love that remains. The only difference between me and these 2 characters is that I'm not overwhelmed by my feelings when I love someone - my knees don't run weak and my heart beats normally :p. 

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@Ice Queen I like Feyre and Rhysand’s relationship too. Have you read Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series? I really enjoyed Celaena and Rowan’s relationship in Heir of Fire. (Although I got annoyed a bit annoyed with it in the fifth book.)

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