Discussion: Hating Canon Couples


Shipping couples in books (and TVs and movies and even real life sometimes) can be really entertaining and can make you more invested in the story and its characters. It doesn’t have to be any of this Team X and Team Y nonsense, you just have to care about a couple and want them to succeed, whether there’s a love triangle involved or not. I’m rarely the one waving the ship’s flag the highest or anything, but I’ve been known to get quite excited about young couples.

Sometimes, though, I really hate the canon couples, which really sucks.

DaughterofSmokeandBoneThis has been on my mind as the thought of reading Days of Blood and Starlight (the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and which I got from the library not too long ago) has loomed over my head.  You see, I really enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone at the beginning. It was interesting, I liked the characters, and I wanted to know what would happen. But then the romance kind of took over. Now, this isn’t always as big a problem for me as it can be for other reviewers, but there’s one problem – I don’t know if I could care less about the Karou and Akiva and their romance.

Needless to say, this really put a damper on my enjoyment of the book. The ending made me want to check out the sequel, but I’m wary of it because of the romance. I don’t want to read about them getting together or angsting about not being together, or anything along those lines. I like Karou as an individual character and Akiva was alright but kind of unimportant (to me, anyway) on his own, but together they just don’t work for me. Which means I feel bad when I see people gushing about these books or the romance – I just can’t bring myself to agree, and rather than making me annoyed with the fans (for no reason, of course), it just makes me sad.

WildAwakeThis isn’t the only book where the romance drives me crazy, though.

The romance in Wild Awake gave me problems as well. I was much more on board with this romance initially than I was with Karou and Akiva, but my feelings changed as the book went on. I thought the story continued to be interesting and such, but the romance started giving me problems. The love interest started out normally, but a dubious mental disorder was randomly worked in, and I was a bit uncomfortable with the way it was handled – it seemed like a plot point that didn’t have all the research it needed. I didn’t think it was properly introduced and neither main character Kiri nor the love interest seemed to handle it respectfully – instead, they mostly acted like it wasn’t a problem and that the pills he needed were a problem, which isn’t the best message to send to teenagers.

So, because I wasn’t too happy with this, the romance became a problem for me and thus lowered my enthusiasm for this book. It was still pretty writing and such, but I just couldn’t bring myself to support the romance and it really worked against the story.

TimepieceTimepiece, the sequel to Hourglass, is another one. I really liked the character of Kaleb in the first book and really liked the scenes where he was flirty with the protagonist, Emerson. I even liked her best friend, Lily, and best friends in YA can be a problem for me (unfortunately). Then came Timepiece, where we were suddenly thrust into Kaleb’s head and stuck watching him start lusting after Lily. Both characters kind of became annoying in my mind and the romance, and thus the book, suffered as a result. My enjoyment of the series overall lessened and made me kind of glad I never bought the first book, no matter how much I enjoyed it.

These are just a few canon couples I’ve disliked, but they all pretty much have the same result – my enjoyment of the book suffers and I suffer while trying to force myself to read it. I know I’m not the only one who can feel this way – I’m not sure I know anyone who doesn’t at least strongly dislike Mal from the Grisha trilogy after the second book, Siege and Storm.

This can even happen to me in TV shows and other mediums – I’ve really enjoyed the show Scandal, but I don’t support the Olivia-Fitz romance at all – in fact, I pretty much hate Fitz most of the time – which makes it difficult for me to enjoy the show sometimes.

So, yeah, this can be a huge issue for me. Sometimes too much focus on a romance in general can be a problem, but when you specifically dislike the canon couple at the center of a book or series, I think it can be even worse. At least if you like the couple, you can stomach a few too many kissing scenes. Mostly.

Anyway, are there any series/couples you dislike as well? I am definitely up for sympathizing with you, even if I disagree and think the couple is amazing!


8 thoughts on “Discussion: Hating Canon Couples

  1. I’m not a big shipper of Nikki and Jack in the Everbound trilogy, which is going to cause me the most problems in Evertrue (I think) since they’re finally together for a whole book. I’m also not a big shipper of Ana and Sam from the Newsoul Trilogy – he’s so old and she’s so naive and just ew; which is definitely one of the big reasons I don’t enjoy the series as much as people who are on board with the romance.

    I do love Akiva and Karou together though, and while there’s definitely some angst in Days of Blood, there’s angst about so much more than their romance that I think you should give it a shot! While it definitely is lurking in the background, the romance plays a small part to a much larger picture.

  2. I’m not a big shipper of Nikki and Jack in the Everbound trilogy, which I think will pose the biggest problem for me in Evertrue, since they’re finally together for an entire book!

    I’m also not a huge fan of Ana and Sam in the Newsoul trilogy. He’s just so old and she’s so naive and just ew; it’s definitely one of the reasons I don’t enjoy the series as much as others.

    I do love Karou and Akiva, and while there is definitely some angst in Days of Blood, it’s not as much as a focus as other, more important things. The romance is present, but it definitely takes a back seat to everything else that’s going on; I think you should give it a shot!

    (If this is a second comment that shows up, I apologize. My iPhone didn’t show me that it posted my first!)

    1. I’m not a fan of Nikki and Jack either, which is why I decided not to read the final book – they were always part of the reason I wasn’t a fan of the other two books, and based on the mixed reviews I read, it seemed clear that I wouldn’t be happy with the last book unless I was magically happy with them as a couple.

      I haven’t read the Newsoul trilogy, so I don’t know my feelings about their relationship – I’m one of those people who doesn’t always see a problem with the “older” character and regular-aged character, but I often feel like that’s a problem anyway despite what I think of it, so I can definitely see where you’d be a bit creeped out by it.

      That’s great to hear! I have the second book right now and plan on reading it soon-ish, so knowing that the romance takes a backseat for the most part has me much more excited than I was!

      (and don’t worry about that!)

  3. Like Kelly, I’m also absolutely not a Jack and Nikki shipper. I am going to read Evertrue but I’m extremely nervous about it because I love Cole. I just want a Cole and Nikki ending, but yeah what I’ve seen from reviews this is probably not what I’m going to get 😦 I wish Brodi Ashton hadn’t written the novella about Cole, because I came to love him even more. Maybe if she focused on Jack, but no. I am really curious though so I’ll see!

    I’ve read Daughter of Smoke and Bone but I don’t have a strong opinion on Karou and Akiva. I don’t LOVE them but I’m also not anti shipping them or anything. Haven’t read the sequel yet, though, so this may change my opinion!

    Great discussion as I think it can be so annoying when I don’t like the canon couple. Especially in TV shows, because that’s ongoing. I love it when couples in TV shows have a slowburn romance and I hate it when they get together too easily or something. And it’s annoying because then I have to watch them being together xD

    1. I never read the novella about Cole and I still like him way more than Jack, so I just don’t think the last book is for me.

      I’m about to start the sequel, actually, so I really hope my opinion does change, or I at least don’t dislike them so much anymore! I don’t want to dislike them, I just… do.

      I definitely love slowburn romances – there are probably some couples that, if it were instalove, I would kind of hate, but because it was slow, I pretty much love. And yeah, if there’s instalove, then you have to deal with the couple-y scenes even longer!

  4. Pingback: Week in Review (12) | Books, Tea & Me

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