I don’t even like romance as a subplot, 90% of the time. It has potential, but it’s poorly executed most of the time.
I definitely agree that it is poorly executed much of the time (like, I can think of dozens of books), but I still think it can add a lot to the story, even when not done ideally.
After saying that, let’s take a look at an example of a terrible relationship, oh wait, you already mentioned it, Tris and Four in Divergent. Hot. Garbage. Its my turn to start ranting about Divergent. 😎
As we both say, yes, the relationship is terrible and rushed crazy fast. In my opinion, that is the thing that ruins the most romance subplots. Rushed relationships (which is basically a growth on insta-love which I hate to death). The next thing that is terrible, you also mentioned: the characters are absolutely boring. I hate Four. The side characters are boring, and Tris gets worse and worse (she starts out fine). But the main reason I barely finished the first book (you liked the first book better than me, I didn’t even get to the sequels xD), is the antagonists’ plans were just boring. That is probably very subjective to me, but I just didn’t find them interesting. I would probably give the first book a 2.5/5 and the ending a -2/5. xD
I’m not sure I would call it a knock off of the hunger games though (the movie at least is much different from Divergent). I have not read Hunger Games, but I will say I find the premise much more interesting than Divergent’s (I watch the first of the four movies, it was decent, but I know, I know, don’t compare the book to the movie). However, from what I’ve heard about the love triangle that dominates the series I’m not sure how much I would like it.
At first I thought I was going to like the message in Divergent. I thought the message was don’t conform to the cultural and government pressure and norms, stand out in a good way. But did you catch that? I said “stand out in a good way.” xD I don’t think Roth knows what standing out really means. It doesn’t mean to go get tattoos so you’re different from everybody else, it just means to act according to your beliefs and not conform to everybody else. I don’t know if Tris acquires some sense throughout the rest of the series, but I hated the tattoo scene in the first book.
Okay, I’m done. 🙂