book talk,  question of the week

Question of the Week

What do you consider cheating in a book?

Is it dependent on the trope at all?

If a couple hooked up and then became enemies, and each moved on or had one-night stands, is that cheating?

If they met and had a date but no sex, and then came together later, is any sex from the initial meeting considered cheating?

If they were nothing more than tension relief and didn’t know anything about each other, can they have sex with anyone else in the book after that or is it cheating?

I personally have a very different view on book cheating versus real-life cheating, but I also have different trope acceptabilities too. In a book, if they are not a couple, there was no expectation of exclusivity, and they were not at the L station, then it’s not cheating. Shitty behavior, probably, but cheating, nah.

What do you think?


  • Kyla Orinick

    Book cheating only happens when the couple has expressed the expectation that they are, well, a couple. If only one expressed the desire to be a couple, and that person then sleeps with other people because the other doesn’t want a relationship, then it barely skirts icky. The biggest caveat is that character was already practicing serial promiscuity as a personality trait. Otherwise, it feels like a lack of commitment to the love building in the plot. Well written, well explained characters get a lot of wiggle room.

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