Earlier this month, I did the Anti-Valentines Book Tag, which was all about how I’m not a romantic and how my husband and I don’t celebrate Valentines Day. I don’t want y’all to get the wrong idea though! I’m not against love. Cheesy love stories make me roll my eyes, but dang there are some out there that I’m crazy about.
Some of them even make me go weak at the knees. And while I complain a lot about a love story overriding the main plot, sometimes the love story subplot is the icing on the cake. Here are ten couples whose love stories are real and beautiful and YES.
Nina and Matthais
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I’m a sucker for the Romeo and Juliet style romances, as some of these other examples are going to show. There’s three different couples in Six of Crows and while I know a lot people are all about Inej and Kaz… I am all about these two. They’ve got such fantastic banter and I love the internal struggle with both of them – knowing they should hate each other, hating each other a little… but love one another anyway.
Fleur and Bill
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
There are a lot of wonderful relationships in the Harry Potter series, but Fleur Delacour and Bill Weasley are by far my favorite. Their relationship stands for so much – it shows up hope and happiness amidst the darkness of Voldemort’s rise. It shows such growth in Fleur’s characters. They are steadfast and strong, but they are better together then they are apart, and that’s a beautiful relationship to watch, even in the background.
Then, there’s Fleur’s line, which punches me in the gut every single time:
“What do I care how ‘e looks? I am good-looking enough for both of us, I theenk! All these scars show is zat my husband is brave!”
Seriously, she’s come so far since Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and I just want Bill and Fleur to live happily ever after.
Cath and Jest
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
It was really rooting for Cath and Jest. This love story is a little cheesy at times, and from the every beginning of the story, you know how this is going to end, because Heartless is the origin story of the Queen of Hearts. Still, there were those moments when I was reading about them that I really wanted Cath to be able to go through the looking glass and have her happily ever after.
Also. Sorta mad at Mary-Ann for how that all went down….
Katsa and Po
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
One of my favorite things about Katsa and Po’s love story was the maturity of it all. I spent a lot of time talking about their romance in my actual review, so I won’t do too much of it here. I really appreciated the slow rise of the romance and the way the characters and friendship had to develop from nothing and there was never a breath of instalove. Katsa and Po are one of those couples I feel like will last.
Aly and Nawat
Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce
This is one of my original favorite couples ever, and they still rank. If you want an inconveniently timed romance that is SO. DARN. CUTE. Aly and Nawat is it. Nawat is a crow who is assigned to be Aly’s helper and in-between wit the crows by their god, Kyprioth, by whom she is favored. Instead he falls in love and learns how to become human for her and general annoys her and is THE MOST ADORABLE. Seriously. Everything about their relationship is “Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!.”
Tristan and Yvaine
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
One of the sweetest bits about the relationship in Stardust was that the whole reason Tristan went looking for Yvaine was because he was in love with another girl. So not only does Yvaine unintentionally make Tristan fall out of love with Victoria, but he falls in love with her.
If you’ve never read Stardust, it is my absolutely favorite Neil Gaiman book. And the movie is also amazing.
Simon and Bram
Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
I mean… how could I not?
The whole book is about trying to figure out who this mysterious Blue is and the near-end scene when we figure out it’s Bram (and, honestly, if you’re watching Love, Simon it is SO OBVIOUS compared to the book where I was still guessing up until the reveal) is so precious. The anticipation in the story really adds to the appeal of the relationship, plus Simon’s struggle.
Plus. I mean. Bram is precious.
Augustus and Hazel
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
There are a lot of aspects of Hazel and Augustus’s relationship that are really messy. It’s also the only relationship on this list where the characters have a ticking clock going against them. There’s fight and uncomfortable moments and crazy challenges that normal couples will never need to overcome here. But, the first time I read this? Augustus totally made me swoon.
“I’m in love with you,” he said quietly.
“Augustus,” I said.
“I am,” he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
I mean, come on! I want someone to profess their love to me like that. Husband, that would be your cue. There are so many EMOTIONS in this speech, and I just love it.
Sarai and Lazlo
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Mes chers, I’ve saved the best two for last. Well, other than Katso and Po, whose relationship I really really love. But there aren’t a lot of books that I would recommend just on the basis of the love story alone.
Strange the Dreamer is one of them. Sarai and Lazlo are another Romeo and Juliet example (OR SO IT SEEMS AT FIRST). Lazlo is human, Sarai is a godspawn and they can only talk in dreams. It really is an example of instalove BUT Laini Taylor’s writing is so beautiful that I don’t care. The dream sequences are so beautiful and melty which is what made the end SO MUCH HARDER.S
Celia and Marco
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I love this love story.
This is one of the best romances I’ve ever read. This is my personal favorite, and I’m saying that over Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler (who I like, but they have a dysfunctional relationship to the max). There’s so much in the story, so much time, so much at play, so many strings and then there’s the rules of the magic. I could speak for an hour about all the little, abstract reasons I enjoy The Night Circus, but the love story is what gives it life.
The circus tents really are Celia and Marco writing love letters to one another, and it’s beautiful.
There are a BUNCH of other really good relationships in lit, so I really want to hear about yours. I’m so particular about the bookish love stories I fall for, so I’ll definitely be cruising this week’s Top Ten Tuesday to see what other ones make people go weak at the knees.
I’m also here to argue with any Harry/Hermione shippers…. so you know. Come at me.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday asked:
Favorite Couples In Books
This was actually a really hard one for me! Of the list I first made when I was planning this post, only half remain because I kept thinking about other relationships in books I really enjoyed even more. So needless to say there are a lot of WONDERFUL romances out there in books… and goodness knows, my list is only YA.