I could have sworn I had a post on this topic already, but digging back through my blog, it looks like I don’t. I wouldn’t say I usually pick up a book specifically because of the romances, but they often end up being one of my favourite parts anyway. It’s very rare that I’ll pick up a book that is exclusively a romance, although I’m starting to find that I’m adding more and more of those to my TBR. I also have a ton of YA books on my TBR in general, but I find the ones that are mostly just a straightforward romance tend to sit on the list unread for quite a while, since I tend to look for something a little more to the story. I thought it would be hard to me to think of my favourite couples from books because of this, but it was surprisingly easy. I think part of the reason I end up really enjoying all the romance in the books that I picked are because I love the character dynamics. In general, I love character-driven books and I find reading about the relationships between characters are often a great source of character development.
Disclaimer: I personally do not consider any of the pairings on this list spoilers because they are all from books that have been out for quite a while, and have a strong enough online presence that I think the ships are already well-known. If knowing who ends up together is something you would consider a spoiler, this may not be the post for you. Series mentioned include: The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Six of Crows, The Raven Boys, ACOTAR, The Lunar Chronicles, and Daughter of Smoke & Bone.
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
1) Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I spent most of my time reading this series shipping Katniss with Gale. I thought they would be such a great match, and I really wanted the childhood friend to end up with the girl for once! I was shocked when Katniss chose Peeta instead, but it actually made a lot of sense, especially given events toward the end of the series. Katniss and Peeta went through so much together and understand each other in a way that another partner wouldn’t, and I came to find them really adorable together. I am long overdue to a reread of this series, although I think it may need to wait until next year.
2) Ron and Hermione from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – I honestly don’t understand all of the backlash about this couple, or why J.K. Rowling changed her mind about them in the end. Ron and Hermione’s dynamic reminded me quite a bit of Ron’s parents, and I thought they balanced each other out quite well. Hermione got Ron to think things through and be a little more responsible when needed, and Ron got her to relax and have fun. I thought they were very cute together. I remember reading so many online fan essays about the different ships in this series, and why Ron and Hermione made sense (and Harry and Hermione didn’t), and I wish I still had copies of some of those!
3) Cress and Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – I actually really liked all of the main couples in this series, but of all of them I would have to say that Cress and Thorne were my favourite. I found them so much fun to read about and the dynamic that they developed was so sweet. I wasn’t sure about Thorne at first because he seemed like such a player, but I quickly grew to love him. I also loved how he was honest with Cress about not being the perfect guy that she seems to imagine. I also strongly considered adding Jacin and Winter as well because they were my close-second favourite pair from this series, but I think Cress and Thorne have the very slight edge.
4) Feyre and Rhysand from the ACOTAR series by Sarah J. Maas – I was so hesitant to read this series at all since fae is not something that usually interests me, but I’m so glad I finally gave it a chance. Rhysand alone is now one of my favourite characters from any book, and I absolutely adore his relationship with Feyre, and especially how he treats her as an equal partner in all aspects. Their earliest interactions in ACOTAR were some of my faovurite parts of that book, and the relationship that grew in the subsequent books was amazing to read.
5) All couples from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo – I very recently finished reading this series for the first time, and I was absolutely in love with it. My initial inclination was to list only Nina and Matthias since they were my immediate favourites, but the more I think about the series, the more I realize how much the other couples have also stuck with me. Kaz and Inej especially are a standout because their dynamic is so different from the typical YA book couple, but it is honestly one of the strongest and most intimate relationships I’ve ever read, and Jesper and Wylan were just a lot of fun. I couldn’t limit myself to just one pair.
6) Mik and Zuzana from the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series by Laini Taylor – I think Akiva and Karou would have been the obvious choice for this book series, and as much as I loved them, I wanted to give a special mention to Mik and Zuzana. It is rare that side characters are so memorable for me, but these two stood out so much from this series. Mik and Zuzana are such a great match for each other, and bring a lot of lightness and humour to an otherwise very dark and dense series. Their scenes were all so much fun to read, and their relationship was just adorable.
7) Blue and Gansey & Ronan and Adam from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater – This was another case where I was on the fence about whether to include just one pair or both of them, and ultimately realized that I could not possibly choose between them. I think I was a tiny bit more invested in Blue and Gansey at first, but both relationships were so compelling and I was completely fascinated by the dynamics between all of the characters, both as friends and as partners. This is another series that I avoided for so long because I thought it was overhyped, but it was totally worth it. The relationships were a huge part of that.
8) Henry and Clare from The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – I know a lot of people hate the relationship in this one, but I absolutely adored it. I thought the entire concept of how to manage a relationship with someone who could disappear at any time was so interesting and unique, and I saw it almost as a twist on a long-distance relationship. At the time, I had not read much romance aside from Nicholas Sparks, and very rarely read anything sci-fi, so it was a bit outside my comfort zone on both counts. The relationship between Henry and Clare very quickly won me over, and this became one of my all-time favourite books.
9) Don Tillman and Rosie from The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – I am a complete sucker for an unconventional romance, and really for characters like Don in general. I thought this book was so much fun to read, and the relationship that develops between Don and Rosie was so interesting. The two of them are so different from each other but balance each other out so well, and their dynamic was amazing. Don reminds me so much of Sheldon Cooper, and it is interesting to see how his relationship with Rosie changes him, while he is still true to himself and accepted for who he is.
10) Cath and Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Molly and Reid from The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli– These books seem to be inextricably linked in my mind, and it’s somehow really hard for me to mention one without the other. I wanted to include both of these, along with The Rosie Project, so include something other than fantasy or sci-fi on this list. I mentioned above that I rarely read YA books strictly for the romance, but these two were exceptions and are both among my favourite books. I relate very strongly to Cath and Molly, and the relationships that develop between them and Levi and Reid respectively are so cute! They were both adorable relationships and I love how they both accepted the girls as they are, anxieties and all.
Ron and Hermione were on my list this week, too.
And I also assumed Katniss would end up with Gale. 🙂
This is my Top Ten Tuesday post.
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Great list. I really enjoyed The Rosie Project. Don and Rosie were both very likeable characters.
We both have Rosie and Don! Come see my list!
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Agreed – all couples from Six of Crows! 🙂
Lauren @ Always Me