In honour of Valentine’s day yesterday, I thought I would do a short list of my top five most compelling couples in books I’ve read.
This is by no means a list of my favourite couples, as I find it hard to pick them, but rather couples that I was interested in their story, and wanted to find out what happened to them next, and how they ended up.
It’s not the most romantic of lists, but hey, you can’t always read romance, or you’d get bored. A little adversity keeps a reader interested.
5. Bella and Edward – The Twilight Saga
I read each Twilight Saga book as it was published with a sort of obsessive need to find out where the story was going. Bella’s devotion to a, quite frankly, creepy and abusive man almost a hundred years her senior was lauded as a love story for a generation, and the entire saga was immensely popular. Never a fan of this couple, nonetheless I kept reading to see just how deep Bella could get into this mess. As it turns out she ends up Stockholm Syndrome’d into bearing Edward’s half-demon child which literally kills her, and she lives forever in a family of overbearing vampires who don’t know how to communicate. Happily Ever After? Well I like to reread the series every now and then, so I guess this couple kept me hooked.
4. Lily and Ryle – It Ends With Us
This was a relatively recent read – only last month. But I was hooked on this story of a relationship which repeated the mistakes of Lily’s past and how deep and tender her love for Ryle was. I was torn between wanting Lily to put herself first and feeling her dedication to Ryle and their intensity of feeling. Although I totally supported Lily’s decisions, and she had to make them, and I like Atlas as a character, Lily and Ryle’s relationship was the driving force behind this truly beautiful novel, and they are a couple that will linger with me for a long time.
3. Scarlet and Wolf – The Lunar Chronicles
Last year I raced through The Lunar Chronicles and hold a deep and abiding affection for all of the main characters. The three couples, Cinder and Kai, Cress and Thorne, and Scarlet and Wolf, all have great appeal for me, but it’s Scarlet and Wolf that stuck in my mind. Sassy, independent Scarlet and strong, fearsome, dangerous Wolf struggled through a quite frankly ridiculous number of obstacles to their relationship, and had me rooting for them the whole way through. Scarlet and Wolf are one of those couples that actually embody love for me. And they’re so super cute!
2. Adam and Mia – If I Stay
Although the love story in If I Stay is not necessarily the leading theme – Mia’s family take centre stage really – Adam is still a huge part of this book (and its sequel, Where She Went). The connection between these two teenaged musicians who found a love that supported and encouraged each other was beautifully written, and I couldn’t help but love them in If I Stay. The sequel, Where She Went, adds a new dimension to their story which deepens and enhances it, bringing them from besotted teenagers to fully realised adults, and helping to convince me sometimes that true love does exist. Beautiful!
1. Henry and Clare – The Time Traveler’s Wife
- When I borrowed this book from my best friend Dave, he was swept up in the romance of the story, how Henry and Clare were destined to be together, and taught each other through every stage of their lives, battling through adversity and meeting at different stages to come together and become a love story to last the ages.
- I totally disagree. Henry and Clare never had a choice about each other – Clare was groomed from the age of seven by a man almost thirty years her senior, and Henry at age 24 was essentially forced into a relationship he didn’t even know he wanted – even going so far as to get rid of the girl he already had around because Clare declared that they would be together. Neither of them actually got the chance to honestly get to know the other and fall in love with them, because each was introduced to a relationship which was already fully formed, and just expected to go along with it. Not to mention the fact that Clare, despite being the main character of the book, is defined by her role as Henry’s wife, and not actually as a person in her own right.
- This couple actually makes me seethe with frustration at how this can be depicted as a romance – it’s almost as bad as Twilight, except that both of them were manipulated into it, and there isn’t the same kind of widespread denouncement of their relationship as a Bad Thing. Gahhhh.
- Honourable Mentions:
- Ana and Christian – Fifty Shades: Don’t even talk to me. Twilight on steroids, this is the creepiest, most abusive relationship I’ve ever seen depicted as normal.
- Callum and Sephy – Noughts and Crosses: being together across racial and political divides, Callum and Sephy’s story is a story of a friendship that crossed boundaries and an examination of privilege from a totally different perspective.
- Jem and Tessa – The Infernal Devices: Ahh, I loved this couple. So cute together. So torn between their three-way friendship with Will and all that it meant for them. So dedicated to each other and to support and to finding a way through adversity, and fighting evil. Mega cuteness.
- Lirael and Sam – The Old Kingdom Series: Awkward, tongue-tied, stumbling over words, and yet inexplicably drawn to each other. These teenagers are totally regular in their relationship, despite having saved the world together. My heart might actually burst.