I acknowledge the fact that I am about as romantic as a potato.
But as I get older and more feeble (I’m twenty f i v e), I do have way more soft squishy feelings for romances in books than I used to. I have tropes I am so so softly fond of. I have ships I will lowkey die for. I often find myself in the midst of reading a slowburn romance and muttering, “Just kiss, you child onions.” I also like writing my little squishy romances…!
I know it’s popular to proclaim your book boy/girlfriends and such, but honestly??? If I “fall in love” with a character, I either want (a) to protec them, (b) to be them, or (c) for them to protec me????? Like yes, thanks, I love you, Lila Bard, would you pls take care of everyone who’s ever annoyed me. Thanks so much.
But HEY. It’s February, which is such a notorious month for talking about romance…so I’m going to show up to the party this year with…
and obviously list some of my favourite ships along the way (!!!!)
ugh look at me and all these FEELINGS what is this how ancient am I
Top Ten Tuesday | Favourite Couples In Books
This is just downright cute because it starts with two people absolutely proclaiming there is “Nothing” “Going On” “Between Them” “At All”. Whatever you sayyyyyyy. And they usually are working so so hard to keep up the “fakeness” that they actually end up being a 100% better boy/girlfriend than anyone else.
Like is anyone a more dedicated boyfriend than Peter K “faking” it for Lara Jean???
And o h h e l p — in The Caged Queen it was an arranged marriage and Roa stood there telling herself there was NO WAY she’d fall for Dax, the tyrant’s son. Ever. She is using him. This is fine. She is only cuddling up to him a night because her feet are cold. This is…fine.
This one is also the DEATH OF ME. When both characters are very very clearly in love but…neither side admits it, so they both sit there thinking…”No they do not ((insert sad sniffle)) love me at all….do they even see me????”
YES YOU LITTLE FROZEN REFRIED BEANS. THEY’RE PINING AWAY IN THEIR CHAPTERS TOO.
It also can come with this heartbreaking bittersweetness when one side doesn’t think they deserve to be loved. So they keep to themselves. They want the best for the other (as well as being frightfully jealous) and they almost don’t say anything ever…
…UNTIL THEY DO.
Alright you see me hopelessly self-promo-ing A Thousand Perfect Notes, but it took me sEVEN Y E A R S in Azkaban to get published ok, and so let me force you all to behold my cover all the time. But that aside: I wrote an entire romance based on the fact that August just kept feeding Beck until he associated her = with good food = good times. I think she Pavolov’s Dogged him.
And Words On Bathroom Walls is criminally underrated but Adam literally turns up to bake lasagna for his wished-for-girlfriend.
Lastly, hi, to my disaster kids, Sam and Penny. Who I love so much and who met over coffee and donuts and then later, Sam had a panic attack and fainted from heat stroke because he wouldn’t change out of his aesthetic black jeans and Penny had to scrape him off the road. These two. Aw.
Maggie Stiefvater is my QUEEN of slowburn romance. And it’s arguably one of the best tropes out there, because instalove feels so insipid, but slowburn is just this agonising s t r e c h of learning someone and waiting for them and building up tension.
So here for it being 300pages before they even hold hands. Bless.
I do want to acknowledge that this trope can be written as super problematic and harmful…which is not !!! what I’m here for !!! No thanks.
The kind I love is when: they’re pitched against each other due to being on opposite sides of a war. Or they’re naturally in each other’s way. Or standing between each other and a goal. It’s just the whole “WILL THEY KISS?? WILL THEY STAB EACH OTHER??? WE DON’T KNOW” which I am fantastically fond of. Also it’s stressful because I secretly (shh) want my ships to be Okay In The End™ but with this lot you can never tell.
And what is a book if it doesn’t stress you out, hmm??
This one usually falls solidly in the category of WHOLESOME. And, hey, sometimes it’s nice to see two friends grow up and tumble into love (although staying friends is just as valid). Unless, of course, you are Julian and Emma and your childhood-friendship-turned-romance will literally ignite a monstrous curse. But anyway.
I also feel like these ships are more likely to last. They KNOW each other. It’s not a fleeting crush built on expectations. They’ve usually seen each other at their grimey worsts and what’s more romantic than seeing your crush covered in toast crumbs and with twigs in their hair and knowing they do gross things, like eat marmalade.
This is wholly brought to you by YGRITTE AND JON SNOW from Game of Thrones (shh no this isn’t YA but let me have it just for a second) because they are one of my life’s OTPs. Like Ygritte just flirts to make him so soooo uncomfortable. He is like so naive and innocent (lol not for long, this is GoT) and she’s THRIVING mocking him.
I swear every time this sort of pairing comes up, I get far too invested.
And I love Tanner from Autoboyography flirting with the pastor’s kid (hOLY HECK DO I LOVE SEBASTIAN AND TANNER) and Gabriel spending the whole time flirting with Nathan who is oblivious until he basically gets smacked in the head. By Gabriel. But you know. Romance is difficult, ok.