In honor of the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday, The Broke and the Bookish gave us a LOVE theme to interpret as we will. I've selected ten of my favorite romantic couples in literature. I'm sure there are many others I've forgotten, but there are the couples that leapt to mind first.
The first couple I thought of, naturally. It's a love that grows and develops over time, extending from childhood crush/enmity to romance and on into marriage and parenthood together.
2. Aristotle and Dante from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Aliré Saenz.
I was so glad when they finally were both able to admit their love, and I can't wait for book two. Bonus points for excellent parents who model what loving relationships looks like, regardless of sexual orientation.
3. Simon and Blue from Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.
Those two. So cute!
4. Katsa and Po from Graceling (and sequels) by Karen Cashore. This relationship pisses some people off--because she loves him but won't marry him. Whatever. It's still hot, sweet, and lasting. I ship it, but it's their ship to do with as they wish.
5. Hermione and Ron.
If I have to cite their source, you might not want to be reading this blog. I have never, ever, ever understood Harry and Ginny. Ginny? Really? Why? But it doesn't mean I wanted Harry and Hermione either. Maybe, just maybe, Harry would fall in love with someone he met as an adult. I've heard that happens sometimes. But this partnership I am totally on board with. From the get-go, Hermione and Ron were ying and yang, perfectly complementing each other, and gradually coming to appreciate each other's strengths. I don't think they ever got as conventionally beautiful as Emma and Rupert, but I'm sure they could never look at another after all they went through together.
6. Cinder and Kai from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. My favorite of the four main couples. They faced so many obstacles and constrictions, and really had to consciously choose each other. Kai may have been prince and emperor, but he is often forced to take the passive role and trust in Cinder's lead, and it's to his credit that he is able to do that.
7. Sean and Puck in The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
“I say, 'I will not be your weakness, Sean Kendrick.'
Now he looks at me. He says, very softly, 'It's late for that, Puck.”
Swoony swoon swoon.
8. Eugenides and the Queen of Attolia in The Queen's Thief series by Margaret Whalen Turner.
He steals from her, she cuts off his hand--clearly the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
9. Shira and Yod in He, She, and It by Marge Piercy.
Twenty-second century love between a divorcee and an android. If you think that doesn't sound very romantic, you're wrong, and you need to read this book. If you think it sounds very romantic, you're right, and you should read this book.
10. Jack and Ennis in Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx.
This is the only tragic couple on my list, because I just don't find tragedy that romantic. But these characters, whether in the short story or the movie adaptation, have a love that is just as epic and as true as any on this list--but they aren't allowed to say so, even to themselves, so it sours and withers and MAKES ME CRY, DAMMIT. This story of how what should have been a lifelong love instead becomes a heartache and a death sentence is the best argument I can ever imagine for marriage equality, whether it be same-sex, cross-race, or any other societal hangup.
* I realize my post title is actually from a break-up song, but I like it anyway.