Here we are, Monday Part 2, we have arrived…but hey, at least it ain’t Monday Part 1! So I actually don’t think I’ve ever participated in the Top 10 Tuesday meme before today. For some reason this one stresses me out a little. I get kind of stuck in a loop with my suggestions for things and I always felt a little intimidated by having to come up with ten items for this meme. However today I thought, why not – lets give it a shot!
Top 10 Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader and much like the other fun list memes, there are ever changing topics that explore different book related content! This weeks topic is “favorite couples”. A bit about me first: I don’t read a lot of straight romance. Most of the romance-esc books I read are from a few years ago and I’ve really shifted my reading in the past year. So I’m going to shake things up and not just going to do favorite romantic couples, but my top ten favorite coupling of characters (including friendship), so off we go!
Evelyn Hugo + Her Love Interest from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Hi, my name is Christina and I have a redundancy problem. But honestly, again, sorry not super sorry about it. This. Book. Was. Fantastic! Not only will it surprise you, but it’s not about what you’d think it would be about at all. I’m not going to spoil which one of Evelyn’s seven husbands I may or may not be talking about but the relationship that means the most to Evelyn is sweeping, and stunning, heartbreaking and beautiful. I was absolutely enamored and surprised by it.
Vasya + herself from The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Shall I say it once more for everyone in the back? I LOVE a strong, independent, kick-ass female lead. Vasya don’t need no man, she’s got herself, her wits and her #skillz to get through anything and anyone that life throws at her. There are some inklings of a possible romantic sub-plot in the book but I honestly am not totally sure either because it’s so subtle. What isn’t subtle however, is her bad-assery and her ability to look out for herself and overcome anything because she believes she can. We need more female leads like Vasya.
The Bargainer + Callie from The Bargainer Series by Laura Thalassa
I can’t tell you off the top of my head (too lazy to look on Goodreads) when I started this series but I absolutely fell in love with it because of Callie and The Bargainer’s relationship together. This is definitely a *steamy* romance and that aspect makes me a little uncomfortable sometimes, but the romance and *swooning* is so sweet that I can’t help but ship these two. I ended up being just a tad disappointed with the ending of the series, but over all their story is sweeping and lovely.
Enzo + Danny from The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
I know I just plugged this book but it’s seriously so cute ya’ll. Enzo is a philosopher dog who loves his owner Danny with his whole heart. Enzo sees Danny through some of the hardest moments of his life, supports him and cares for him and Danny does the same for Enzo. It’s such a beautiful show of the importance of pets in our lives and how some of the most important relationships are unconventional but they shape us and make us who we are.
Dana + Kevin Franklin from Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
This story is crazy ya’ll! I don’t ever want to spoil too much so I don’t want to go into too much detail about this book because it’s twists are subtle thinkers versus ‘in your face’ jump scares. However, Dana and her husband Kevin are too die for. An interracial couple in the sixties has enough to deal with, but then Dana begins popping in and out of time. For her, it seems like days, weeks or months – she comes back home bloodied, bruised, wet and covered in mud. For Kevin, she blinks out of existence and appears 15 feet away from him looking like death 30 seconds later. Their dedication to one another through a truly harrowing experience is moving and beautiful. Kevin’s love for Dana, his willingness to stand by her and be logical and pragmatic, while still being supportive and loving is truly inspired.
Alex Woods + Mr. Peterson from The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
Another real surprise and treat was reading this book! I’m normally not super drawn to the “unlikely friendship” trope but this one got me hook, line and sinker. When Alex Woods was 10 years old, a meteor fell from the sky, into his bathroom and knocked him right in the noodle. To say his upbringing, given the meteor was unconventional is to say the least (plus he is raised by his single, clairvoyant mother). So when he meets Mr. Peterson and they form an unlikely bond, it surprises them both. In the end Alex and Mr. Peterson each learn important life lessons from one another – Alex, to embrace who he is and Mr. Peterson, that it’s never to late in life to enjoy living. It is charming, heartwarming and ultimately a poignant and beautiful bond.
Daniel + Sophia from My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
A love story that spans time, distance and even life, death and reincarnation. Daniel and Sophia are destined for one another. The only thing is that Daniel remembers – he remembers all of their past lives together, each one ending more tragically than the last. Sophia remembers none of this. Daniel is determined to make this new life turn out differently, but first the has to make Sophia understand their past and what they mean to each other. Despite being kind of, pretty much about soul mates I found this refreshingly grounded. If you’ve read my reviews you probably know by now I am not a believer in *the one* and while I can get behind it in books, I always find it refreshing when authors break away from that. Despite being a beautiful and sweeping love story, I found that Brashares was realistic and didn’t make this too sappy. Daniel’s dedication to Sophia is pure swoon material.
Jane + Her Cat from Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
ALRIGHT, if you’ve read it, this one might surprise you. I know, I know there is a romantic semi-sub-plot going on in this book and I actually quite liked that relationship as well. I enjoyed that aspect, and was surprised because I was initially annoyed it was there. However! What really got me, was how much I adored Jane’s relationship with her sociopathic, unnamed cat. Now I’m 100% a dog person – cats freak me out (honestly, a cat recently jumped on my shoulders and I was SURE it was preparing me to be sacrificed / eaten) but pets and animals are so amazing and wonderful. The bond that Jane forms with her cat was amusing, and sweet – despite this not being a sweet story and I absolutely loved it!
Vhalla + Aldrick from The Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova
This series tops a lot of my lists / recommendations because I love the world building. Kova has a really unique writing style, and created an incredibly unique world here that I loved. However, what shines even brighter than her world building and imagination is her main character Vhalla Yarl. As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I love a girl overcoming adversity and kicking the patriarchy in the face! However, that isn’t the only thing to love about this series. Vhalla and Aldrick’s slow burn romance was sweet, sultry and exciting exactly when it needed to be. One thing I hate about romantic sub-plots is when everything is ill-timed. I mean – what person rides into battle and flirts at the same time? No, I don’t think so. Vhalla and Aldrick felt realistic, and they better one another and help each other flourish into stronger, more beautiful characters than when the story begins and I loved that.
Claire Beauchamp + Jamie Fraser from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Yaaaaaaaaa’ll – couldn’t make this list without including the crem-de-la-crem of romance now could I? Claire and Jamie are legit amazeballs. I’ll admit that the book was kind of hard for me to get into, and the first half was so slow it hurt my eyes but once this baby gets moving not only is it an incredible work of historical fiction but it’s unique and fascinating to boot! However, the real star of this series is Claire and Jamie and their love for one another. Literally, I just can’t get enough of them and their dedication to one another. I just, all the love, so sweet, too cute for words….blahhh, I love them.
*An “I messed up” Side Note: Soooo, I’ve finally done it. But you know, I kind of feel like for how long I’ve been doing these posts it’s surprising I haven’t done it yet. I made the Chicken Curry to go with my The Silent Patient review and it wasn’t until my husband and I were sitting down and eating that I realized I didn’t take a single picture or do literally anything I normally do to prepare those posts. -_- So that’s MY BAD dudes, I’m gonna try to get that meal re-made and the review up ASAP. It was delicious though, so you’re in for a treat either way!
So actually, as it turns out – that wasn’t that hard! I know I broke with the theme a bit and went outside romantic couples but not all couplings are romantic! Anyway, have you read any of these titles and do you agree with me? What are some of your favorite character couplings? Drop me a note in the comments and let me know!