I like romance in books and often support couples, but I had a little more trouble figuring out my OTPs, or “One True Pairs,” for this week’s topic than I thought I would. It takes a lot to really stick with me long after I finish your love story, so step up your game, couples – especially QUILTBAG couples, because this list is sorely lacking in sexual diversity, which is more on me than books (although there can always be more QUILTBAG books). Anyway, here they are in no particular order, because I definitely can’t do that.
1. Shahrzad and Khalid (The Wrath and the Dawn)
I really did not expect to love this couple as much as I did coming into it. You see, with a retelling about a story where the king kills his new bride the day after he marries her every single time, you don’t have high hopes for a functional love story and relationship. Their relationship definitely isn’t perfect, but I loved it anyway, or maybe because of it. There’s more to Khalid’s story that you expect, and Shahrzad is basically the awesomest ever, so yes, she deserves a non-word like “awesomest.”
2. Juliette and Warner (Shatter Me)
Warner is not a great guy, I admit that, but it’s been a while since I read the first book, so all I really remember is the more mellowed-out version who’s around by the last book, who seems like a better fit for Juliette. I want to reread these books soon, though, and hopefully I’ll still root for them and not regret my choice after seeing the worst of Warner again.
3. Samantha and Jace (My Life Next Door)
We need more functional relationships like this, where a couple has a frank talk about having sex and get condoms together, rather than the more stereotypical idea that it’s the girl’s responsibility or that only guys are interested enough in sex to be prepared. Plus, they’re just adorable together, and I was disappointed by how little we got to see more of their adorable moments in the companion.
4. Suze and Jesse (The Mediator)
I am rereading The Mediator right now in preparation for what should be an amazing new installment in the form of Remembrance, and it’s just one more reminder how amazing these two are together. Even though Jesse has plenty of old-fashioned sensibilities about girls and romance, he also recognizes how strong and amazing Suze is, which is obvious, of course. I find the Suze and Paul relationship intriguing even though he’s a pretty awful guy much of the time, but it will never take away from my incredible love of Suze and Jesse.
5. Lucy and Zach (Impossible)
This was one of my earliest exposures to adorable friends-from-next-door to eventual romantic relationships. Zach is a true nice guy, not a Nice Guy with an asterisk about entitlement and such, and he’s so supportive of Lucy while also allowing her to do things on her own when she needs to. This has long been one of my favorite books, and I look forward to rereading it again sometime soon. There is a sequel, apparently, a companion if I remember correctly, but I don’t want horrible things to happen to these two again, so I don’t think I’ll be reading it – it could be perfectly amazing, but I just don’t want to marr my love of this book!
6. Evie and Jericho and Sam (The Diviners)
Yes, I’m going there and including an OT3, because I just can’t choose! I love Evie with Jericho and Evie with Sam, and I like the prickly friendship between Jericho and Sam, so how the hell am I supposed to decide on just one relationship! There are a lot more to this series than their relationship(s), obviously, but I love seeing them interact.
7. Gigi and Mike (Smart Girls Get What They Want)
This is just a fluffy and adorable relationship. Sure, there’s plenty of romantic misunderstanding, but whether they were simply acting as platonic friends or something more, I just loved reading their scenes together. Mike was a much better choice than her other love interest.
8. Harper and Brody (Perfect Couple)
This is a recent couple, but while I was writing this, I suddenly remembered them and just had to include them. A big reason I like this relationship is because I just relate to Harper a lot, but I also find their relationship interesting. It reminds me a lot of Gigi and Mike, actually. I don’t appreciate the fact that Brody is in a quasi-relationship with someone else while he’s getting closer to Harper, but if I remember correctly, it’s kind of like the “relationship” that Mike was supposedly in, so that helps.
9. Maya and Daniel (Darkness Rising)
I really like best friend-to-something-more relationships, okay? This is kind of a spoiler, I suppose, because Maya has another love interest and I wasn’t sure if I was just reading into things, but the further you get into the books, the more you see that it’s definitely a possibility. This was one of the few books where I was really scared that I wasn’t supporting the “right” couple and would be heartbroken by the end. I won’t say if I was or not, but I’m definitely a fan of this couple, whether it’s canon or not (just read it to know if I’m happy about the ending or not).
10. James and Lily (Harry Potter)
Come on, they’re James and Lily! If you don’t love them, then we can’t be friends. I love seeing headcanons and fanfiction about the amazing Marauder era, but I still want more from the goddess herself, J.K. Rowling. I mean, in between writing beautiful new things, as well – basically, she should always be writing and never doing anything else so that I can have more awesome things to read from her. But really, they’re such an adorable couple, and if you try to suggest that James doesn’t deserve her because he was a bully, remember that Lily is flawless and wouldn’t have chosen him if she didn’t think that he had learned and changed for the better. Yes, he was a bully, but he grew and became a great person, which is a lot more than you can say for another boy from Lily’s past (although I’m not going to get into that – and I did enjoy Alan Rickman in the role, even though I don’t like his character most of the time)…