Monday, February 12, 2018

Favorite and Least Favorite Book Couples (From the Past Year's Reading)

I'm linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week is a "Love Freebie" for Valentine's Day. In past years I covered things I like and dislike in book romances, favorite fictional couples, and best male-female friendships in books, plus a recent post on book crushes, so I felt like I might have exhausted my options. But then I thought, maybe I've come across more fictional couples in the past year's reading that I could talk about — and I have. Here are five whose relationships I enjoyed, and five that I didn't like as much.

Post contains spoilers for these books: Americanah, Birdsong, Everything Leads to You, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I'll Meet You There, The Nightingale, Turtles All the Way Down, The Upside of Unrequited, and When Dimple Met Rishi.

Favorite Book Couples from the Past Year's Reading

1. Emi and Ava (Everything Leads to You)
I loved this book so much, and I liked seeing Emi and Ava become friends and then something more. Even when things were complicated and stressful, their relationship was a source of comfort and healing.

2. Skylar and Josh (I'll Meet You There)
I can't say I was a big fan of Josh as a person, but overall I liked their slow-burn romance that developed amid a bunch of other painful life issues, and how they encouraged one another to make it through.

3. Dana and Kevin (Kindred)
They worked as a team to try to deal with the challenges of involuntary time travel, and Kevin recognized that he could never truly understand what Dana was going through even while still doing his best.

4. Molly and Reid (The Upside of Unrequited)
There's something so sweet about two misfits finding a fit with one another and experiencing the pure joy of being with someone who really wants you for the first time.

5. Dimple and Rishi (When Dimple Met Rishi)
Both these characters were so great, and they pushed each other to be their best selves.

Least Favorite Book Couples from the Past Year's Reading

1. Ifemelu and Obinze (Americanah)
I enjoyed this book for its observation on race and culture in America, but I never cared too much about the main characters' relationship, and so I couldn't feel too enthused about Obinze leaving his wife to be with Ifemelu.

2. Stephen and Isabelle (Birdsong)
Stephen was super rape-y toward Isabelle in the first part of the book — pursuing her and touching her before she gave him any encouragement — and then after they got together Isabelle bailed rather than tell Stephen she was pregnant. It was not romantic at all.

3. Henry and Keiko (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet)
There was no reason the author needed to make their friendship into a romance — it felt forced. And for as much as he talked about thirteen being an age of maturity in Chinese culture, I still found it hard to care too much about two 12-year-olds falling in love.

4. Isabelle and Gaëtan (The Nightingale)
From the moment Gaëtan was introduced, with his bad-boy persona and crooked smile, I knew he was going to be a love interest, and it just felt so unnecessary. If I was traveling alone in a war-torn country and some swaggering guy came up to me I would be terrified, not want to run off and sleep with him.

5. Aza and Davis (Turtles All the Way Down)
With all the focus on Aza's character development, there wasn't much energy put into giving these two any sort of chemistry. Their relationship felt like a stand-in for an idea, there to make a point about Aza's mental illness but not getting any sort of authenticity of its own.

Which book couples have stood out in your mind from your recent reads?

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Thanks for supporting A Cocoon of Books!

No comments:

Post a Comment