Top Ten Favorite Romances

February 15, 2013

Last week, I participated in my very first Top Ten Tuesday. This week, I’m shaking things up by doing the Top Ten Tuesday on a WEDNESDAY FRIDAY. I’m a loner, Dottie! A rebel!

In all actuality, I had my list put together yesterday Tuesday, but I didn’t plan ahead and wound up having to grade (and then grade some more. And then do some other stuff). The professor life is the opposite of the glamorous life. It ain’t much, it ain’t much.

This week’s topic? Favorite romances!

Should I bore you with my process? Basically, I’m going with couples except for my top number one pick (all of the rest are in no particular order). Drumroll please!

1. Sharing Sam by Katherine Applegate: Every love triangle of all time pales in comparison to what Applegate does in Sharing Sam. I mean, this is a true love story on all sides.  Sam wants to be with Alison, and Alison wants to be with Sam. But guess what? Her dying best friend likes Sam, too! So what does Alison do? Tells Sam to date Izzy.  And it’s just LOVE on all sides. Because Alison loves Izzy who loves Sam who loves her but also loves Alison! Everybody loves everybody! And friendship trumps all. So, basically, everything about this book is great and everybody should read it, the end.

2. Mia Thermopolis and Michael Moscovitz from The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot: I love them together and separately. I also love how Cabot deals with Mia’s immaturity throughout the series, especially when it comes to being in a relationship with a slightly older boy/man.

3. Ben and Nina from the Boyfriends/Girlfriends series by Katherine Applegate: From unrequited love to first love. What could be more perfect? What I really like about them, though, is that they get each other. He gets her humor; she understands how he wants to be treated. They don’t pity each other. And best of all, his ex-girlfriend is her sister, and it doesn’t even matter because everyone knows Ben & Nina are the better match.

4. Sophie and Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones: She’s a young woman stuck in an old lady’s body. He’s an arrogant, self-centered wizard. The best thing is that the book is a romance wrapped in a fantasy-mystery…thing. So I didn’t even realize I was reading a romance until I started rooting for those two crazy kids to work it out. And then I was all, “Sophie + Howl = 4EVAH!!!”

5. Ella and Prince Charmont from Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: Don’t let the movie fool you. Book Ella and Char have one of the best romances ever. They’re friends first, and while he is clearly digging her, their relationship doesn’t truly grow until she goes away and they become pen pals. Through the exchanging of letters, they come to truly know and love each other.

6. Mary Anne and Logan from The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin: He’s a boy babysitter who noticed shy Mary Anne. Plus, he loved her haircut when everyone else treated her like a pariah (best word I ever learned from a book? Probably). Possibly my first ship before I even knew what that meant.

7. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley from The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: I love them both, separately and together. Also, I want to be adopted by the Weasleys, and that’s mostly because the parents are so great.

8. Nat & Edan from The Girl Friends series by Nicole Grey: These two, oh my word. So Nat is crazy because she’s been hurt a lot in the past. And Edan is crazy about her. The two are immediately drawn to each other when they first meet. I’m talking sparks flying, insta-attraction, super blazing hot chemistry. But it takes them forever to get together because everything is pain with her, and all he can do is try to show her he’s serious and not just After One Thing. Also, he’s white and she’s mixed and this is post L.A. riots and she is eschewing all things white in order to embrace her blackness. Plus the town skinheads are harassing her family. He doesn’t let her push him around, but at the same time he’s patient with her and willing to give her space. So when they finally do get together, officially, it’s a delicious payoff. Plus? He’s a horticulturist, and he names a flower he creates after her.

9. Lizzie & Chaz from The Queen of Babble series by Meg Cabot: My favorite, favorite thing about their relationship (and the book series) is that they both start off with other people, they both think those other people are The One, but when those relationships fall apart, the love they have for each other as friends turns into something more romantic. Especially because Lizzie is truly herself with Chaz. She’s not trying to impress him. He knows exactly who she is and how she is, so their relationship, though unexpected, is genuine and honest and helps Lizzie figure out that her expectations about what love should be and how it should look are not realistic. Some readers have an issue with how the series end, but I think they miss the point. Love is not about image or spectacle. It’s about what’s true and what really matters. I think Lizzie and Chaz’s relationship embodies that throughout.

10. Friends and Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey: This novel is the story of two pairs of friends who fall in love with different results. This is one of my favorite EJD novels. Both couples’ stories are heartbreaking and hopeful in their own ways. Also, I have a lot of nostalgia around this book because me and two of my friends all passed it around and loved it and it gave us something to talk about and share.

Please share your favorite romances in the comments!

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