Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Express Yourself: Adorable Book Couples

The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted by Jackie @ Bouquet of Books and Dani @ Entertaining Interests.

The prompt for this week is: Tell us about some book couples you adore.

Fiction is certainly filled with great romantic pairings, and I've thoroughly enjoyed a great number of them.  A great story is often enhanced by the relationships within it.  Here I'll share with you a few of the many couples I've adored in books, and an explanation of why they've made this list.

From Stardust: Tristran and Yvaine
     This pairing was fun because the relationship begins in a fairly antagonistic way.  Their banter is filled with sharp wit and sarcasm at first, but that softens over time.  As they get to know one another, they come to care for each other a great deal, and though there is still plenty of sarcasm throughout, you see that love developing through action.  Actions speak louder than words, right?

From the Harry Potter series: Lupin and Tonks
     This relationship isn't a prominent one in the series, and we only see it through the eyes of the main characters.  Yet I find it fascinating from what little we do see.  There's a bit of an age difference between them (about 13 years-same as my parents incidentally), but that isn't nearly as much of an issue as the fact that Lupin is a werewolf.  He's worried how the stigma that's attached to his lycanthropic condition will attach to anyone who dares to love him.  Then when Tonks gets pregnant, he's even more worried about the baby and whether it would inherit his condition.  Though these issues are a significant strain, they make it through it all together.  That is, until . . . Well, if you know Harry Potter, you know how it all ends for them.
     I need a tissue now.

From The Mortal Instruments series: Magnus and Alec
     There are a plethora of issues to work through here.  They face homophobia, as well as racism (Magnus is half demon, Alec is part angel).  Yet the heaviest issue of all proves to be immortality.  Immortality is often romanticized (imagine spending eternity with the one you love!), but there's a darker side to it.  Being immortal, Magnus stands apart from the rest of the world.  He participates in it, but it all continues to fall away.  He's watched many people he's loved die over the centuries, and he's accumulated a lot of painful memories and secrets along the way.  In a world where so many things die, immortality is a burden, and it often wears on relationships until they fall apart.

From The Infernal Devices trilogy: Will/Tessa/Jem
     Love triangles are certainly common enough, but they're difficult to write.  I frequently either find it easy to choose who I want to end up together in the end, or I find that it becomes to burdensome upon the rest of the story.  I don't like it when it feels like the rest of the story suffers because of the love triangle.  That being said, it can be done right.  Of course, we all have different ideas of what works and what doesn't.
     In this case, I never could choose whether I wanted Tessa to end up with Will or Jem, though I know other people were able to make the choice.  For me, both Jem and Will are good people, though they each come with their own baggage.  Then again, who doesn't?  But what really makes it hard for me to choose is the relationship between Jem and Will. They're like brothers, and they love each other enough that nothing can come between them.  They both love the same girl, but they never stop wanting the best for the other.  And in my opinion, the action going around them never suffers from the love-related conflict.  If anything, it heightens the stakes and makes it feel more human.  At least, that's what it does for me.

From The Time Traveler's Wife: Henry and Clare
     Talk about a complication!  Henry can't control where and when he'll jump from one time to another.  Henry can never relax because he doesn't know when he'll travel, and he has no clue what to expect when he gets there.  Clare can't have a normal life either, because her husband is often gone for long periods of time, and she never knows how old he'll be when he returns again.  Yet you want things to work out for them, even if their relationship can never be what most of us can expect from life.  And as much as I care for the characters, I'm endlessly intrigued by the questions I found myself asking when contemplating how such a scenario would work.  (This is probably one reason why time travel shows like Doctor Who hook me like they do.)

From Much Ado About Nothing: Beatrice and Benedick
     I can't help it.  I like couples who start out trading jabs at each other.  It might just be a product of my upbringing.  My parents were always joking around with each other, trading playful jabs.  It's also how my relationship started with my husband.  I teased him all the time when we first met.  We never outright disliked each other, although he told me later that he thought I didn't like him very much.  What can I say?  If I liked someone, I teased them.  If I genuinely didn't like someone, I ignored them altogether.  So yeah, I can't help but like relationships that begin with a bit of antagonism.

Now, if this weren't limited to couples in books, this list would have been a whole lot longer!   I have a lot more favorite couples from TV and film, but that's another list for another time.

Which book couples do you adore?


  1. Yay! I definitely agree with Stardust, Harry Potter and Much Ado. ;)

  2. I agree about Stardust and Harry Potter as well. I wrote about Tolkien's couples for my post--Beren and Luthien, Aragorn and Arwen. I love those couples!