I spend a fair bit of time bashing romances in books. I roll my eyes at teen romantic drama and rage against so called “romantic” relationships that are SO UNHEALTHY HOW DOES NO ONE ELSE SEEM TO NOTICE.
Despite all this, I’m not against all bookish romance. Yes, I’m picky. Yes, I generally tend to prefer books that focus on platonic relationships. But when I find a romance I truly enjoy, I…truly enjoy it. (Wow, I thought I had somewhere to go with that sentence and I really didn’t.)
So, while I considered writing a post ranting about all the romances I hate, I’ve decided to show you all that I’m not just a cranky love-hating goblin who burns down flower shops and pops heart-shaped balloons on Valentine’s Day.
I’m limiting myself to people in books (otherwise you can be sure I would be screaming about Newt+Tina and Donny+Julia in a moment here) who fall in love in the course of the story (so no people who are already married at the beginning of the story *cough cough SIG AND IZUMI CURTIS cough*).
Without further ado, here are 8 Bookish Romances I Actually Support (in no particular order):
1. Howl and Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle
As a ridiculously vain, remarkably over-dramatic wizard, Howl needs someone like Sophie who will take absolutely none of his nonsense. I love them both dearly. Their relationship is endlessly entertaining–full of banter, green slime, Sophie embracing her role as a grumpy old lady, Howl lapsing into dramatic despair, etc.–but also manages to be quite sweet.
Howl’s voice was presently heard shouting weakly, “Help me, someone! I’m dying from neglect up here!”
Oh, and we can’t forget about the scene where Sophie pretends to be Howl’s mother. How often do you see that in a romantic relationship?
2. Kit and Dewey from A Series of Unfortunate Events
This is kind of an odd one to include since we never see them interact in the book (and by the time we meet them they’re already a couple, so I guess I’m breaking my rule, but shhhhhhh). And Dewey is in, like….two chapters?? But I love that chapter SO MUCH. And Kit is the greatest.
He opened his mouth, and reached one hand out of the water, pointing past the Baudelaires toward the dark, dark sky as he struggled to utter the word he most wanted to say. “Kit,” he whispered finally.
3. Ed and Winry from Fullmetal Alchemist
Ok, but the number of times Ed is a squiggly bloody blob on the floor after Winry hits him with a wrench though.
I love that they’ve been close friends ever since they were little. I love all the arguments they have, all the times Winry tells him he’s short because he doesn’t drink milk, all the times Ed’s like “I’m so pathetic, I made her cry again”, all the times they worry about each other…basically I just love them all the time.
Ed: ( to Winry) “THE NEXT TIME I MAKE YOU CRY, THEY’LL BE TEARS OF JOY!! AL AND I WILL GET OUR ORIGINAL BODIES BACK NO MATTER WHAT, AND WE’LL MAKE YOU SO HAPPY THAT YOU’LL CRY! YOU CAN COUNT ON IT!!”
Al: (as they’re walking away) “How cute! That was so sweet, Big Bro!!”
Ed: “Shut up, Stupid!!”
4. Maddie and Jamie from Code Name Verity
It has been AGES since I read this book, so I don’t remember everything. I do remember quite clearly that I adore both Maddie and Jamie. And I adore them as a couple.
Oh! And I remember “Ma–MA CHERIE!”
And Jamie saying, “Shut your mucky gob, man” when that one guy is being a jerk to Maddie.
He just put his hand through the bulkhead, exactly as she’d done, and squeezed my shoulder. He has very strong fingers. And he kept his hand there the whole way home, even when he was reading the map and giving me headings.
So I am not flying alone now after all.
5. Barbara and Peaceable from The Sherwood Ring
What can I say about these two? Peaceable is so clever and confident and all-around entertaining to read about. And then there’s Barbara who refuses to give him the satisfaction of seeing her panic and outwits him (but also does her share of freaking out, because realizing you’re in love with someone has that effect–especially when that someone starts taking stupid risks to come see you).
“When the war’s over, dearest?”
“When the war’s over, dearest,” she promised gravely.
And the proposal scene. Gotta love a good proposal with someone falling flat on their face.
6. Mustang and Hawkeye from Fullmetal Alchemist
(Yes, another Fullmetal Alchemist one. I’m not definitely not obsessed, but I just finished the books and I’m currently watching Brotherhood with my sister and I have feelings.)
…Why do I love them so much?
Hawkeye is so fiercely supportive of Mustang and what he’s trying to accomplish, and he trusts her and relies on her so much. They get so mad at each other when the other person does something that puts themselves in danger.
“I won’t die… I’ve been given orders…not to die.”
7. Kate and Christopher from The Perilous Gard
The amount of banter and insults here. Truly excellent.
Basically Christopher blames himself for things that weren’t really his fault, turns angst into snark, is a tad bit self-destructive, and Kate comes along like STOP THIS. And eventually saves his life by saying, “YOU LOOK LIKE A GINGERBREAD MAN.”
“You don’t want to marry me. If you’d wanted to marry me, you’d have said so, long before this.”
“It’s hard for a man to ask a woman to marry him with an eight-foot wall of stakes and withy between them, especially if he happens to be dead at the time.”
I’m telling you, Elizabeth Marie Pope is a master of these proposal scenes.
8. Tonks and Lupin from Harry Potter
TONKS and LUPIN. Need I say more?? They’re two of the best characters in the whole series, in my humble opinion. I love them dearly–as individuals, and as a couple.
“And I’ve told you a million times,” said Lupin, refusing to meet her eyes, staring at the floor, “that I am too old for you, too poor…too dangerous…”
“I’ve said all along you’re taking a ridiculous line on this, Remus,” said Mrs. Weasley over Fleur’s shoulder as she patted her on the back.
“I am not being ridiculous,” said Lupid steadily. “Tonks deserves somebody young and whole.”
“But she wants you,” said Mr. Weasley, with a small smile.
There you have it! Proof that I actually can appreciate a good romantic relationship.
As I was making this list, I realized the vast majority of these people are adults. I told you I wasn’t a fan of teen romance.
Also, I seem to like the ones that are at least 50% arguing/insults/banter/screaming??
Anyhoo! Happy Valentine’s Day, folks!
What are some of your favorite bookish romances? Teen romance: yea or nay? Do you support any of these couples? Are there any romances other people love that you hate? Do you consider yourself to be picky about romance in books? Do tell!