Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I am a sucker for a good love story.

It started when I was four years old and discovered Cinderella. I remember the thrill of hefting that huge, tattered Book of Fairytales (it had somehow survived my four older sisters) up onto my bed and getting lost in the world of princes and princesses, magic and myth, good and evil. As I got older, my love of fairytales grew into an appreciation for a variety of literature. But I will forever love a good love story.

Of course, there are the classic literary romances… Romeo and Juliet, Catherine and Heathcliff, Buttercup and Westley!

But almost every book out there, classic or not, has a unique love story woven between its covers. Whether dystopian, fantasy, contemporary, or adventure, there’s usually some sort of romantic entanglement involved.

So what is it about love stories that continually draw us in, especially in YA literature? Perhaps it’s the wonderment of our hero or heroine finding a kindred spirit, a soul mate, a partner. The characters often must overcome horrific obstacles and the endings are not always happy, but somehow (much like life) the journey is worth it.

Below are a few books I’ve recently read with memorable couples discovering first love:

· Katniss and Peeta/Gale - THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy by Suzanne Collins
· Mia and Adam - IF I STAY by Gayle Forman
· Wes and Macy - THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER by Sarah Dessen
· Bella and Edward/Jacob - TWILIGHT saga by Stephanie Meyer
· Rapunzel and Eugene Fitzherbert (aka Flynn Rider) - TANGLED by Disney (I know it’s a movie, and yes, we’re back to fairytales, but it’s just too good to leave out)

A few weeks ago, I got giddy over the endearing romance between Anna and St. Clair in ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins. One of the things I enjoyed about this book was that the characters were loveable, but not too perfect. Their actions, conversations and romance all felt very real. I recommend this book for anyone who has been in love—or longs to be.

So… what love stories do you heart, and why?


(Reminder: This is the last week for our giveaway! Winners will be announced on Mon.)


sonja said...

I was definitely heavily invested in Katniss ending up with Peeta, so that worked out well. But I was Team Jacob, so I lost that one.

Hmm, any other YA love stories that capivated me? Although it wasn't a central storyline, I did like the way the relationship between Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger evolved. The bickering was fun. One of my favorite scenes is in book 4 when Ron and Harry need dates to the ball and can't find any, then Ron sees Hermione and says, "Hey, you're a girl!" and she says, "Oh, well spotted."

I'll tell you a YA love story that I WISH had been better: both of Malinda Lo's books: ASH and HUNTRESS. I wanted to be more invested in those romances than I was... Oh well...

Unknown said...

My favourite love story is not Romantic (but I'm a sucker for those too). In THE BONE PEOPLE by Keri Hulme (New Zealand author)a middle-aged woman has sort of given up on people and becomes a hermit living out on her own by the shore, in a strange tower-house that she built herself. One day a mute boy washes up on her beach and wanders into her house. The story that develops between these two characters is just gorgeous. It's a childless woman learning how to love another human being. AMAZING.

Kristan said...

YES YES YES to Tangled. Zomg I could watch that movie a million times. (Only 3 so far, but... I'll get there!)

Hmm, love stories that I love...

- Jane & Mr. Rochester from JANE EYRE (as I've been talking about nonstop, sorry guys!)

- Anne & Gilbert from ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (probably my first real love story)

- Wanda & Ian from THE HOST (such a strong, complicated love, but it transcended so much prejudice and fear)

kaye (paper reader) said...

Oooh, is it too punny to say that I love this topic? :D

It's so difficult to talk about love because how can you explain why you like it? Ahh, I'm wracking my brain here. I think it has a lot to do with the journey of it, like you said. There are some characters in books that I would have never guessed from the start that they'd end up together - but that's the wonder of it. So much can change, people can develop, circumstances are such a wheel of roulette that you can discover things you thought you'd never see. And THAT's the beauty of it to me. The discovery. The little feeling in your tummy when you just sort of know, that kind of vicarious "oh, I'm so happy for you even if you're in a book" flutter that makes it worth it.

I can't agree enough about TANGLED. I adore that movie so much, I might have to pop it in soon!

Recently it's happened for me in THE IRON KING (and subsequent books) by Julie Kagawa, Katniss/Peeta (I'd say Gale, but Gale for me was the easy choice), in THE HUNGER GAMES.

Elizabeth Bennett/Fitzwilliam Darcy in PRIDE & PREJUDICE. I know, I know, but their ending is really all about how they got there.

Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

I think I enjoy discussing literary couples more than the average person xD I completely agree with your picks :)

I think for a classic, I adore Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride & Prejudice. Also, any Melina Marchetta book is part love story, part life story if you know what I mean ;) Anyways, before I ramble on (for AGES) just gonna say I love this post!

Kristin Rae said...

omg Anna and the French Kiss for the WIN. I read it in February and I'm still swooning over it.

I think the key to why we love romances in YA is because teens have such an immediacy to their emotions. They're experiencing everything for the first time, and it's the end of the WORLD if their heart is broken. I think, especially as adults reading YA, we like to be taken back to that time... to feel giddy about love again.

Ingrid Palmer said...

Sonja, lol, I was Team Edward and Team Gale, so I won and lost one too!

Sarah, very true—love stories aren’t always of the Romantic variety. I loved THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein—a beautiful love story between a dog and his person.

Kristan and Kaye, great picks!

Thanks, Audrey. I’m going to check out Melina Marchetta's books.

Kristin Rae, I think you nailed it. YA love stories are so special because they take you back to that time when everything's new and exciting, and the emotions can be so raw.

Unknown said...

I could never decide if I wanted Katniss to be with Peeta of Gale, that's why I was okay with the final decision in Mockingjay. Aaahh Anna and The French Kiss! I get giddy when I read about the book lol
Great blog, I love the fact that you don't only write reviews, that's great! I loved Dimitri and Rose's relationship, one of my faves!

We Heart YA said...

Wait, who are Dimitri and Rose??

And thanks! Yeah, we figure there are a lot of blog review books out there, and they all do what they do so well. So we wanted to keep talking about books, but in a little bit different way. Glad you like it! :)

We Heart YA said...

LOL I mean book review blogs. :P

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



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The Bitter Kingdom
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Mind Games
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Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
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New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
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