7 best YA couples of all time (this is completely subjective)

My little brother’s getting married today! Obviously, I’m not writing this on his wedding day, though. Like a good blogger, I have pre-scheduled content for this weekend including yesterday’s review of Bloodwitch. But I’m getting away from myself. In honor of my baby brother’s wedding day, I wanted to post my top 7 (he was born on the 7th) YA couples of all time! (In my opinion). Happy wedding day, B! (He doesn’t read this blog, but whatever).

Best YA Couples

1) Amy and Roger from Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

This is such an ultimate road trip book and I love it! Roger is super respectful of Amy the entire trip and when they finally get together it’s so satisfying. I love all the different playlists throughout and it’s so fun to watch them get to know each other and fall in love.

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2) August and Kate from the Monsters of Verity duology by Victoria Schwab

These two never really get together, but I still love them as a couple. I feel like they’re really well-suited for each other–I have a hard time imagining anyone else being able to understand either of them. They just seem really perfect.

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3) Blue and Gansey from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue and Gansey spend so much time in this series not actually together and while it can be frustrating at times, it also makes their inevitable relationship that much more satisfying. We know they’re fated to be with each other right from the beginning and I loved watching their relationship grow over the four books.

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4) Dario and Khalila from The Great Library series by Rachel Caine

These two! What a pair! Dario is so ridiculous, but he shows an unexpected tender side whenever Khalila is involved. And Khalila, for her part, doesn’t put up with any of Dario’s crap. She loves him, but she’s not going to let him get away with ANYTHING.

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5) Eril-Fane and Azareen from the Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor

I almost chose Lazlo and Sarai from this book, but then I remembered Eril-Fane and Azareen. While Lazlo and Sarai have a sweet new love, Eril-Fane and Azareen have a deep and tragic love. Reading about their relationship throughout the two books is so heartbreaking. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I love the way this mature relationship is portrayed in these books.

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6) Cress and Thorne from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

One of my OTPs. These guys are definitely perfect for each other. They compliment each other so nicely and I love how tender Thorne is with Cress. She needs someone who will be gentle with her, but also acknowledge all the ways in which she is strong–Thorne is able to do that perfectly.

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7) Remy and Dexter from This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

You knew there was going to be a Sarah Dessen couple on here, right?!? I wanted to pick Macy and Wes so bad, but in the end I had to go with Remy and Dexter. They are the ultimate example of opposites attracting. I love the way Dexter brings out the less serious side of Remy while Remy does a good job of being an anchor to the relationship.

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Any of your guys’ favorite couples make it on my list? Anyone you think I missed?

TTT | I NEED MOOOOOOORE

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Tuesday Blog

Standalone Books That Need a Sequel

Man, going through my Goodreads for this list made me realize that I read very few standalone books! A lot of the standalones are contemporary romance, but I didn’t want my ENTIRE list to be that! So here’s my list. I tried really hard to add some variety.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

This is supposedly getting a sequel, but I won’t believe it until I have it in my grubby little hands.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

I listened to an interview where she explains why she doesn’t do sequels and I get it…but I’d still like one. Honestly, I’d take a sequel for any of her books, but I’m particularly curious about Remy and Dexter.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

I feel like this book ended feeling a little unresolved to me. I didn’t really think Sloan was a very good friend, so I’d like to giver her a chance to redeem herself.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Levi and Cath are just so sweet together. A book about their last year of college would be amazing.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

More time travel heists plzzzzzz.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Yes, more Night Circus would be fantastic. I literally cannot get enough.

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

The two main characters are best friendship goals! I’d love to see what other situations they get themselves into!

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

I feel that there could be more to explore here. The book resolved, but let’s see what happens after!

Odd & True by Cat Winters

A new book with Odd’s daughter as the lead would be so interesting I think!

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E Smith

More Cubs!

Do you agree with my list? Link your TTT in the comments!

TTT | I WILL go down with this ship

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Tuesday Blog

Favorite Couples In Books

1) Iseult and Aeduan from the Witchlands series by Susan Dennard

I just finished Bloodwitch and I love these two together! They will find each other no matter what. I believe it.

2) Cress and Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

These two are so sweet together! I love every scene that involves them in the series.

3) Macy and Wes from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Wes was probably my first big bookish crush. I love their dynamic at Wish Catering and their entire truth game.

4) Kaz and Inej from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

These two are so low-key, but there’s also so much underlying tension–so good.

5) Lupin and Tonks from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

RIP

6) Karou and Akiva from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

This is an ultimate Romeo and Juliet type relationship. They’re up against so much opposition, but their love is so pure.

7) Khalila and Dario from The Great Library series by Rachel Caine

Even though these two aren’t the “main” couple of the series, I still love their relationship. I love that Dario is so protective of Khalila and she lets him even though everyone knows, she doesn’t need protecting.

8) Amy and Roger from Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Cute couple on a road trip! Such a good slow burn romance.

9) Bailey and Porter from Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

I don’t really know why I loved this book so much, but I did. Bailey and Porter have a great hate-to-love type thing going, but actually they just like each other the whole time.

10) Kitty and John Ambrose McClaren from the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han

Okay, so I know this couple doesn’t actually exist, but just listen. Lara Jean clearly does not deserve John Ambrose even though he is literally the most perfect boy ever. She would obviously be upset if Kitty started dating him, but Kitty wouldn’t care. She would appreciate John Ambrose’s perfectness and John Ambrose would appreciate Kitty’s spunk. Plz Jenny Han let this be a thing.

Who are some of your favorite bookish couples? Do you disagree with any of my picks?

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TTT Bookish Couples


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Cartoon Strips and Wedding Disasters | Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Save the Date

The Grant siblings are all about to be in the same place for the first time in what feels like forever and Charlie can’t wait. She loves her siblings and they’ll all be together for her older sister’s wedding. What could go wrong?

TL;DR – Wedding planning/shenanigans/disasters, comic strip characters come to life, and a random dog. If these things sound good to you, you will like this book.

I am a big fan of Morgan Matson in general and this was another solid showing. I loved the premise of the main character’s mom being a cartoonist with a strip based on the family. I grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Foxtrot, etc. and Grant Central Station felt really nostalgic to me. Another small thing I liked was the premise of the cartoon characters aging with the actual family members–I always did wonder how that was supposed to work with Foxtrot.

Charlie is a typical Matson main character. She’s a little quiet and wants to be helpful to other members of her family. I loved her devotion to her family, though. While I thought the drama this caused between her and her best friend was a bit unnecessary, I loved the FAMILY theme of this book.

There is a bit of a mystery hanging over the reader throughout the book. What exactly happened between Charlie’s brother and her mom? For the record, I do believe that Charlie’s mom was in the wrong here but…that’s just my opinion. There are so many fun little things throughout the book. I love the cameos of course, I love seeing the strips scattered throughout, I love the relationship between siblings, I love the little quirks that the characters have like the way JJ says “Scoff”. It feels like a real family.

The ending is…sad, but realistic and hopeful at the same time. I feel like the ending is much more realistic than a lot of other contemporary YA novels and I appreciated that. While this isn’t my favorite Matson novel, I would definitely still recommend it.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Moderate
Violence: None
Sexual Content: Moderate
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate

Top Ten Tuesday: The Transformative Power of Summer

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Top Ten Books With X Setting (top ten books set near the beach, top ten book set in boarding school, top ten books set in England, etc)

In YA books, Summer is filled with endless possibilities. There will certainly be a romance and lots of days on the beach/at the pier/in the ice cream shop hanging out with old (or new) friends. Summer is a time when you can transform into something or somebody new. You might be getting ready for that last year of high school, or maybe even on your way to college. There’s one thing for certain though–anything can happen over the Summer.

Still in High School

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald
The Last Forever by Deb Caletti
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Leaving for College

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Panic by Lauren Oliver
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

P.S. Really several Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson books could have made the list, but I decided to stick with on per author.

P.P.S. Sorry if I miscategorized a book, I don’t quite remember where all of our MCs were heading.

 

Politician’s Daughter Walks Dogs For a Summer (The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson)

The Unexpected EverythingAndie has her whole summer planned out. She’ll be leaving her three best friends to attend a summer program at Johns Hopkins for aspiring medical students. However, when some bad news comes out about her father’s campaign, the summer she had planned fades away before her eyes. Now she’s stuck walking dogs and trying to get used to having her father home so much. When she meets Clark, she thinks she’ll be able to do her usual three week relationship and then have the rest of the summer to hookup with other guys. She doesn’t expect that Clark will actually want to get to know her and she doesn’t expect that she might actually want to get to know him too.

I have loved every single Morgan Matson book and this one was no exception. She always creates a wonderful cast of characters for us to fall in love with and I also appreciate when she weaves in the family element as well. For the first time (that I can remember at least), Matson also includes cameos of past characters. We see Emily a couple of times as well as Dawn, Frank, and the other friend…I think his name was Collins? We also get to see Taylor and her siblings (and their dog). I love when authors do that. It’s like a fun little Easter Egg for their readers.

Out of all of Matson’s main characters I think I like Andie the least–that’s not to say that I don’t like her, but I didn’t feel like I could connect with her as well. She makes some decisions throughout the book that I just don’t agree with or understand all the way, but she’s still realistic as a character. I did love Andie’s group of friends though. They all felt like individuals (even Toby and Bri) and I especially loved Palmer. She seems like the best best friend you get ever ask for! I didn’t like that some drama happens to the group (I like it better when friend groups can just be friends and the drama happens in other aspects of the plot). But in the end, I could see how the evolution of this group might be more realistic than other portrayals.

Andie’s relationship with her dad was also really well-done I thought. I appreciated that her dad was trying, you know? A lot of times YA parents don’t really acknowledge any faults in their parenting until the end of the book (and that’s the book’s resolution). I liked that Andie’s dad understood pretty quickly that he hadn’t been doing so great in the parenting arena and took steps to remedy it right away. I really enjoyed watching as Andie and her dad rebuilt the friendship that they used to have when her mom was still alive.

This book has a few very fun quirks. This is the first book I’ve read where a character is a dog walker so that was kind of interesting to learn about. It’s a lot more complicated than one might think and I thought it was fun that each dog obviously had a personality as well. I also loved that Toby could only text using emojis. It was fun to try to interpret what she was saying and I found myself texting my husband just using emojis at times too (not really on purpose, but kinda). The scavenger hunt was also really fun. Honestly, I wished that the scavenger hunt was longer (maybe a multi-day thing) and took up more of the book, but it doesn’t really have anything to do with the plot, so I get why it doesn’t. Also that might be too reminiscent of Since You’ve Been Gone.

Overall, I thought this was a really great summer book. If you love Matson’s other books, you’ll definitely like this one as well.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Moderate
Violence: None
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Moderate

Top Ten Tuesday: YA Books for Introverts

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Ten Books Every X Should Read

I’m going to fill in the blank with “YA Introvert”. This also applies to those who are not traditionally classified as YA but enjoy reading it nonetheless. Not all of these books necessarily feature introverted characters, but they all feature people who are trying to come out of their shells.

  1. Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer
  2. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
  3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  4. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
  5. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
  6. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  7. Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally
  8. Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park
  9. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
  10. So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Faves

top-ten-tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough/In A While

I kind of feel like I talk about my faves all the time, so I’ll just give a list of some that I think are underrated.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen – This is my FAVORITE Sarah Dessen book. Macy is a really normal protagonist and Wes is basically the best. Definitely my fave Dessen love interest. This book makes me want to work for a catering company.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund – This is a futuristic retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen. I love the underlying story, but the world that the author created is amazing.

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick – This is such a summer book. I love all of the characters (especially the old lady…I can’t remember her name). I might even like this one better than My Life Next Door.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith – Everyone always talks about The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and while that book is awesome, I like this one even more. Another summer book, and the two main characters just feel so right together…

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson – I love that each chapter features one of the things that Emily is going to do from Sloane’s list. It kind of gives the book this driving force. I love the way that Matson develops Emily as a character throughout.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson – Oh boy, bring the tissues. The thing I love about this book is the way Matson portrays the family. They just seem so real! I also love the real way that she portrays Taylor’s friendships. They’re imperfect and take some work.

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E Smith – Baseball is the most beautiful sport and Smith gets that. This book deals with some heavy topics in a really great way, but the thing that ties it all together is baseball. I love the respect that Smith shows for the game.

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin – Okay, I know. I talk about this book ALL THE TIME. I seriously love it. So much.

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb – This book was so unexpected! It doesn’t end the way you think it’s going to, but the ending is still SO PERFECT.

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord – This was the first book that I read from Emery Lord and I am converted. I love, love, LOVE the group of girls in this book. Such a great group of friends! Everything that I wish I had in high school and even now, I wish I had a group of friends like that.

HW Assignment: Secret Shopper

This week’s assignment was to visit a library where the librarians do not know us and “test” them on their Reader’s Advisory skills. Here’s a summary of my report:

I went to the library hoping to get a good recommendation for an Adult fiction book that read similar to a YA book. The librarian on duty asked me what authors I enjoyed reading and I told her that I liked Sarah Dessen and, more recently, Morgan Matson. She said, “Okay, let’s see what we can find” and proceeded to start typing on her computer. After a couple of minutes of that, she turned to the other librarian at the desk and asked what she thought some good authors would be that were similar to Sarah Dessen in Adult fiction. The other librarian came up with a few authors and explained about their style while the librarian that I had first approached jotted down the names for me.

I liked that the first librarian I approached was very welcoming and helped made me feel comfortable in asking for a book recommendation. I also liked that she referred me to a librarian who seemed to know a little more about the genre I was interested in. It made me feel more confident that I would get a good recommendation.

The second librarian made an assumption about what I liked about Sarah Dessen’s books. And while I did like the aspect that the librarian referenced and based her recommendations off of, there are more elements of Dessen’s books and writing that I enjoy beyond that. I would have piped up and said something, but the librarian really didn’t give me an opportunity to. She gave a few author suggestions, but didn’t check to see if I’d already read anything by them.

In the end, it was recommended that I look into Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah (specifically “Firefly Lane”), Alan Bradley, and Anna Quindlen. Honestly, none of the Picoult or Quindlen books stood out to me as interesting—they all seemed to deal with women who were significantly older than me and in a completely different stage of life. I don’t really find reading about middle-aged women with teenaged children that appealing. I did like the sound of both “Firefly Lane” and Alan Bradley’s mystery series however.

I think I was expecting to be asked more questions about my reading preferences than I actually was. If I were in need of another book recommendation, I would probably give them another shot. It seemed like both librarians had at least some training and knowledge of Reader’s Advisory Services.

Overall, the experience was pretty good. I am legitimately excited to read both “Firefly Lane” and the Alan Bradley mystery book (I actually plan to use it for this class) but I’ll probably end up returning the Picoult and Quindlen unread.