Thursday, February 14, 2013

Top Ten Best Love Stories in YA

In honor of ol' St. Val's Day, I'm borrowing The Broke and the Bookish blog's most recent Top Ten Tuesday meme: Top Ten Romances in Books. I'm keeping my list in the YA realm, because these books about hormone-laden teenagers are almost always good fodder for a love (or infatuation) story. In no particular order, l'amour:

1. Anna and Etienne, Anna and the French Kiss. I've mentioned this book before, and for good reason. It's simply enchanting, and the romantic tension and build-up from friendship-to-more between Anna and Etienne is spine-tinglingly good.

2. Lyra and Will, His Dark Materials trilogy. These two go from childhood innocence to teenage sexual awakening together. Their realization of love is electrifying, and their destinies are heartbreaking.

3. Duck and Dirk, Beautiful Angels. Francesca Lia Block writes about oddball characters that, after much searching, find a place to call home. Duck and Dirk, two gay teenagers coming of age in the fraught 80s, find each other, and it is beautiful.

4. Cate and Finn, Born Wicked. Finn is the bookish boy-next-door type, and Cate is the stubborn, strong, and fiercely secretive young woman who loves him. Their forbidden first kiss in a closet is intense.

5. Lennie and Joe, The Sky is Everywhere. Lennie is dealing with the intense grief of losing her sister when Joe, the new guy in town, offers a distraction she didn't know she needed. Author Jandy Nelson deftly navigates the complexities of falling in love while nursing an already broken heart.

6. June and Day, Legend. Day is an outlaw in a dystopian future Los Angeles. June is the highly trained Republic officer tracking him down for arrest. Well-matched in wit, secrecy, and hand-to-hand combat, they fall first in like, then in love.

7. Briony and Eldric, Chime. The friendship between charming and creative Eldric and charming and tormented Briony blossoms with such a sense of fun and sparring wit that you'll want to be part of their secret "Fraternitus Bad-Boyificus."

8. Ash and Kaisa, Ash. Malinda Lo envisions a Cinderella story wherein Cinderella falls not for the prince, but for the court's huntress. Ash's dawning realization that she loves Kaisa raises the stakes in this magical story.

9. Katsa and Po, Graceling. I'm a sucker for romances where the two love interests fight each other. Katsa and Po are both fierce fighters, gifted in lethal abilities. What starts as an adversarial relationships blooms into a romantic one as they team together to, you know, save the world.

10. Hazel and Gus, The Fault in Our Stars. Oh my God, this book. Hazel and Gus are normal teenagers just doing what normal teenagers do, only they met at a support group for teens with cancer. So, they're not normal. But they are amazing. Just read the book. Just do it.


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