Top Ten Tuesday: Romance & Relationships

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature on the Aretmis Reader, covering a wide range of topics. Look for more Top Ten Tuesdays here!


Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day readers! This weeks Top Ten Tuesday will be all about romance and relationships. Below is a list (in no particular order) of some of my favorite relationships in books. Mostly urban-fantasy/fantasy/young adult books. Sorry for the delay – a short vacation for the fiance PeeWee hockey tournament in Lake Placid and then a horrible respiratory virus have kept me away from my computer for a number of days. 

Making this list was harder than I anticipated – I hold a lot of (borderline ridiculous) high standards when it comes to fictional relationships/friendships. The instalove that has infested the YA genre is something that really gets to me. I’m also not of a fan of anything that comes across as abusive or manipulative. This list was original going to be 10 relationships and/or romances I love, but I’ve switched it to  5 relationships I love and 5 I don’t. Onward to the list!

Relationships I Love

1. Yelena & Valek from Study series by Maria V. Snyder

Are you tired of me talking about my love for Snyder’s Study series? Too bad – it’s never ending. I’m only four chapters into Dawn Study (final book in the Soulfinder series) and I can’t get enough of Valek and Yelena. There relationship is one where it’s so clear how much respect and love these characters have for each other. Want a relationship that continues to build even after its established? This is the series for you. In a sea of instalove and drama filled romances, I’ve always compared other relationships to this one. There is nothing that doesn’t feel real about Valek and Yelena. 

2. Aristotle & Dante from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

If you haven’t read this book you are truly missing out. I loved the unfolding of this relationship – of a couple that learn and grow together, and that prove love isn’t about who you thought you were but who can help you become your best self. All the relationships in this book are complex, that illuminate the character’s pain, flaws and secrets, but also work to inspire. 

3. Lyra & Will from His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

People always look at me funny when I label this one of my favorite relationships. Probably because they never truly were in a relationship (and that they were 12-years old) but their friendship, and the events of the Amber Spyglass, I’ve always considered them to be something more in my mind. 

4. Marguerite & Paul from Firebird series by Claudia Gray

A new series to my list but a worthwhile one. I really enjoyed Gray’s sci-fi trilogy. She did a wonderful job of creating numerous amounts of worlds, and in each world familiar characters. Each time Marguerite appeared in a world with a different Paul, the relationship (regardless of romantic intentions) was fluid and strong. I love when relationships just feel real. More importantly Gray (and all of the author’s mentioned in this part of the list) do a wonderful job of showing the relationships versus just telling us they are relationships. 

5. Freye & Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah Maas

Yep. I’ve already spoken about how much I love this relationship and I don’t care about the bandwagon I am jumping on. Maas hit two major points for me – she incorporated respect as a key fundamental building block in this relationship and she writes one hell of a steamy, chemistry filled, sex scene. 


Relationships I Don’t Like

I haven’t really given reasons for why I dislike these relationships. A majority fall into the low tolerance I have for any kind of abusive relationships (be it verbal, emotional, physical or otherwise) in books. When Twilight was big, I cringed every single time some young girl idolized Edward. The same can be said for fans of Tamlin (possessiveness, anger issues, keeping secrets – no thank you). Others on this list were just too forced, the author’s either threw the relationship at you rather than spend the time and build one by showing you. Some felt like an after thought (June & Day) – the story would have worked with out a ridiculous romantic element. 

For one reason or another when I made this list, these five stood out amongst the rest. 

1. Bella & Edward from Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

2. Freye & Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah Maas

3. America  & Maxon from Selection series by Kiera Cass

4. June & Day from Legend trilogy by Marie Lu

5. Clary & Jace from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare


What relationships do you enjoy? Which ones could you do without?




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