It’s my first edition of Top 5 Wednesday, and I’m super excited to talk about this one! This is going to be a regular segment here on the blog – if you’re interested in the group, it’s over on Goodreads and spearheaded by one of my favorite booktubers, Samantha at Thoughts on Tomes. So! It’s fun! And this week’s topic is Favorite Angsty Romances. I’m so ready to blabber on about some of mine!
A note first – after compiling my list, I realized that they’re all m/f pairings. This was not intentional, but I think it says something about how couples are written in books. I like a lot of m/m and f/f pairings too, but most of them aren’t angsty. They’re more about discovery and light and less about darkness. Does that make sense?
I’m trying to say that, for some reason, it’s mostly m/f pairings that are allowed to be terrible in books. Or something.
5. Maise and Evan from Unteachable by Elliot Wake (writing as Leah Raeder)
These two are the definition of so wrong, yet SO RIGHT. It’s a student/teacher romance that you can read about over in the review I wrote for Booknista. Maise is a high school student and Evan is her film teacher, and GAH. They are beautiful and terrible and there is so much angst. It was this book that made me fall in love with Elliot Wake’s writing, and I haven’t turned back yet.
4. Lena and Alex from the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver
I listened to the whole trilogy on audiobook, and I can’t think of a better way to experience these books. Sarah Drew was the absolute best narrator for this world. She brought Alex to life in Delirium, she knew exactly how to read Lena’s grief in Pandemonium, and then… Requiem. Oh, that book was a sword to the heart. It was also amazing to be able to hear Lena’s growth, and to be able to feel in my bones that Alex was her true love just by the way she talked about him. I don’t even care that there’s a love triangle here, because it was so well done. But Alex and Lena are my OTP, without any hesitation. And their love? So dark. So damaged. So worth it.
3. Alex and Nova from Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
OKAY OKAY before I say too much about this one, I KNOW. Nova’s place in this book isn’t as a love interest. He’s a big part of the plot in a different way. I KNOW. But I’m thinking of the dark and twisty that goes on throughout the book between Alex and Nova. She’s clearly into him from the outset, and then her feelings change, and then they change back, and then there is SPOILERY BETRAYAL THAT I CAN’T TELL YOU ABOUT. And I understand that there is a lot more romance between Alex and Rishi than between Alex and Nova, but Rishi is like sunshine, and Nova is dark and twisty. So! I’m including it because I had feelings. Fight me.
(Side note – you really need to read this book because it’s amazing. Where Zoraida leads, I will follow. My review is going up on Monday!)
(Second side note – Rishi is better for Alex. This is rational thought. I had a lot of feelings about them too, but they were happier, sunshiny feelings. Zoraida is a genius.)
2. Mare and Cal from the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard
Before I say anything else, I want to make it clear that I haven’t gotten to King’s Cage yet. It’s on my shelf, but I’ve had other books to read. So! Things might have changed after Glass Sword! I just don’t know about them! What’s most interesting to me about this particular pairing is that I hate one of the two people in it. Like, I HATE Mare. A LOT. But Cal likes her, and Cal is a very swoony and compelling character to me, and I can’t help but ship them even when I don’t want to. But it’s dark, man. Cal’s brother is literally picking off their allies and killing them. He’s torturing Mare because she chose Cal over him. And Mare spared Cal’s life by willingly walking into Maven’s trap. Like, sweet Jesus. That’s tragically romantic and I had a lot of feels about it.
I think part of me is avoiding King’s Cage a little because I’m afraid of what Victoria is going to do to them this time. *shrug*
1. Charlotte and Jamie from the Charlotte Holmes trilogy by Brittany Cavallaro
YOU GUYS. I can still barely TALK about The Last of August (but I did my best on Fangirlish; you can also find a review of A Study in Charlotte there). Why are Jamie and Charlotte my number one angsty OTP forever and ever, amen? Because they’re both perfect and terrible for each other. Because they use argument as a way to show their love for each other. Because their friendship is the foundation for everything else. Because they’ll always have a dark and complicated history. Because she’s a Holmes and he’s a Watson. Because she was raped, and it’s keeping her from loving him fully, and he understands that her pushing him away doesn’t mean she doesn’t want him. Well, he usually understands. Because they were made for each other. Because they were made to destroy each other. Because… every word that Brittany Cavallaro has written in these books has led to them together, at least in my mind. How am I going to wait a year for the sequel? I don’t even think it has a name yet? Or a release date? GAH. I have so many feelings and I just CAN’T with these two anymore. *heart eyes forever*
Well. Now you have some insight into the ~*fEeLiNgS*~ I have when I’m reading. SO MANY FEELINGS. Too many feelings?