Anette at Anette Reads, who actually invented this tag, tagged me for it and I have spent an inordinate amount of time since then wondering if someone as pathologically unromantic as I am can actually complete a love-based blog post. Let’s find out…
I have been staring at these questions for 10 minutes now and still can’t think of anything.
1. YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK COUPLE.
I liked Lilac and Tarver in These Broken Stars. They were endearing without being a massive cliche. Also, space.
Probably my favourite ever is Gabriel Oak and Bathsheba Everdene from Far From the Madding Crowd, because Gabriel is an astounding creation of the male gender and is good at putting out fires.
2. YOUR TOP 3 BOOK BOY/GIRLFRIENDS.
Oh dear. If these are all from Victorian novels does that make me look weird? Like that professor I had at uni who clearly thought she was in some kind of romantic relationship with Henry James?
Obviously, my beloved Gabriel Oak. Frederick Wentworth from Persuasion, all day long. I am also currently quite the fan of Chaol from the Throne of Glass series, but, if you’re reading this and are feeling commenty, please be sensitive to the fact that I’ve only read the first two books, so I don’t want to know if he’s about to die or turn into a talking doorknob or something.
3. IMAGINE YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK COUPLE. WHO WOULD PROPOSE, AND HOW? (IF THERE’S ALREADY BEEN A PROPOSAL: WHO WOULD BE MORE INTO ORGANISING THE WEDDING?)
I remain somewhat obsessed with Simon and Blue from Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I like to think their delightful engagement and wedding would be entirely collaborative affairs, probably soundtracked by Elliott Smith and featuring an Oreo cake.
4. UNPOPULAR OPINIONS TIME! NAME A POPULAR PAIRING YOU CAN’T STAND.
Is Twilight a really obvious choice? Does anyone actually like Edward and Bella? Obviously that one was super-creepy. On the subject of creepy, I also wasn’t a fan of literally any of the supposedly romantic pairings in A Court of Thorns and Roses. Feyre and Tamlin: can you say Stockholm Syndrome? And that creepy dude who turned up at the end to fix her arm and claim her for a week every month or something; that was grim too. Was all this stuff meant to be romantic? I really just thought someone should call the police.
5. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE AND LEAST FAVOURITE ROMANCE TROPE?
I like couples who seem real: who have banter and do normal things and don’t call each other “babe.” I don’t know if that counts as a trope but I’m having it.
As for least favourite, I don’t know. I don’t like angst, which is very hypocritical of me because I learned everything I knew about relationships in my youth from Wuthering Heights, so angst was my calling card until I was about 23.
6. DO YOU SHIP NON-CANON COUPLES OFTEN? NAME SOME IF YOU DO.
I think I am too old to ship anyone. I think I’m too old to even use the word “ship.”
WAIT! I have come back to this three days later and I have thought of one. In Dracula, I think Mina should marry Quincey. She’s way cooler than her actual husband seems to realise, and Quincey is from Texas. YES I DID IT!
7. YOUR OPINION ON LOVE TRIANGLES. GO!
As a general rule, I am not a fan. I think they’re fundamentally unrealistic; seriously, how often have you been aware of an actual real person being actively pursued by two people, and unable to choose between them? I don’t even particularly like them when they’re “done well,” as so many people seem to say. I am just really mean.
8. FAVOURITE AND LEAST FAVORITE LOVE TRIANGLE?
I don’t particularly like the love triangle (square? whatever it is) in Red Queen; I fail to understand why Mare would be even slightly attracted to Maven, and, although I get the Cal thing, it is pretty obvious to me that Kilorn is the best one. I was also fundamentally traumatised by the weird love triangle in Fans of the Impossible Life, which was all kinds of messed-up.
Do I have a favourite love triangle? Erm, no. Oh, wait! There was actually a good love triangle in Last Night at the Circle Cinema by Emily Franklin. Livvy, the girl involved, was kind of avoiding choosing either boy, for all kinds of quite sensible reasons. So that one.
9. SOMETIMES ROMANCE JUST ISN’T THE WAY TO GO. FAVOURITE FRIENDSHIP?
I liked the friendships in Not If I See You First, which all seemed real and authentic. I also just read The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner, which comes out in March, and the friendships in that book are genuinely very touching as well as genuine.
10. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SCENE WITH YOUR BOOKISH OTP?
Wait, what? Is an OTP a couple who were actually together in a book? Assuming this is indeed the case, I’m going for Simon and Baz in Carry On. But the book is all the way upstairs so I can’t think of a scene. I’m going to say the end of the book. Because… look, just because, ok? I’m an adult: sometimes, “just because” is all I have.
11. IMAGINE YOUR FAVORITE BOOK COUPLE AGAIN. WHO’S MOST EXCITED ABOUT VALENTINE’S DAY (EITHER IRONICALLY OR GENUINELY)?
I would like to think none of my favourite characters would be excited about Valentine’s Day, because I am a hater and consequently I think they should be too.
That was extremely hard. If my heart wasn’t so black and cold, perhaps I would be able to answer these questions more sensibly.