This week’s TTT, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is a Valentine’s special. As previously mentioned, I hate Valentine’s Day, so I’m going to treat you all to a cynical list of couples who should never have even swapped numbers.
Jasmine and Royce, Something In Between by Melissa de la Cruz
Literally the most annoying couple in YA ever; I know they are actually adolescents but I don’t think that’s a good enough excuse for the level of pathetic adolescent behaviour on display here.
Mr and Mrs Bennet, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
For some bizarre reason, daddy B is seen as a really good literary father, while his missus is widely derided as being a nightmare. This is completely unfair. Mrs Bennet, quite justifiably for a mother of 5 daughters in the early 19th century, is anxious about her family’s prospects. Mr Bennet doesn’t care. She deserves better.
Luz and Ray, Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
These two are just not right together. She’s completely helpless, while he seems to want to protect her but has really poor methodology.
Maria and Lily, As I Descended by Robin Talley
I loved the demented nature of this relationship in Talley’s lesbian Macbeth retelling, but, realistically, these two were a disaster from the start.
Lotto and Mathilde, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Groff does a great job of showing just how bad a relationship this is, through Lotto’s bombast and arrogance in the first half and Mathilde’s borderline psychotic version of events in the second.
Romeo and Juliet, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
In case you’re under any illusion that this is the greatest love story the world’s ever known, let’s get real. Romeo is in love with Rosalind, than ditches that idea when he sees Juliet and think she’s pretty. Juliet recognises a chance to piss off her parents and maybe get out of marrying Paris (who, FYI, does nothing wrong and deserves better). Then they die. This is a terrible relationship. Although Juliet can hardly be blamed for this as her parents have a similarly awful marriage so how would she know any better?
The Narrator and Marla, Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
From the moment they meet in a support group meeting for an illness that neither actually has, it’s clear that no good can come from this hook-up.
Amy and Nick, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My hatred for this book knows no bounds and this horrendous pair are the main reason. Although they are both so awful they deserve each other, if they had never fictionally met, I wouldn’t have subjected myself to this horrible book.
Jane and Mr Rochester, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I hate Rochester. He’s such a mansplainer and he is SO HORRIBLE to Jane. She should have just gone off with St John and then abandoned him to have a foreign journey of self-discover. On her own.
Aelin and Rowan, the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
This is probably an unpopular view but I hate these two together. I don’t think his massively abusive behaviour is particularly romantic (I know, I’m weird like that) and when they finally exorcise their sexual tension, it is the most uncomfortable moment in the history of ever. And yes, I did use the word “exorcise” deliberately.
Any other toxic literary relationships to add to the list?
5 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Toxic Relationships”
Totally agree about the Bennets – although I can’t help myself liking the dad, he is a useless father. Mrs. Bennet’s totally the practical one. (I don’t mind Rochester though. Maybe he does man-splain a bit, but i think it’s more because Jane’s so much younger than he is, rather than because she’s a woman. I’d say most thirty-somethings talk down to 18 year olds on some level. And most of it’s just teasing anyway. And St John is DEFINITELY a mansplainer. And Jane can handle herself.)
I’ll always have a soft spot for Mr. Rochester, but I totally agree with the Bennets! He’s even worse in Longbourn by Jo Baker. Great list!!
Though I can’t argue that Jane and Mr. Rochester’s relationship isn’t toxic, I’m still glad she didn’t go with St. John.
I also agree that Nick and Amy are the worst, but I loved the book. I don’t mind awful people, as long as they are good characters and the author realizes that they are terrible as well.
Loved your take on Valentine’s Day theme. Overly-commercial, silly holiday. But a good excuse to eat chocolate. 🙂
I’ve got to reread Jane Eyre. It’s been since I was 14! I bet I’d have a totally different take on Rochester now.
Great assessment of the Bennets!
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I agree I’ve never really liked Aelin and Rowan’s relationship either! And Nick and Amy are the worst 🙂
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/top-ten-tuesday-96/