Friday Favorites: Favorite Fictional Couples

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tressa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Fictional Couple

So you’re never going to believe this (or actually maybe you will) but when I made my blogging schedule for February I marked Favorite Horror Stories for the 14th (today). I had forgotten that the 14th (today) was Valentine’s Day, but now I’m wondering if maybe on a self conscious level my mind was battling the mushy feelings that are expected of this day. However, I have been given chocolate and cupcakes (by my mother) and as such am in a mushy kind of mood. So I have switched out the horror stories for favorite couples.

But I wanted to make it more interesting so I have decided to interview my two sisters and mother on the topic. If you read Favorite Reading Spots then you should know that this no easy task.

I decided to interview my 17-year-old sister Hayley first. I approach the teenager cautiously, she is sitting on the couch eating Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked Ice Cream and watching Ever After. For someone so ferocious she’s actually quite sappy. The thing with Hayley is that she loves her movies and I have to be weary of the moment that I interrupt. So I wait…and wait…and wait. I sit right next to her and fix her with my Super Ultra Glare (a powerful thing) so that she knows I have something to say but then she starts studiously ignoring me.

So finally:

Me: “Hayley–“

Hayley: “What!” (Imagine that in a high pitch voice, she doesn’t usually have a high pitch voice but when she gets mad it reaches unnatural pitches.)

Me: “I need to interview you for my blog.”

Hayley: [Sigh] (She’s a big on sighing) “Alright, it’s not like I’m not doing anything…” (I don’t feel bad because this is how I feel when she interrupts me while I read).

Me: “Perfect!”

  • Favorite Couple and Why:  Claire and Henry from The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger. The characters and love are realistic and the story breaks from the traditional mold. It’s a different formula as Claire has known Henry her entire life while Claire hits Henry like a ton of bricks.
  • Was it a slow build up or an instalove? Well, it’s a matter of time. The thing with this book is there was never any real choice involved, they were meant for each other because of time. So if I had to choose one, instalove.
  • What was your favorite moment? Well that’s really hard so I’ll just say the first moment that comes into my head. It’s when Claire, who’s an artist and is losing motivation, starts creating this crow in a cage in a bunch of different forms. All the while Henry is watching her and realizes Claire is that crow. Not exactly romantic, but a poignant moment.

Next I went to my other sister, the baby of the family (a.ka.– capable of getting away with murder). A 14-year-old girl who hold the world record of most words said in one breath. This creature is called Miranda. Miranda is lying on her bed with her Ipod 2 inches from her face, looking at what, I don’t know. The only light is cast by the small bedside lamp and the rest of the room is shadows. The very air in the room screams do not disturb but I venture forth anyway, for I have a blog post to write.

As I approach the hormone raddled teenager she lets out an ear-splitting laugh (one of her adorable quirks) and then resumes zombie mode. I gather something she read was funny.

Me: “Miranda?”

Miranda: “Hmmm.”

Me: “Can I interview you for my blog?”

Miranda: “Huh?”

Me: “My blog? You know where I post my book reviews–“

Miranda: [She roll onto her back to look at me] “No, I know, but what do you mean by interview?”

Me: “Can I ask you questions about your favorite fictional couple?”

Miranda: “Hermione and Ron.” [She turns away from me and starts to settle back into zombie mode].

Me: “It has to be a book that you actually read Miranda…”

Miranda: [She lets out a deep sigh and turns to face me again] “I don’t know, do I have to pick now?”  (Imagine that in a high pitched voice. Unlike Hayley, she always talks in unnatural pitches).

Me: “Yes.”

Miranda: [She looks at me and shrugs her shoulders]

Me: [I look back at her determined to win the silent battle]

Miranda: “I don’t know Lindsey.” (She LOVES to make things difficult).

Me: “Miranda, please just pick one and I promise we can play Nancy Drew later.”

Miranda: [Perks up] (She’s like me, bribing is our second language). “Oooo okay. Ummm…”

  • Favorite Story and Why:  Wes and Macy from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen. Because Wes is like, a cute nerdy artist…and yeah I don’t know. I liked Wes.
  • Slow build up or instalove: “Oh jeez, I don’t know. They meet and then part and then meet again and then part and they meet again after a couple months… [Sees me glare and then shrugs] I guess slow build up.
  • Favorite Moment: Uhhh, when Wes convinces her to quit her job because she hates it… yeah.

Now for my mother. She’s in her spot on the couch reading on her e-reader. Now, I’m sure that she will be happy to do an interview, the problem is getting through to her. When she reads, an atomic bomb could go off next door and she wouldn’t flinch. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked her a question that has just gone unanswered. She sinks into the story that she reads until it surrounds her. She can’t hear the outside world. So I must use drastic measures. Yes, I must, don’t try to stop me, I have a blog post to write after all and if I must resort to the extreme then I’ll make that sacrifice. My hand reaches out to her with my fingers shaking and my pulse raising as I slowly… tap her shoulder. Don’t look at me like that it had to be done.

The dreaded tap gets the job done. She looks up at me, her eyes unfocused because she is near-sighted.

Mom: “What?”

Me: “Can I interview you for my blog?”

Mom: “What for?”

Me: Your favorite couple in fiction.”

Mom: [She puts down her eReader and lets out a sigh as she looks up, running through thousands of titles in her mind.] (For you see, ladies and gentlemen, my mother is a bigger bookworm than me.) “Well, I want it noted that this is extremely hard.”

Me: “Noted.”

Mom: “Fine. Then I’m going to have to go with Claire and Henry from The Time Traveler’s Wife–“

Me: “Yeah, sorry, that’s not an option. Hayley already picked it.”

Mom: “But that’s my pick!”

Me: “Sorry but for the sake of the blog post, you need to choose another couple.”

Mom: “Fine. But I wanted it noted that Claire and Henry were my first choice.”

Me: “Noted.”

  • Favorite Fictional Couple and Why: Eve Dallas and Roarke from J.D. Robb’s In Death series. I like this couple because it’s the opposite of couples found in books like 50 Shades of Grey. It doesn’t romanticize obsessive and controlling behavior. Eve and Roarke don’t stifle each other they enhance one another.
  • Slow build up or instalove: “There’s definitely some instant chemistry but they take some time actually getting together so a combination of both.
  • Favorite Moment: In the first book when we see that Roarke has been carrying a button in his pocket that fell off Eve’s jacket.

There you have it folks, the opinions of a 14 year old, 17 year old and Mother who chooses not to reveal her age. Man, I hope you readers appreciate what I had to go through to get those answers. I expect a statue in my honor at the very least. Now as for my pick:

  • Favorite Fictional Couple and Why: Marlena and Jacob from Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The connection between the two was enchanting to watch and I loved the circus atmosphere as well.
  • Slow build up or instalove: Well it’s definitely instalove for Jacob but for Marlena its their bond over Rosie the elephant that connects her to him and that bond grows over time.
  • Favorite Moment: When they danced together for the first time. I think that was the moment they saw a future together if August wasn’t standing in their way.

Who’s your favorite fictional couple? Share below and happy reading!

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 20

picsart_1375358545585Good morning fellow readers! So of course I found a new challenge to participate in the hopes of proving myself better than the last. I picked up this challenge from The Chronicles of Radiya and very much look forward to 30 consecutive (hopefully, gulp) days of blogging.

Day 20: Favorite Romance Book

Romance tends to be formulated then again I guess that could be applied to every genre I just happen to be more aware of it in romance. While formulated is not necessarily a bad thing it can make it hard for books to stand out.

What I’ve come to ask of romance novels is this: is it realistic? Do they fall in love in three days because if they do then it’s not. Do the love interests find each other perfect because if they do then again, it’s not realistic. I don’t expect every book I read to be realistic in fact I read many romance books that are not and enjoy them but I have to say that I do lose a bit of respect for those that are not.

I want to believe the story and forgive me but I just don’t believe that he saw her passing by and knew instantly that she was the one. I just don’t buy it.

My favorite romances are not typical, they tend to break from the traditional sunset happily ever after that is very common in the romance genre. For instance The Time Traveler’s Wife and P.S. I Love You, both are fleshed out stories about flawed characters who are either in love or used to be. I’m drawn to those stories.

My favorite romance novel of all time would have to be Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. The setting of the novel is a traveling circus and a young man is its own veterinarian. As we get to know the characters we meet August and his wife Marlena. August is a charming man who befriends our protagonist Jacob, but is also suffering from mental issues causing him to be paranoid about his relationship with Marlena and on top of that he is a brutal man, pushing the circus animals far beyond their capacity. Marlena is part of the horse act and she and Jacob bond over the new circus elephant Rosie (who is bubbling with personality). Their bond develops into friendship and then further develops into love. They have an affair and needless to say things get bumpy and whole slew of events take place.

I guess what I love about this novel is the way Gruen portrays the fragility of Marlena’s and Jacob’s relationship; as if it were always on the edge of glass in danger of outside elements and the characters own flaws. That’s real. Love , when first bloomed, is not this ultimately strong force that can conquer the world. It is delicate and needs time to grow.

There’s also Rosie the elephant. Her part in the novel was fantastic and she ultimately influences Marlena and Jacobs relationship in the end.

I recommend this novel to all romance fans and even fans of historical fiction. It was fascinating to learn about the circus in such an early age and I found out many new things. Water for Elephants is a great novel and I urge everyone to pick it up.

What is your favorite romance novel? Share it below and happy reading!