This is a weekly tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week’s challenge is to pick Ten Book Recommendations for ____ – you fill in the blank! I decided to go with ten recommendations for people who, like me, are always looking for a new ship to set sail.
First, let me give a huge WELCOME BACK to Top Ten Tuesday! If you follow the meme, you already know this, but T10T has been on a hiatus since the end of June. (If you heard book bloggers worldwide wailing and whimpering, that’s why.) I’m so happy to see it come back! Now, let’s dive right in!
1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
I refuse to feel guilty for making this the #1 book on this list. I know I talk about this damn series all the time, and I know it’s annoying, but Feyre/Rhysand is one of my favorite OTPs of all time. See, I picked up the ACOTAR series at an interesting time in my life, when I was just coming back to the YA/NA genre (and the fantasy genre) after a 3-year span of basically reading nothing but horror/thrillers and nonfic. ACOTAR showed me how to fall back in head-over-heels love with the genre, but even more, Feysand reminded me how much fun it is to fall in love with a ship. They’re adorable, caring, respectful, fun, and the flirty banter is everything.
“My friend through many dangers. My lover who had healed my broken and weary soul. My mate who had waited for me against all hope, despite all odds.”
2. Gemina by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
If you haven’t read this book, you might want to skim past this paragraph and on to #3, because it could be a bit of a spoiler. Now’s your last chance! If you’re still reading, you probably already know who I’m about to say: Hanna and Nik. Oh my word, this is just one of the cutest ships ever for me. I spent the entire book rooting so hard for these two, and that ending just turned me into a big puddle of goo on the floor. I just thought Ezra was a smooth talker, but Nik blew him out of the water. Plus, I’m a sucker for the enemies-to-lovers trope (even if the “enemy” part was a bit one-sided).
“I cannot help but wonder
If the thought of saving all those lives and hopes and dreams
Pales in comparison
To the thought of seeing him again.
3. Cress by Marissa Meyer
I knew I wanted to include a title from The Lunar Chronicles, but it was a little tough picking which ship to zone in on, because there are a few really wonderful ones in the series. Ultimately, I decided on my personal favorite: Cress/Thorne. Cress immediately cemented her position as my favorite character in the series, but Thorne was actually a little grating for me until I saw how he interacted with Cress. By the end of this book, he had me crying happy tears and cheering for the two of them.
“I promise, I will not let you die without being kissed.”
4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Katniss/Peeta was one of my first OTPs that I was just absolutely in love with, believe it or not. The first book didn’t come out until I was halfway through my teens, but no pairing had yet gotten under my skin as strongly as this one did. While I loved the tender, heartache-filled dramatics of their relationship from start to finish, Mockingjay was where those of us who shipped these two finally got to heave a big sigh of relief and snuggle up into all those warm fuzzies.
“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”
5. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Truthfully, I don’t have a lot of contemporary OTPs. While I enjoy a well-written contemporary, it’s just rare that the characters really stay with me enough for me to fall in love with a pairing. This book is a major exception to that rule, though; I first read it as a young teen, and have loved Annabel/Owen ever since. Even when I reread this book earlier this summer, I was reminded of how sweet they are together, and what a perfect, healthy fit they make.
“If someone is really close with you, your getting upset or them getting upset is okay, and they don’t change because of it. It’s just part of the relationship. It happens. You deal with it.”
6. Now I Rise by Kiersten White
Here’s another one with spoilers (sort of), so if you haven’t read Now I Rise yet, you might want to keep scrolling! This ship hurts my heart a little to put on this list, and if you’ve read the book, you know why. Radu and Cyprian are so wonderful together; despite the fact that every other action of Radu’s infuriates me, I could not have loved him more than I did when he was with Cyprian. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a ship to come to fruition in the final installment quite as badly as I want this one to.
“I like him,” Nazira said, and it sounded like a eulogy.
“Me too,” Radu echoed.
7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Like I said, contemporary OTPs don’t come easily for me, but the slow-burn between Cath and Levi was enough to spark my interest. What sealed the deal for me was how freaking precious Levi is. Every time I think about these two, I just want to dive right back into Fangirl and read it again, because I had so much fun watching the romance blossom between the two of them.
She smiled, and her eyes started to drift downward. “Cather…” Back up to his eyes. “You know that I’m falling in love with you, right?”
8. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
This one was a recent read, and I had to add it to the list, because the romance in this book is ABSOLUTELY. FREAKING. PERFECT. I’m a shameless addict when it comes to the best-friends-become-lovers trope, and Gentleman’s Guide executed it flawlessly. It’s a bit of a slow-burn, too, and I felt like I was doing everything I could not to skip forward through the book just to see these two finally admit their feelings to one another so I could squeal and grin and melt and cheer for them.
“The stars dust gold leafing on his skin. And we are looking at each other, just looking, and I swear there are whole lifetimes lived in those small, shared moments.”
9. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I could not stand Thomas in the beginning of this book. I thought he was so arrogant and haughty that there was no way he could possibly be redeemed… and I was wrong. I mean, the haughty arrogance never actually goes away, but he’s still kind of a precious cinnamon roll, and despite all of his snark, he respects Audrey in a way that nobody else comes close to matching. Their banter is so fun, and I can’t wait to see more of them in Hunting Prince Dracula!
I glared so hard I feared my face would get stuck that way. “If you ever try anything like that again, I will stab you in the foot, Thomas Cresswell.”
“Ah. There’s something about you saying my name that sounds like a blessed curse,” he said. “If you can work up a good hand gesture to go along with it, that’d be exceptional.”
10. How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
If you’ve been following me on my blog or any of my social media channels for a while, I’m sure you’re getting tired of hearing me rave about this beautiful, incredible queer contemporary, but I can’t help it. Grace and Eva are such an adorable little pair of cinnamon rolls, and the bi rep is spot freaking on in this book. Their adventures together are so much fun, and I felt like this pairing was the perfect bookish example of young love, with the fun banter, flirting, giggles, awkward sexual escapades, and butterflies as big as lighthouses.
“You and me,” I whisper, “we’re sandy spoons and fireworks, lighthouses and wishes and peanut butter.”
That’s all I’ve got for this week, but I’d love to see your T10T posts, too! If you don’t have one, feel free to comment below: what are a few of your favorite bookish OTPs?