So, welcome to Sunday Seven - because I like order, and order = lists. And, because that's how I roll, I'm going to list in reverse order.
Everyone has their favourites, right? The couple that make you swoon and dream and frown at your boyfriend when he asks if you want to go and see the new Transformers movie. Some people are into the whole "I-love-him-cos-he-watches-me-sleep-and-disables-my-brakes" sorta thing (not me, as you can probably tell), and others prefer a best friends relationship that becomes something else.
But for me, these couples do it best...
7) PARKER & JAKE (Courtney Summers' CRACKED UP TO BE)
Oh, Parker. She treats Jake pretty darn awfully, but somehow, he gets her under all the bitter snark, and the semi-formal dance scene will always be a favourite.
6) JIMMY & ELLIE (Catherine Forde's FAT BOY SWIM)
This one might not be that well known, but Jimmy and Ellie's relationship is lovely in its simple innocence. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love a good steamy kiss scene, but these two still make me smile. It's an oldie (p. 2000) but a goodie.
5) ELLIE & WILL (Eve Edwards' THE OTHER COUNTESS)
No, this isn't the same Ellie, getting around a bit. This Ellie is 16th Century Lady Ellie, and her Will is the 18yrold Earl of Dorset. The blonde, troubled, handsome Earl of Dorset. Who has hot brothers. Cue lots of steamy kissing and several excellent sequels. (I know, it's not contemporary, but meh).
4) NATALIE & EMILIO (Jody Gehrman's BABE IN BOYLAND)
Mmmmm...Emilio. This book was great because it wasn't my thing at all. Chick flick, sounds-like-a-look-version-of-She's-The-Man? But actually, it was really good. Funny, great voice, and not that much like She's The Man. It helped that Natalie was independent, witty, and condsiderably less annoying than Miss annoying, stringy-bangs Amanda Bynes, and while N & E only got relationship-y during the last, short section of the book, it was totally worth it.
3) PAT & RUTH (K.M. Peyton's PENNINGTON TRILOGY)
I had to get this one in there somewhere. K.M. Peyton, possibly my favourite author of all time (scratch that, definitely) wrote these 3 books back in the 1970s, and one thing she does right is realistic romances. Sure, she couldn't include really steamy bits, but these characters were so real and so made for each other that I rooted for them every step of the way. Plus, Pat is the ultimate brooding bad boy with a heart of gold.
Seriously, go read these. Fangirling hard.
2) MAGGIE & CALEB (Simone Elkele's LEAVING PARADISE)
First of all, let me say that I love troubled boys. So when I read 'Caleb Becker spent the past year in juvenile detention' on the back cover, I'll admit that I didn't even look inside the book, I just bought it. At the beginning, I didn't like Maggie. Don't ask me why, I just didn't. I knew that I was supposed to despise Caleb and love Maggie, but it was the other way round and I nearly put this book down (or sold it at the church fete, whatever). But I carried on, and their relationship was so readable that I actually started to like Maggie. By the end, I was rooting for them both.
1) PENELOPE & HARRY (Eva Rice's THE LOST ART OF KEEPING SECRETS)
My winners. A relationship that grew on me, hopeful and funny and melancholy at the same time. Neither are perfect in the way that plenty of the characters in paranormal romances are - Penelope's too tall and in love with someone else, Harry's too short with mismatched eyes and also in love with someone else, but when they get together, it really works. And I love them both.
What about you? What are your favourite YA couples, and why? What do you think makes a couple so realistic, or special? And what turns you off a relationship in YA lit?