Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Couples in Books

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m not a romantic person in real life, and I don’t generally find myself that interested in romance novels or stories spend a lot of time talking about characters falling in love. (Y’all, how on Earth did I ever manage to get married? Ha!)

So this week’s list required some thought, and I was a little short of the full 10 books we were supposed to come up with once I finished it.  Honestly, I like it when blog hops make you think, though. It’s nice when you can automically come up with a dozen or more books to fit a Top Ten Tuesday theme, but there’s also something to be said for digging deeply to get one of these posts put together.

You’re going to see several friends-turned-lovers on today’s list. On the rare occasions that I get excited about a fictional romance, a friendship evolving into something more than that is often the biggest reason why I’m thrilled. Most of the people I’ve developed crushes on or fallen in love with have started out as friends first, so it’s always nice to see characters have that same wonderful experience.

1. Jo and Laurie from Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.”

I really like it when characters who have similar personalities end up in flirtatious or romantic situations. Jo and Laurie not only acted a lot alike, they had some of the same flaws. That can be a good thing for certain couples! If you both struggle with the same bad habit, it can be easier to show empathy when your partner messes up in that area.

2. Alice and her partner in Claire Kann’s “Let’s Talk About Love.”

To the best of my knowledge, this was the first book about an asexual character I ever read. (I’m purposefully not mentioning her partner’s name for spoiler purposes). While there were parts of the plot I didn’t find so interesting, I was fascinated by the idea of someone having a romantic relationship without ever wanting to have sex with them. It’s not something that’s talked about very often in mainstream fiction, and I don’t know anyone in real life who is asexual to the best of my knowledge, so it’s nice to see an example of how these types of relationships work.

3. Ron and Hermione from the Harry Potter series. 

Most people seemed to think Hermione would end up with Harry. I personally assumed she’d end up with Ron’s wickedly intelligent older brother, Percy, because they were both so bookish in the very best sense of that term.

I do see the logic in Ron and Hermione ending up together, though, and I like the thought of them raising a couple of bright and probably terribly mischievous kids.

4. Annie and Liza from Nancy Garden’sAnnie on My Mind.”

There’s something about young love that’s always interesting to read. I developed crushes on others so rarely when I was in school that my dating history was almost non-existent until I was in my 20s. It was nice to read about girls who had a totally different adolescence than mine.

5. Anne and Gilbert from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. 

I did not like the thought of Anne and Gilbert dating when they were teenagers because of how fiercely competitive they were, but my opinion changed once they’d both had a chance to grow up and experience life a little more. They were both smart, compassionate, and very kind. I don’t know about all of you, but I always cheer at the thought of these sorts of folks ending up together.

6.Valancy and her partner in L.M. Montgomery’s “The Blue Castle.”

Once again, I can’t say who the main character ended up with for spoiler reasons, but I thought Valancy and her lover made a wonderful couple. Valancy’s life had been so drab, strictly controlled, and sometimes even peppered with emotional abuse when we first met her that this twist in her fate was a true breath of fresh air.

7. Josh and Emma from Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler’s “The Future of Us.”

Imagine getting glimpses of your possible futures through the Internet! I loved this premise just as much as I did trying to figure out if these two friends were actually going to one day end up together. The fact that it was set in the 90’s only made it better. There haven’t been too many contemporary stories set in that decade yet, so I’m happy whenever I find one.

8. Jane and Mr. Rochester from Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.” 

The romantic subplot wasn’t one I knew about in advance because I read this book on my own for the sheer joy of it instead of  for a class assignment. Due to this, Jane’s relationship with Mr. Rochester came as a huge surprise to me. Her neglectful childhood was oddly a nice match for all of the troubles Mr. Rochester had been through. I hope they’d find some happiness in each other after all of the hard times they’d both know. There’s something so emotionally satisfying about that, don’t you think?

9. Ennis and Jack from Annie Proulx’s “Brokeback Mountain.”

I saw the film version of this tale long before reading the short story it was based on. Ennis and Jack’s gruff and pragmatic personalities worked so well together. They were perfect for each other. If only they’d live in a time and place where it was easier for two people of the same gender to share a life together.

What would you recommend I add to my list to bring it to up to 10 books? I tried so hard to think of one final couple, but I just couldn’t do it.

159 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Couples in Books

  1. You’re making me super nostalgic 😂. Anne and Gilbert were just so perfect for each other. I loved how they hated each other’s guts out and then in the end they married. I was bursting with joy for them.

    Jo and Laurie were the two I was rooting for. I loved them both so much and you can imagine how disappointed I was later on…

    I didn’t enjoy Jane Eyre much, but I cared somewhat about Jane. However, I hated Mr. Rochester. He gave me the creeps, LOL.

    Great list! My TTT.

    • Thank you. I’m curious to know why you found Mr. Rochester creepy if you care to share. I didn’t get that impression of him at all, although it’s been years since I read that book.

  2. I love how it took awhile for Ron and Hermione to realize their true feelings for each other. It was evident as each year passes by, their feelings grew stronger for one another. They grew up together. They became jealous when the other would seek another partner. But at the end, they learned to share their true feelings that they love each other and they should be together for life. It’s wonderful to read about and to see thecharacter development over the years.

  3. I ALMOST put Ron & Hermione on my list- I think Book Ron is very underrated thanks to the film scriptwriters vision for film Ron. Book Ron is far more stronger and capable than Film Ron and is actually a talented wizard in spite of broken and second hand wands and handmedowns he is sadly victim of his parents circumstances not his inner abilities and when Hermione breaks through that she sees that despite the gruff exterior he is a sweet, kind and devoted and utterly deserving of her. but yes it was easier to do just one than two!!!

  4. Great list! I’m not the biggest fan of the friends to lovers trope unless we meet the characters before they become friends too, although it can be done brilliantly, but the older I get the more I wish Jo and Laurie had become an item. I do love Professor Bhaer as well (it certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s played by Gabriel Byrne in my favourite film adaptation!) but their relationship is so lovely it’s a shame adulthood had to happen to it. But I think that happens to a lot of relationships!

  5. I always did like Ron and Hermione they were just weren’t my favorite coupling, though I’ll always love those two, good pick! I also never realized Brokeback Mountain was a short story! Looks like this is something I need to go read now! Great top ten.

  6. Anne and Gilbert made my list when I did a favourite couples top ten (a couple of years ago) – like you, I didn’t want it for them when they were growing up, but I love how Montgomery slowly seeds the relationship and lets it blossom. And I love how their relationship faces challenges and changes – I think it was an incredibly healthy role model for me to grow up with!

    Whereas I remember being so upset at the time about Jo and Laurie – but in retrospect (for all the reasons you state about their similarities and flaws) I think things turned out for the best 🙂

  7. I’m in the minority, I think, but I always wanted Harry and Hermoine to get together. They had such a great friendship, I guess they reminded me of my husband and I. But ugh, Brokeback Mountain wrecked me emotionally. To the point that I was late for work the morning I read it because I couldn’t stop crying.

    • You might be! I didn’t want Harry and Hermione’s friendship to be ruined if a relationship between them didn’t work out. It’s not easy to find a friend as loyal and compatible as they were. I would have been totally for them dating if I knew they’d live happily ever after.

      And Brokeback Mountain made me cry, too.

      • I guess my thing was that Ron and Hermoine fought CONSTANTLY and I’d have peaced out of that relationship long before marriage happened. But, cannon is what it is and I respect that. 🙂

        I know, I’m scared to watch the movie for fear I’ll bawl all over again. LOL

  8. Ok, I have to admit I only know one of the couples in this list LOL Ron and Hermoine. Like you I’m not into the romantic type of stories I do sometimes pick them up but I prefer my fantasy stories.

    • Ooh, I like fantasy, too. Do you find it easy to find books in that genre that don’t have romance in them? Lately, I’ve been finding a bit too much romance in them for my tastes. (No offence to anyone who loves that stuff!)

  9. I’m in the same boat with Ron and Hermione. It really feels like most people don’t like the two of them together, but I definitely see it. And I prefer Harry and Hermione as friends.

  10. Thrilled to see Jo and Laurie at the top of your list, ‘Little Women’ was one of my favourite books growing up. Haven’t read it for ages, must remedy that!
    Can you believe I’ve never read ‘Anne of Green Gables’?? Will be remedying that too.
    I love ‘Brokeback Mountain’. Can I brag that I had Annie Proulx’s book of short stories and read it way before the film came out 🙂 One of the few examples, in my opinion, where the film is as good as the story.
    I’m afraid I’m one of the very few who does not like Mr Rochester. I like Jane, but not Mr R.
    I can’t think of couples as such as I don’t read romance, but one pair I’d nominate is Aragorn and Arwen from LotR 🙂

    • Thank you!

      I’m impressed that you knew about Annie Proulx before Brokeback Mountain was made into a film. I was late to the game on that one.

      And I think you’d really like the Anne of Green Gables series. The first few books in it were solid, well-written, and have aged beautifully.

  11. I love the idea of Anne and Gilbert even though I haven’t read the Green Gables books. But so many bloggers love them and have such a fondness for them that it makes me wish I had read them as a kid. Plus I LOVE the setting!

  12. I went back and forth between putting Ron and Hermione or Harry and Ginny. But I just love the way that the book captures Harry and Ginny–the movies kind of ruin it for me. But Ron and Hermione are a close close second for me!

  13. I really need to read The Blue Castle. For some reason, as a kid I managed to read the entire Anne series without realizing the author had other books too. I guess my local library didn’t stock them! As a kid I really didn’t get why Jo went for the professor instead of Laurie, but it makes more sense now.

    If you ever read Wide Sargasso Sea, you’ll understand why Rochester isn’t my favorite! I’m just not a Brontë fan overall.

    Very fun list–I like the variety!

    • Thank you very much.

      I’ve never read Wide Sargasso Sea, but I’ll add it to my TBR. It sounds interesting.

      If you liked the Anne series, I think you’d love The Blue Castle. It’s my favourite L.M. Montgomery book!

  14. I think the movies kind of ruined Ron and Hermione because Rupert Grint and Emma Watson had zero chemistry. But for people who read the books, they’re a great couple!

  15. I’m not a romance fan either, I noticed serious sacrifice or being at odds with each other were recurring themes with my couples, not a lot of meet-cute situations. It’s interesting that you mention not being able to come up with 10, it made me think that if I had to name an 11th couple, I’d be hard pressed; maybe I’d fall back on Lizzie and Darcy.
    I would rank Ennis and Jack as one of the most worthy love stories ever depicted, but I’ve only seen the film and I’m haunted by their love. I guess a reading of the s.s. is in order (if my heart can take it).

  16. I love Jo and Laurie together and never agreed with the author’s decision to split them up. I recently read the Blue Castle and fell in love with Valancy and her man. They were so good for each other. And as much as I love the story of Jane Eyre, I’m always a bit miffed with Mr. Rochester. I feel his teasing and flirting with Jane is a bit unfair. A man of integrity would have made his feelings clear and not forced Jane to always be the one to set the boundaries and speak the truth. However, since Jane loves him so much and they are soul mates, I choose to forgive him for his behavior.

    • It’s so nice to meet other fans of The Blue Castle! I hope that book gets made into a movie someday.

      And I’d never thought of Mr. Rochester in that light before.

  17. That is a nice list! But I still think that Ron does not deserve such a good girl as Hermione, but I should agree that maybe it is mostly thanks to actors of the movie.

    • There have been some great movies made based on Jane Eyre. Maybe you’d like them better? I love the style of gothic novels, although obviously not everyone shares that opinion. 🙂

  18. Great picks for this week Lydia. 🙂 The only one of these I’ve read is Harry Potter and I love Ron and Hermione today. I never actually thought of Hermione with Percy (despite them both being bookish) for me it was always Ron and Hermione.
    Great post. <3

    • Thank you very much.

      Yes, lots of people have strong opinions about who Hermione should have ended up with. If only she were a real person so we could ask her what she thought of all of the various parings. Ha!

  19. #1 – I’ve never care for these two but that’s only because I kind of don’t like the book all that much

    #3 – they’re okay but I think hermione got the worst of the deal although ron does makes one laugh

    #6 – I don’t think it’s a spolier naming names, maybe I shouldn’t named names on my list? I kind of think people would only care if they read the book but if they didn’t, oh well. I really do like that her partner is the opposite of valancy, such a carefree guy and he is good for her

    thanks for your visit to my blog. have a lovely day.

    • You’re welcome.

      Some of the couples in the books I mentioned didn’t get together until the very end. Maybe that’s not a spoiler to some readers? I played it safe either way. 🙂

  20. I agree with having good TTT topics that make you think. I definitely see some books on your list that I need to read or are on my TBR. I know I’m definitely going to read The Future of Us because that actually sounds kinda cool.

  21. Oh I had forgotten about Brokeback mountain until you mentioned Ennis and Jack, they had such a beautiful love story. I cried at the end of that movie…
    Jane and Rochester are a great choice as well, they are so alike. I may need to reread Jane Eyre 🙂

  22. I love Ron and Hermione together! I think I assumed they’d get together from the start and it just seemed so natural to me by the end, I remember being so confused when I saw how many people actually wanted Harry and Hermione to be together! Jo and Laurie are such a sweet couple, I love that choice also. Great list!

  23. I love Anne and Gil! I can’t believe I forgot about them! While I’ve never read Little Women, I always felt that Laurie settled for Amy based on the adaptations I’ve seen. Jo always seemed to not want to spoil what they had so she was so insistent that they not change their relationship.

    • Honestly, many of the adaptations of Little Women have been just as good as the book. By all means read the book if you’d like, but it’s not 100% necessary.

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