Posted February 10, 2014 by in Q&A

Bookkaholic Q&A: Favorite Literary Romance

Bookkaholic Q&A is a weekly feature where we all share our answers to a bookish question. Think of it as a conversation over coffee with friends!

this weeks question

“What is your favorite literary romantic relationship?”

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My favorite literary romance of recent years is the very subtle one that exists between Renée Michel and Kakuro Ozu in Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Renée lives the solitary life of a Parisian concierge alone with her books and faithful cat until Mr Ozu comes sweeping into her life with his gentle manners and cups of tea. Although a tragic tale that actually managed to make this heartless reader shed a tear, under Mr Ozu’s influence the grouchy hedgehog unfurls into a beautiful butterfly.




I am very particular about romantic pairings in literature, probably because I’m a little cynical when it comes to love in real life. I guess I’m just not a romantic at heart. For that reason, I really love Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe’s romance in the Anne of Green Gables books. Their love grows over time, and Anne is able to pursue her education and teaching career before she settles down to have a family with the boy who called her “carrots” in grade school. Gilbert loves Anne as she is, and Anne’s slow realization that Gilbert has her heart always gives me warm fuzzies.




I don’t usually read YA fiction (sorry, Tara!), but I loved The Fault in Our Stars by John Green when I read it a year and a half ago. It’s a quirky love story about two teenagers who meet in a cancer support group. Hazel and Augustus are both terrific characters, witty and cynical but sweet all at the same time, and their relationship has an epic, Romeo and Juliet feel to it. They even get to go on a fantastically romantic date in Amsterdam. Read it before the movie version comes out in June. (See Tara’s article on John Green for more information on this beloved YA author)

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Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy have this wonderful love/hate relationship. They seemingly cannot stand one another at the beginning, but as they continue to be thrown together in social situations, they start to realize that there are more important aspects to a person than just his or her social standing, which meant everything during the 1800s in England. One simply did not marry outside one’s social class! As they get to know each other better, they recognize that they have allowed preconceived notions and prejudices to stand in the way of their potential happiness. At the end of the work, they recognize the other as a soul mate, and because they have grown as characters and matured in their mutual appreciation, they make a phenomenal literary couple.

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Jaime and Claire from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander will always be my favorite romantic couple. They are from different eras and certainly have their differences, but always end up resolutely and passionately together. There’s something pulse-quickening about a romance between two people who seemed fated to meet, the magic of time travel bringing them together. With 850 pages, the paperback that starts this eight-book series is massive for a romance novel, but it’s quite a page-turner. A major television channel recently announced that they were turning the novels in a TV series.


So now we want to share our conversation with you! Tell us about your favorite literary romance in the comments!


Former middle school teacher and school librarian, current doctoral student in education. Reader of all things young adult. I'm particularly fond of dystopian societies, sassy female protagonists, and clever dialogue. I can often be found asleep with a book on my face. Check out all my articles.