Alexa at Not Enough Bookshelves blog is counting down her favorite fictional couples of 2009, and I’m enjoying the posts immensely. Not only is she sharing with us her favorites, but she’s also having guest bloggers post about their favorite fictional couples of the year. And as if that weren’t enough, she’s hosting a contest! All you have to do is leave a comment to enter, and if you post about your favorite couple of 2009–which I hope you will do, because I LOVE reading these things–you get bonus points. Go check it out, and then come back here to hear all about mine.
Note: if you haven’t finished reading Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments trilogy–City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass–this post has spoilers in it. You have been warned.
As anyone who talks to me regularly knows, my favorite couple of the year is Clary and Jace from The Mortal Instruments. I love the books for many reasons–awesome world building, witty dialogue, vivid imagery. But what makes me adore them more than anything I’ve read this year is the simultaneously sexy, heartbreaking, and funny romance between Clary and Jace.
From the time they meet each other, you can see sparks between them, even while they’re getting under each others skin. They both try to be prickly and smart-mouthed, but moments keep breaking through where the connection between them is obvious. And then there’s that delicious scene in City of Bones where Jace makes a point of celebrating Clary’s birthday, and the evening ends with a kiss:
The moon, directly overhead now, lit everything nearly to daylight brightness. In between one step and another she saw a white spark struck off something on the floor: It was the knife Jace had been using to cut apples, lying on it’s side. She jerked hastily back to avoid stepping on it, and her shoulder bumped his–he put his hand out to steady her, just as she turned to apologize, and then she was somehow in the circle of his arms and he was kissing her.
It was at first almost as if he hadn’t wanted to kiss her: His mouth was hard on hers, unyielding; then he put both arms around her and pulled her against him. His lips softened. She could feel the rapid beat of his heart, taste the sweetness of apples still on his mouth. She wound her hands into his hair, as she’d wanted to do since the first time she’d seen him . . .
I love that their love for each other brings out the best in them, both their tenderness and their strength, and pushes both of them to give everything they have to save their world. Even when they think they can’t be together, and are miserable because of it, they still draw on their hopeless love to push them to new heights of courage and endurance. This bit from City of Glass made me weep the first time I read it:
It would all be over soon, and she was almost glad. She wondered if she had enough energy to drag herself over to where Jace lay, if she could lie down beside him and wait for it to be over. She stared at him, lying motionless on the churned, bloody sand . . .
Now very much against her will, she thought of the way Jace had looked at her then, the blaze of faith in his eyes, his belief in her. He had always thought she was strong. He had showed it in everything he did, in every look and every touch. Simon had faith in her too, yet when he’d held her, it had been as if she were something fragile, something made of delicate glass. But Jace had held her with all the strength he had, never wondering if she could take it–he’d known she was as strong as he was . . .
. . . Remembering the way Jace had looked at her the night she’d freed Ithuriel, she couldn’t help but imagine the way he’d look at her now if he saw her trying to lie down and die on the sand beside him. He wouldn’t be touched, wouldn’t think it was a beautiful gesture. He’d be angry at her for giving up. He’d be so–disappointed.
Of course there are plenty of moments when their forbidden love brings out the worst in them too, but that just makes me love them more–they’re so human, so complex. It’s always gratifying to see characters who are flawed and fumbling and bewildered find their strengths and persevere to victory. And if you can combine that with some excellent sexual tension and a few hot kissing scenes, well I’m all over it.
So what’s YOUR favorite fictional couple of 2009?