After last week’s discussion on why female villains make us angrier than male villains, I decided to do another discussion post, this one about one of my favorite aspects of YA: the ships.
Ah, OTPs. One true pairings. I love them. And there are lots I support (and a few that I don’t).
Some popular OTPs you most likely know, even if you’re new to YA:
1. Katniss and Peeta
2. Ron and Hermione (I don’t ship these two. Sorry y’all, but no.)
3. Percy and Annabeth
4. Cress and Thorne
So I want us to discuss exactly what it is that makes a good, strong romantic relationship worth rooting for.
For me, there are the ships I’d be willing to separate, if the male side fell in love with me instead. *sighs dreamily* And then there are the ones that, no matter how much I might want to marry the male love interest, I would never ever ever separate them. Some characters just need each other so much that the thought of one without the other is just plain awful.
I want to take a look at the OTPs I ship the hardest: Wolflet (The Lunar Chronicles) and Everlark (The Hunger Games).
Let’s start with Wolf and Scarlet.
While Cresswell is certainly the most popular ship from this series, Wolflet is the one I love the most. I want my future husband, whoever he may be, to love me the way Wolf loves Scarlet. They have this relationship that is indescribably beautiful. And I know that part of it could be attributed to Wolf’s genetic tampering and wolf instincts, but regardless, he loves Scarlet so much and he shows it constantly. I love how he calls her his alpha female. He protects her no matter the cost, and even when Princess Winter is there, he looks at Scarlet like she’s the only one who matters. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
*Spoilers for Cress, Winter, and Stars Above by Marissa Meyer*
Remember when Scarlet was kidnapped? Remember Cress seeing Wolf cradling a can of tomatoes and just laying on Scarlet’s bed because he missed her so much it nearly drove him insane? The times when he and Cinder sparred, and Cinder could sense his hollow, heartbroken, terrified bioelectricity? And when Wolf and Scarlet are finally reunited, it is nothing short of beautiful.
And then the wedding in Stars Above. I cry at real weddings. But that one, fictional though it may be, remains the most beautiful wedding I have ever “witnessed”. I cried happy tears the entire time.
*End of spoilers*
And then there’s Katniss and Peeta. I would not separate them if you offered me the universe. They need each other. They know what the other is going through. They went through so much, together, over the course of the Hunger Games series that they need each other so much, I believe that separating them would make them both go literally insane.
*Spoilers for The Hunger Games series*
Mockingjay is a heart-wrenching book. Peeta is the Capitol’s prisoner; Katniss is in District 13 with no way of knowing if Peeta’s alive. She is going crazy not knowing. And who knows what was going on in Peeta’s head, because he didn’t know if Katniss was ok either.
And the thing with these two is, Katniss loved Peeta long before she ever admitted it to herself. One of my favorite parts in Mockingjay is the scene with Finnick, when he tells Katniss that she loves Peeta, deeply, in some way.
Katniss and Peeta just couldn’t ever be separated. Never again. It would destroy them both.
*End of Spoilers*
Don’t get me wrong, I believe relationships need independence. But at the same time, if you’re going to love someone, and especially if you’re going to marry someone, make sure you love them so much you need them.
So, I want to hear your thoughts: what makes a romantic relationship truly work in a novel? What is it about certain ships that make them so beautiful? Let’s talk in the comments.