What Makes the Perfect Ship? // ft. My Favourite Couples In Books

Let me preface this by saying: I have a HECK TON of YA ships I would DIE FOR.

(Let’s not put that to test though.)

Over the years, quite a many (literally most of them, give or take a handful) books feature a romantic relationship. And okay, not all of them are good (ahahah @ The Selection days) but there are several that were SO GREAT I LOVE THEM TO DEATH.

But how do you KNOW which ones are the amazing ones and which ones aren’t? (Ya just do, Aline, stop questioning everything uselessly) LET’S SEE.

  • ft characters that are strong individually, and together 👬
  • ft characters who complement each other
  • ft characters who don’t hold each other back 🙌
  • ft characters who have CHEMISTRY 🔥👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩
  • ft characters who don’t “cure” their partner’s demons, but helps them to defeat them themselves 💪
  • ft a slow burn hate-to-love relationship 🔥😠–>😍 (always a win unless it’s just done very badly lmao

I feel like my favourite couples tick at least one-two, if not more or all of these “criteria”?! Some of it just makes SENSE. Like if they don’t have chemistry? Ship is sinking. If the characters are boring or their sole winning characteristic is when they’re with their partner? Ship is sinking. If the characters are strong individuals, and just FIT together?? SHIP HAS SAILED, AND I’M ON THAT SHIP OKAY.

So in honour of Valentine’s Day coming up and to comfort my very single status, here’s some of my favourite ships*!! In case you are looking for the perfect romance this Valentine’s Day 😉

*I’m linking up with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) prompt: Top Ten Favourite Couples in Books!

Literally all the ships from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo but particularly KAZ & INEJ and JESPER & WYLAN ❤ ❤ ❤ (Okay that’s 2/3 so I might as well also scream NINA & MATTHIAS)

  • Kinej has such a unique, heartbreaking relationship, I just…!!! They complement and contrast each other SO WELL yet are similar in so many ways aaaah
  • Jylan (?)/Wesper (?) is such a PURE and wholesome ship?? Jesper and Wylan are both so precious and to see them both support and lift each other up is the most beautiful thing
  • Natthias / Mina (??) HATE-TO-LOVE! (Mostly on Matthias’ side but whatever) These two have such an opposites-attract relationship and I LOVE
  • What is the ship name for all these characters, idek. Perhaps using their last names? Ghrekker? (no.) Brafa? (No.) Helvik? (?) Zelvar? (Maybe?) And Wesper is actually kind of cute! I’m not quite sure whether any combos of Van Eck (or Hendricks) would work with Fahey …
  • THIS ISN’T EVEN IMPORTANT WHY AM I DOING THIS

Jem & Tessa / Will & Tessa from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare: not gonna lie, I was tempted to put “Jem & Aline” or “Will & Aline” there for a second BECAUSE AH MY FAVES. 😭

Lei & Wren from Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan: LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL F/F SHIP IN FANTASY CAN I JUST??!?!?! It breaks my heart to see what they must go through but I ADORE these two. What an amazing ship 😭

Monty & Percy from The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee: Monty is such an idiot but I love him!! Their relationship was just the cutest and most precious omg.

Lila & Kell and Rhy & Alucard from Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab: Am I cheating a bit? Yes. Do I care? Nope!! Because UM HI THESE TWO COUPLES ARE AMAZING. I adore Kell & Lila’s relationship, and Rhy & Alucard’s banter is so fantastic.

Simon & Blue from Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: The cutest!! Their emails to each other made me smile so much and made me so happy

Lara Jean & Peter in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: COVINSKY IS SO AMAZING AAH!!! I so want to reread this books now ahahah

Shahrzad & Khalid from The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: What an amazing hate-to-love romance OH MY GOD. So spectacular and literally all the feels!!

Tanner & Sebastian from Autoboyography by Christina Lauren: THE SWEETEST. SO PURE. BEAUTY. GOODBYE.

Tella & Dante from Legendary by Stephanie Garber: It was either this or Lira & Elian but I’m going with this one because that book had me SHOOK okay and it’s just… ahhhh all the chemistry between these two!!

Honourable mentions: Lira & Elian from To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (THEIR BANTER), Helen & Aline from The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare (WHAT A beautiful HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP AAHHH)

Also can I just make a note as to how little f/f ships I have on here? I have ONE. ONEEEEEEE. I need more in my life omg 😭 GIVE ME RECS.

What makes you love a particular ship/fictional couple? What are some of your favourites?! (I need to live vicariously through the romances of fictional characters okay) Oh and if you have any m/m or f/f favourites, non-binary or QUEER ❤ favourites for that matter, let me know because I CRAVE more of them ok. They’re fabulous AND I NEED MORE. Also if you’re participating in this week’s TTT, feel free to link your post as well! ❤

12 2019 Books By Asian Authors I want to read this year // #YARC Sign-Up + Update post!

2019 is SO FULL with books by Asian authors and I. AM. HERE FOR IT.

I’m Asian, and I love reading diverse books by diverse authors so a reading challenge which promotes doing just that with books by Asian authors? YES PLEASE. This year-long challenge is hosted by 4 lovely bloggers; Shealea, CW, Vicky, and Lily! They are all such amazing bloggers and wonderful people, and I’m so happy they created this challenge. It’s such an incredible idea!! The goal is to read as many books by Asian authors as possible (which I was going to do anyway haha).

I don’t usually lean towards reading challenges because I have an issue with TBRs where I just can’t ever really stick to them? I love making lists, so I make a list of the books I want to read and suddenly I’m reading…. anything other than those books. (WHY) I think I just have an issue with reading that feels “required” in any manner, because it sort of puts pressure on me…. BUT I DIGRESS.

On that line of thought, I decided I’m going to aim for the Indian cobra goal (11-20 books)! I was going to go for the Philippine tarsier (1-10) to put as little pressure as possible, but looking at my TBR (and what I’ve already been reading), I think 11-20 should be attainable throughout the year! Or so I hope! 🙈

I have A LOT of books by Asian authors I still need/want to read (both backlist and upcoming titles), so I’ve decided to list 10 2019 books which I’m really excited for! I do have other backlist titles I want to read as well, but inevitably some are going to be replaced by other books not on the list because my brain does not always cooperate with TBRs hahaha.

The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan (Jan 29th): I actually just finished this a few days ago! I’m hoping to have a review up near the end of the month, because I LOVED IT and I want everyone to read it 💕 It features a gay Muslim Bangladeshi-American main character who is sent to Bangladesh after her parents catch her with her girlfriend–and although the writing wasn’t my favourite, the story was so impactful and means SO MUCH to me. ❤️

The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf (Feb 5th): I’ve heard nothing but the most INCREDIBLE things, there’s OCD rep and it’s set in Malaysia?! MY KIND OF BOOK. I don’t normally pick up historical fiction, but I have a feeling I’m going to love this one ahh.

The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhatena (Feb 26th): An Indian main character in a New girl/Bad boy trope??? YES PLEASE.

Ruse by Cindy Pon (March 12th): I really liked Want when I read it last year!! So excited for the sequel, though I don’t remember a ton from Want hahahah oops I’m a goldfish okay

Descendent of the Crane by Joan He (April 2nd): I mean, I haven’t read or watched Game of Thrones lmao, but I heard Chinese-inspired Game of Thrones and I’M PSYCHED omggg 😭😍

Love From A to Z by S.K Ali (May 7th): AHHH a Muslim main character?! I will never stop being excited for these books, BLESS 🙌 The love interest also has multiple sclerosis, and I am so excited to read this contemporary love story ahh.

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon (May 14th): Ahh I really liked When Dimple Met Rishi! Dimple was kind of annoying, but Rishi was adorable. I have a feeling I’m really going to love reading Ashish and Sweetie’s story ahh!! ❤ (Also Sandhya Menon’s books have the cutest covers and the girls are so pretty!!)

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal (May 14th): GOSH THIS COVER IS GORGEOUS also an epic fantasy in a world inspired by ancient Arabia? *grabby hands* Seriously, this book sounds so amazing and I neeeeeeeeed it

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi (June 11th): Um just LOOK at that pure, wholesome, f/f rom com bliss cover???? CAN I JUST 😭😍

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho (June 25th): “Fresh and addictive fantasy romance set in modern day Seoul” –> MY. KINDA. BOOK.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim (July 26th): LOOK AT THAT GORGEOUS ASIAN COVER ahhhhhh I am so happy!! And so excited!!

This Time Will be Different by Misha Sugiura (June 4th): Contemporary featuring a Japanese-American lead! Me love. ❤

Hahaha can you tell I got lazier with why I’m excited as the list went down?? BUT I’M EXCITED FOR ALL THEM OKAY I PROMISE. Also can I just squeal about how there are so many books here with Asian representation on the covers??!?!?! Years ago I would’ve never imagined to see people of colour like me, or other marginalized groups on the cover of mainstream YA novels. And here we are now!! 😭💕 IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY AAHHH.

I wasn’t going to add these to this post because I didn’t want it to be freakishly long, but these are some backlist titles I hope to read as well!!

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns // Empress of All Seasons // Smoke in the Sun // The Astonishing Color of After // Under a Painted Sky // Written in the Stars // Shadow of the Fox // A Torch Against the Night & A Reaper at the Gates // The Way You Make Me Feel // Mariam Sharma Hits the Road // Not Your Sidekick

I’m going be updating the books I read across the year under this section!

Are you participating in the #YARC reading challenge? What books are you planning to read? Are any of you excited for these books? (YOU SHOULD BE!) Am I the only one who sucks at keeping up with TBRs? Talk to meeee 💕🙈

Basically Nina is my QUEEN, as always // Spoiler-Free King of Scars Review

Hi, my name’s Aline and I WILL FIGHT anyone who says Nina’s not amazing. Thank you, goodbye.

(Not really, I have lots more to say sksksksk)

In case you were not aware (and there’s a very good chance of that since I’ve posted a grand total of one post so far lmao), I ADORE the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo! I also liked the Grisha trilogy, because of all the magic and NIKOLAI, but I did not fall in love with its characters as thoroughly as I did with Six of Crows. Now, here I have a book with NINA, one of my absolute favourites, AND Nikolai????????? My queen of waffles and the king of wit and charm? Needless to say, I HAD HIGH EXPECTATIONS. Were those expectations met? Yes… with a side dish of no. LET ME EXPLAIN.

Read More »

The month of fantasy, basically // Books I read this month

My first post, woo!!! I’ve been debating making this blog since the start of the month, but, well, here we are at the end of the month. I’m still high-key overwhelmed to think it’s already been a month of 2019? I’m still back in 2010, ok.

Anyway, this month I read 12 books, which is really good! Two books were rereads (Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom !!!!!!!! aka the BEST BOOKS EVER GO READ THEM) but the rest were all new to me.

Biggest disappointment

I mean, out of 12 books. But still.

I was expecting so much more from Solitaire, to be honest! I didn’t hate it, but after really enjoying I Was Born For This, this one definitely didn’t quite live up to my expectations. The plot was messy, there were several aspects which I just felt weren’t executed well… I don’t know. It’s complicated.

Favourites:

Legendary truly captivated me so much, I was so invested and god was I SHOOK at that ending! The world is so amazing, and I loved this one so much more than the first book. I NEED Finale. Omg.

Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom were MASTERPIECES as usual. I loved them so much. If you haven’t read them………… I will not share my cookies ok. That is a threat. I have to say, although I didn’t love the Grisha trilogy as much as Six of Crows, I did enjoy the books! It was interesting to finally have read them after all this time haha.

*whisper* I did not love The Cruel Prince, buuuuut I did enjoy The Wicked King! So many twists and turns and that ending, like the first one begs so much more aaaaah.

Shout out also to The Brilliant Death as well for the especially cute and slow burn romance of 2 non-binary main characters!! Diversity in fantasy is where it’s at people. ❤ ❤

Also: The Poet X was a beautifully written, and nuanced piece of work in verse, that I enjoyed so much! It explored sexism, relationships, the complex nature of strict parents, and so much more. ❤

What were your favourite reads this month? Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Let’s chat!