Hello, hey, how ya doing! I’m back from the dead, writing on my romance bullshit once again. It’s your favorite Resident Romance Redneck back in her ways to torment you with more romance content that you didn’t ask for. Let’s be honest though, y’all missed me. I missed you too, it’s okay. We have a very codependent relationship and that’s alright because we’re open and honest about it. Today, we’re talking iconic love stories, yes the Romeo and Juliet of it all. The Taylor Swift Romeo and Juliet! Now, we are traveling through the years and there are a few from recent years, there are a few classics (unprecedented for me), and some that might make you giggle and question my judgment. Let’s take a look!
For those who don’t know who I am and have happily stumbled upon this lovely article, then welcome! I’m Gracie, the (self-proclaimed) Resident Romance Redneck of Bookstr — I cover anything and everything bookish romance. After a little sabbatical as I was finishing my degree, I’m back and better than ever. And listen, I’ve been consuming romantic content left, right, and center. Anyway, let’s get to my hilarious commentary on the six love stories that give me heart palpitations. I’d like to add — these are in no particular order!
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
You’re going to realize throughout this list that these picks are also (slightly) influenced by their film counterparts. This is your only warning. Coming back to the book, this was one of those stories where, admittedly, I watched the movie first and realized on my twentieth time watching it that it was actually based on a book — a reaction that shocked my mother; to say the least, it was maybe a bit over-the-top. Nonetheless, The Princess Bride was one of my first introductions to fairytale, fantastical love. Westley and Buttercup’s love
was is what I aspire to find in my future partner. Zooming out from just Westley and Buttercup, if we take into account what they had to fight and endure to be with each other? Plus, Goldman’s imagery and raw narrative skills are just so enrapturing that I get lost in the story every time I pick up my copy.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston
I did say that this was only partially influenced by the adaptations. Red, White & Royal Blue has an adaptation on the way, but we’ve yet to see anything outside of a few photos and promotional clips. Look, I’m a sucker for a story that will have me kicking my feet and blushing at the worn pages. I mean the added pressure of the political intrigue and the kickstart of the enemies-to-lovers — I want to die from adoration of this book. The back-and-forth banter between Alex and Henry is top tier and the love that they share is something I want out of life. I can’t wait to see how they approach this adaptation, something that I’ve talked about before.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Do I love Pride and Prejudice? No. However, I do thoroughly enjoy the book. But, Pride and Prejudice is not why I don’t love Pride and Prejudice. I don’t love Pride and Prejudice because I’m not the biggest fan of Jane Austen’s writing. That being said (!) I can appreciate good storytelling when I see it. And I see it with Pride and Prejudice. My roommate adores the movie, so much so that when she’s stressed, she turns it on to calm down. As I mentioned, this list is partially based on the adaptations of these love stories and I adored the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice! Young Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy has my heart, specifically Colin Firth.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I love Jamie Fraser. I want to be married to Jamie Fraser. I want to be the Sassenach that Jamie adores. But, let’s be honest, the relationship between Claire and Jamie is amazing. They clearly care about each other and throughout the whole series, they’re both making an effort to be together. This is set in 1745, but that clearly isn’t an issue for me. Is there a bit of sexism and superstitious witch-hunting? Sure, but Gabaldon writes the reactions of the characters amazingly. What makes me swoon though is thinking of Sam Hueghan as Jamie Fraser — there’s a specific TikTok audio that I’m thinking of, but it’s highly inappropriate and I can’t quote it here.
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
I’ve never been crushed by a book so entirely as I was by The Fault In Our Stars. I reread this book every now and then when I need a good cry because it’s guaranteed to get my tears rolling. As for heart palpitations, they start when Hazel and Augustus start flirting in the basement (heart of Jesus). I think, seeing their relationship juxtaposed by Isaac’s and his
trash girlfriend was an interesting dynamic because it allowed me to see what a healthy teenage relationship should actually be — not that I took that advice. This adaptation was one of the first movies that I really saved up to buy on my phone so I could watch it whenever I wanted. Now that I’m older and I understand more of the story and the reasoning behind some of the character choices, it’s harder to watch, but that’s never going to stop me from appreciating a good love story.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
They really butchered this movie adaptation, but I’ll get into that in just a few. When we were younger, my Mom would read to my sister and me — my sister was read Twilight while I was read Harry Potter. What’s funny is that I didn’t even read Twilight until I was in college. I lasted all through my high school years —going to the midnight premieres of the movies, sobbing in the theater when I thought Carlisle was decapitated, stressing over who Bella was going to choose — all without reading the source material. I had no basis for loving these movies outside of the muffled words of my Mom through my bedroom wall. So when I finally read them for myself, I realized just how wonderfully they fit into my favorite genre. As for the movies, Edward is so much better in the books. Robert Pattinson was definitely the best actor for the job, but they just destroyed the core of these books. I have to look at the two as separate entities because they just don’t work — in my opinion! The one thing that carried over was the fierceness of Bella and Edward’s love — you can’t fake that, well unless you’re an actor.
That’s my list! Are they more modern than anything else? Yeah, but you’ve got to remember my interpretation of spanning across time is the material that I’ve read. I could’ve added The Notebook, Gone with the Wind, Shakespeare’s romances, or any number of older works, but I haven’t fallen in love with those stories like I have these six. Love is something so personal and subjective that it all depends on the reader to determine what they find desirable and what they want to look for in life. Do I agree with everything in these books? No, but I agree with enough that I felt they deserved recognition in this form.
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