Look. The cultivation of a genuine, believable, warm and fuzzy, feel-good romance is a pretty significant factor to books.
Most of the time it will work it way into a story somewhere, be it the main attraction of the tale – such as Twilight – a side factor to the story – Hunger Games – or as a passing element – Ron and Hermione.
There are a number of ways that authors use romance in books.
There are also a million opinions about which story – based on this romantic factor – is the best.
Brace yourselves people, I have the answer you have all been waiting for.
Not too long ago, William Joyce (probably the most legitimate author/producer/creative thinker of this generation) created probably the most beautiful series of books of all time.
It is called the Guardians of Childhood.
Here’s the situation: There’s this Nightmare King called Pitch who wants to rid the world of light and goodness and instead replace it with fear and darkness. To counter Pitch’s plans, the Man in the Moon (MiM) the nightlight to all children begins to call specific individuals together to unite and fight against Pitch protecting the Children of the World.
Each book entails the story associated with the adding of yet another Guardian. The first is of Nicholas St North (think swords, beards and Russians) the second a Pooka, E. Aster Bunnymund this massive chocolate obsessed rabbit.
I think you can see where we are going with this.
The next a fairy called Toothiana, and the most recent Sanderson Mansnoozie – the Sandman.
Amidst these epic battles told in Joyce’s saga are two hugely significant characters, Katherine – a little girl who tells stories – and Nightlight – a supernatural boy of light.
The development of Katherine and Nightlight is basically the best thing you will ever read in your life.
Katherine, who begins the tale a small orphan girl who lives with an aged wizard becomes this ferocious strong willed woman who accomplishes amazing things through the recording and telling of her stories. We see Katherine move from a place of being a little girl who needs protecting into a full Guardian who will eventually become Mother Goose.
Nightlight on the other hand is this Peter Pan-esque character who never grows up and serves the Man in the Moon as his own ‘Nightlight’. Nightlight never speaks, he is brave, and wholly good… that is until he begins to experience emotions like rage and anger as Katherine’s life is in danger.
Without spoiling everything in this amazing series, the development between Nightlight and Katherine through the books is one of ‘growing up’ and a question of ‘goodness vs. evil’.
But we also see this super cute love story play out.
The ‘I don’t know if she feels the same way,’ ‘Is this friendship or something more…?’ and the way that love has the ability to truly change people is communicated in these stories in a way I have legitimately never seen before.
It’s also not sappy and irritating and completely unbelievable and unhealthy and stupid as some other book romances can be sometimes…
(Here’s looking at you Twilight)
If you don’t believe me, read it yourself. I dare you to find a literary romance better than Katherine and Nightlight
I dare you.