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The Legacy of Androva Series

“Mistletoe. I surmount all obstacles.”
― Vanessa Diffenbaugh

December brought with it a week of icy temperatures here in the UK, and only the most stubborn leaves are still clinging to the trees. As if in readiness for the holiday season, a thin layer of frost sparkles on every surface, and a few clusters of evergreen mistletoe are newly visible amongst the bare branches.

Mistletoe is a familiar decoration at this time of year, mostly thanks to the Victorians. Although kissing under the mistletoe apparently became a thing in the late 1700s, it was the Victorians in the nineteenth century who turned it into a tradition. 

However, mistletoe actually has a much more interesting backstory—one that long predates its place amongst the holiday lights and tinsel. I discovered it during some of my earlier writing research, and I was reminded just a few weeks ago (see 3️⃣ below!). Today’s blog post explains a little of mistletoe’s magical history and why it was once so much more than a holiday ornament.

1️⃣ The Aeneid, by Virgil (19 BCE)

An epic poem almost ten thousand lines long, The Aeneid tells the story of Aeneas—exiled prince of Troy who was also the son of Venus (the Roman goddess of love). It chronicles his adventures from the end of the Trojan War until he eventually settles in Italy as founder of the great city of Rome.

Aeneas faces a lot of challenges along the way. One of them involves a visit to the Underworld to see the ghost of his father. In order to safely navigate the land of the dead, he has to collect a “golden bough” as a gift for Proserpina, Queen of the Underworld. The golden bough is mistletoe. 

According to the myths, Proserpina only spends half the year in the Underworld, and her arrival in the land of the living triggers the start of spring. She is said to unlock the gates of the Underworld with a wand made from—you guessed it—mistletoe ☺.

I guess I should explain how The Aeneid showed up in my writing research. In the prologue of Seeking Magic, Jax and Shannon are trapped in Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius is about to erupt, setting the scene for their adventure in pre-treaty Terra. But I considered a few alternative times and places before I chose Pompeii, and one of them had Jax and Shannon in Troy just as the famous Trojan Horse came through the city gates!

2️⃣ Celts and druids 

The Celts were once the largest group of people in Ancient Europe, with hundreds of tribes that stretched all the way from Spain in the west to Turkey in the east. Druids were Celtic priests, though a druid’s role in society extended far beyond religion, encompassing matters of law, medicine, and politics too.

Because the Celts never kept a written record of anything they considered sacred, most of what we know about them comes from other people (like the Romans). The Romans described the Celts as barbarians, but then the Romans were the invaders, so they weren’t exactly impartial. And I doubt the Celts would have had anything complimentary to say about the Romans in return!

According to Pliny the Elder, a Roman living in Gaul (Western Europe) in the first century, mistletoe was revered by the druids. The plant’s evergreen leaves, and its ability to grow without any visible source of food or even roots, made it an emblem of fertility and immortality. Mistletoe could only be harvested with a golden sickle on a particular day in the lunar cycle, and it was believed to be an antidote to all poisons. 

When I was writing Surviving Magic, I wanted to include a (fictional!) Celtic spell when Galen and Claudia visit Britannia, so I did a bit of research on druids and magic for inspiration. Pliny wrote, “Even today Britain is still spell bound by magic.” Two thousand years later, I think that statement remains more true than not.

3️⃣ Norse mythology (circa 9th century CE)

And why’d they include Balder? No one’s even heard of him.” 

I discovered the third and final example of mistletoe magic when I was writing Matched in Magic. Xytovian magicians wear protective amulets, and although I eventually decided the amulets would be made from a kind of crystal, I considered leaves and wood too. 

I should mention that there are a lot of different versions of this story, and this is only one of them! Balder was the god of light and universally loved on account of his kind and happy disposition and his beauty. So far, so good. Until, one day, Balder started dreaming of his own death. Frigga, his mother, was determined that Balder’s dreams would not come true, so she secured an oath from everyone and everything that they would not harm him.

Loki: Everyone and everything? Really?
Frigga: Yes. Oh, except I didn’t ask the mistletoe. It’s too small to do any harm.
Loki: […]

Shortly after that, Loki made an arrow from a piece of mistletoe. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. The arrow pierced Balder through the chest and killed him. He didn’t even get to go to Valhalla because he hadn’t died in battle. The other gods attempted to retrieve Balder from the death goddess, Hel, pleading for his return because everyone loved him so much. Hel requested proof in the form of tears, and Loki was the only person who refused to cry, thus ensuring that Balder stayed dead.
Frigga apparently held the mistletoe to a promise that it would never do harm again. It became a symbol of protection, and enemies that met under mistletoe had to lay down their arms and call a truce.

I think it’s fair to say there’s a lot more to mistletoe than meets the eye☺. It also demonstrates why writing research is one of my favourite things because there’s always a new story to discover. Thank you very much for visiting my blog today, and I wish you happy holidays ⛄✨.

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

I think that’s why the vibe at YALC (the UKs Young Adult Literature Convention) is so amazing. Hundreds of stories are brought to life in the same place at the same time, and it’s magical. Fictional characters get to cross over into the real world instead of existing around the edges of it.

It’s been almost a week since I went to YALC 2023 with my youngest daughter, and today’s blog post contains some of the highlights from our day. Starting with the books. Perhaps it goes without saying that YALC is a literal treasure trove of beautiful books, but I’m saying it anyway. Spoilt for choice doesn’t begin to cover it.

And all of the publishers did such an incredible job, with games, competitions, raffles, exclusive samples from upcoming releases, bookmarks, tote bags, pin badges, stickers… It was a lot of fun. (We took the Penguin quiz to find out what kind of readers we are, and some of the questions were really difficult! I was The Advocate, with a headline of: 
You are defined by the things you love. My daughter was The Connector: Youre a social butterfly who values community.)

Here’s a snapshot from the stack of books we came home with, including the taglines and opening paragraphs. Left to right: 

1️⃣ The advance copy we won πŸŽ‰
Voyage of the Damned, by Frances White

A mind-blowing murder mystery on a ship full of magical passengers. If Agatha Christie wrote fantasy, this would be it!

My father always says: ‘You can’t run from your responsibilities,’ but he lacks imagination. Besides, I’m not running. I’m sidestepping. Crossing the road so me and my responsibilities don’t make eye contact and aren’t forced into awkward small talk both of us know isn’t going anywhere. 

2️⃣ The title we couldn’t resist

Mariel Spark knows not to trust a demon, especially one that wants her soul, but what's a witch to do when he won't leave her side - and she kind of doesn't want him to?

“Oh, no.” Mariel Spark stared at the startled chicken that had materialized on her kitchen counter. “That wasn’t what I meant to do.”
At the kitchen table, Calladia Cunnington nearly choked on her tea. “Well, that’s surprising. At least they both have wings.”
Mariel gave her friend a look. She’d recited a summoning spell for an air sprite, not poultry. “Literally the only thing they have in common.”

3️⃣ The murder mystery, Holly Jackson style
Four Found Dead, by Natalie D. Richards

The last show has ended, but the nightmare is just beginning.

I’ll never lock these doors again. Maybe that’s why I linger at the thick glass, watching the stragglers make their way through the parking lot. They file to their vehicles in pairs and threesomes. Headlights bloom to life; cars reverse and dart. It’s an abstract automotive ballet snaking toward the exits. I’ve watched this routine unfold every Saturday night for three years, but this time is different. Maybe the last time is always different.

No blog post about YALC would be complete without mentioning the brilliant authors who came along to talk about their stories, meet their readers, and sign a lot of books. One of the panels we attended this year was called The Thrill of it All (chaired by 
Kathleen Glasgow with Holly JacksonKalynn Bayron, and Frederico Ivanier). It was fascinating to hear the differences and similarities between their individual writing styles and how they originally gravitated toward the thriller genre. 

The panelists were also asked what advice they would give to aspiring writers. Holly mentioned screenplays and how understanding three-act structure and emotional highs and lows could be helpful when writing a novel. Kalynn talked about the importance of finishing your first draft, and Frederico said to write what you were passionate about. Kathleen’s advice was to call yourself a writer, no matter how much or how little you’ve written. 

And last but not least… If you’ve ever come across my blog before, you might know that I absolutely love the 
Lockwood & Co. series, by Jonathan Stroud. I’ve been recommending it since Halloween 2019 πŸ˜„. And now my copy of The Screaming Staircase has been signed! I also discovered that the skull in the jar—an important character who’s in the series right until the end—was originally supposed to be no more than a prop in Lucy’s interview. 

All of the authors we met were memorable in the best of ways, and they’re a big part of what makes YALC so special. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but the chance to have a conversation with the actual person who created the characters and worlds in your favourite books is kind of awesome. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a little scary too, but worth it!

I guess the only thing left to say is that we’re looking forward to next year already. Thank you very much for visiting my blog today πŸ’•.

“I’d always thought the hard part would be falling in love with someone who loved me back. I never considered what came next.
— Averine Vernier

Today’s blog post is all about Xytovia. Bound in Magic, the fourth and final book in the Beyond Androva series, will be released later this month! 

Averines POV was a challenge at first because shes not a magician, and the evolution of Xytovia as a blended society was way more complicated than I expected. I also discovered there was a lot more to her and Kellans story than the snapshot I wrote in Lost in Magic

As always, there is a short prologue to introduce a little context, then Averine takes over as the narrator. I hope you’ll enjoy finding out what happened to her as much as I did!

The pre-order for the eBook (21st October 2023) will be on Amazon very soon, and I’ll update this post with a link when it’s available. The price will remain at £0.99/€0.99/$0.99 until the release date.

Update ☺
Amazon UK Bound in Magic
Amazon US Bound in Magic

The description and the prologue are below. Thank you very much for visiting my blog today, and if you decide to read Bound in Magic, I hope you enjoy it!

Divided loyalties. Stolen magic.
Some bonds are made to be broken.

Averine’s biggest regret is thinking she could ever trust her father. On her seventeenth birthday, he forces her to accept a toxic gift. Mage-sickness. Creating a cure will bring him the power he craves, and he’s perfectly willing to risk his daughter to get it.

Trapped inside a Dimension Cell while her life hangs in the balance, Averine continues her alchemy training and hopes for a second chance. The last thing she expects is to receive a visitor. Kellan is a prisoner too, though his circumstances are nothing like hers. After a difficult start, they form a magical bond that will change their lives forever.

Outside of the cell, Xytovia is rebuilding after the long years of segregation. But not everyone believes magicians and cotidians are equal. Averine and Kellan only care about escaping. They don’t know the dangers waiting for them in the real world. Bonds can be exploited. And the consequences can be deadly.


(Phidiom, Day 99, Year 6015)

“You put on quite a performance.” The woman’s voice was clipped and angry.

“Why, thank you.”

“This isn’t funny. We need a magician, and we need them now. Nothing else matters, and you…  you let them leave. How could you be so careless?”

“Yes. I let them leave.” Her companion gave no outward sign that he was offended. “All of Xytovia would have noticed the disappearance of Gentus and Vidian Bavois. Far better that they return to Vayl believing us weak and scared.”

“And so what if they disappeared?” she said. “Accidents happen, no matter how important you are.”

“Be reasonable,” he said. “They had three wardens with them. It was not the opportunity you think it was.”

She made an impatient sound. “I don’t care if there were ten wardens. What about Rosa? What about my daughter? Her life is the one that matters. We should have taken them and deactivated the mage-glass they used to get here. It takes a week to cross the ocean. That’s plenty of time to establish a cover story.”

“No,” he said, shaking his head. “The whole point of this plan is to keep it hidden. A search party from Vayl is the last thing we need. And closing the mage-glass doesn’t only keep people out. It keeps us in.”

The two alchemists looked at each other. Friends since childhood, they had similar light brown hair and hazel eyes and were often mistaken for siblings. His expression remained patient while hers was pinched with frustration.

“How can you be so calm?” she said. “The magical core we stole from Maxia Jonville is almost gone, and I can’t—”

Her voice broke. She took a steadying breath. “Rosa will die without a new core to bond with.”

“She won’t die,” said the man. “Have a little faith.”

“In what? In what?”

He reached for her hand. “Taking Gentus and Vidian Bavois would have bought us some time. I admit that. But it would also have attracted a great deal of unwanted attention. And their force fields are damaged. A damaged forced field is likely to be a temporary and imperfect solution. It’s no different to the Jonville girl.”

“Imperfect is the way things are, thanks to the war and the Poison Spells. We have no choice.”

“I’m not so sure about that.”

“What do you mean?”

“Gentus Bavois came here looking for something,” he said. “Looking for someone.”


“A magician with an undamaged force field.”

The woman’s gaze sharpened. “And? Is it another far-fetched story, or do we think this magician actually exists?”

He smiled. “Based on the bottle of unfiltered lumien Gentus waved in front of my face, I believe they do.”

She returned his smile slowly, incredulously. “We have to find them before he does.”

“I wouldn’t worry. He’s barely competent, and you know how the laws of magic work. One undamaged force field can ignite an untold number of new sparks. Gentus will never contain them all.”

She nodded. “And we only need one force field. One magician to save Rosa’s life.”

“Incorrect,” he said.

“What do you mean?”

The warmth in his expression vanished. “Have you forgotten the original plan? Phidiom needs lumien.”

“No,” she said. “I haven’t forgotten. But after what happened to Rosa…”

“A temporary setback,” he said. “Her recovery will prove that my procedure works, and then we can expand.”

When his fellow alchemist did not reply, he leaned closer and lowered his voice.

“This is an opportunity to finally eliminate our dependency on magicians. No more giving away our best sea silks and jewels in exchange for scraps of lumien. We’ll be free.” A pause. “My commitment to pursuing that opportunity hasn’t changed. No matter the cost.”

He raised his eyebrows. “I hope I can still count on your support.”

The words hung in the air for a few seconds, as he waited for the woman’s reply. She swallowed. “Yes. Yes, you can.”

He patted her hand. “Excellent.”


“The odd thing about people who had many books was how they always wanted more.”
― Patricia A. McKillip
Vacations are brilliant for lots of reasons, but most especially because they are so perfectly compatible with books. Having more time to read (and write) makes me very happy .
We’re in the middle of summer here in the UK, and I was lucky enough to escape to the south coast last week. Thanks to my Kindle and my laptop, I brought a lot of fictional worlds and characters with me, and I had the best time discovering their stories. By the time I came back to the reality of work, chores, and rush hour traffic, I felt like I’d had multiple vacations and met lots of new people.
These were my three reading goals:
Something new
Something from my TBR
Something written by an author attending YALC 2023

 Something new
OK, so this was supposed to be one book, but it turned into five, and I have no regrets. Also, the book that started it all isn’t even published until October, so technically, it’s six books…
I was browsing the top fifty new releases on Amazon, and I clicked on A Curse For True Love, by Stephanie Garber, because of the title and the beautiful cover. Then I read the tagline: Two villains, one girl, and a deadly battle for happily ever after. By the time I’d finished the description, I was invested. Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, sounds like an interesting character, I thought. (I had no idea.)
A little research revealed that A Curse For True Love is part of a spin-off from Caraval, a trilogy I’ve always been curious about. It seemed only logical to read that too. And now I’m counting the weeks until A Curse For True Love is released.
The Caraval Trilogy, by Stephanie Garber
Tagline: Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems…
“Legend brought people back to life. Legend stole kingdoms with lies. Legend wrangled the stars.”
“If I told you the truth it would spoil all the fun.”
“Would you have preferred me to make the kiss kill you right away?”

Once Upon A Broken Heart and The Ballad of Never After, by Stephanie Garber
Tagline: How far would you go for happily ever after?
“If you believe this is what you want, then you’re lying to yourself.”
“I hurt everyone, Little Fox.”
“There is nothing of equal value to me.”

 Something from my TBR
This particular book has been on my TBR ever since I finished reading The Folk of the Air trilogy. It was so great to return to the dark world of Faerie as seen through the eyes of Suren, and I’m really looking forward to Oak’s POV in the next book. To say that things between Suren and Oak are complicated would be an understatement, and I have no idea where the story is going to go next.
The Stolen Heir, by Holly Black
Tagline: A runaway queen. A reluctant prince. And a quest that may destroy them both.
“‘Is he your lover? Is this a ballad we’re in?’”
‘A murder ballad, maybe,’ I growl.
‘No doubt, by the end,’ he says. ‘I wonder who will survive to compose it.’”
“If we were capable of putting mistrust aside, we might be a formidable pair.”
“It can be brave to hate. Sometimes it’s like hope.”

 Something written by an author attending YALC 2023
YALC 2023 is being held in November, and I have tickets for Saturday 11th. I’d recommend checking it out if you’re in the UK (or can travel here) because the lineup of authors is amazing, and everyone is so friendly and positive. Last year was my first time attending, and I smile whenever I think about it.
I decided to create a shortlist of three books, but it was really difficult choosing only three. The research was fun because my youngest daughter is going to YALC too, and she has a shortlist of her own. Sometimes we love the same books, and sometimes we don’t!
To Kill a Kingdom, by Alexandra Christo
Tagline: The siren with a taste for royal blood and the prince who has sworn to destroy her.
“But now my memories are cruel dreams, twisting into merciless visions and accusing me of a past I can’t deny. The truth of what I am has become a nightmare.”
“Love and madness are two stars in the same sky.”
Influential, by Amara Sage
Tagline: Popularity comes at a price.
“How am I supposed to get the algorithm of being a girl just right when the rules keep changing?”
“Reality can be what we want it to be, sweetie.”
The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne, by Jonathan Stroud
Tagline: Where gunfights and monsters collide.
“‘The bank is closed.’
‘I know,’ the girl said. ‘That’s kind of the point.’ One side of her mouth rose in a half-smile that did not reach her eyes.”
“She was angry again; it seemed her default mode. The buzz of her thoughts beset him. But the boy, who had been in the power of people who were never angry, yet who did terrible things to him, was undaunted and even reassured.”

 Writing update
And finally, an update on the conclusion to Beyond Androva. Everything is on track, and it won’t be too much longer before I have a confirmed release date for Bound in Magic. Averine’s story is written, and in the next few weeks it will be edited, formatted, and wrapped up in a shiny new cover! In the meantime, here is an extract from the prologue, which is set in Phidiom during the timeline of Matched in Magic, the first book in the series.
“Gentus Bavois came here looking for something,” he said. “Looking for someone.”
“A magician with an undamaged force field.”
The woman’s gaze sharpened. “And? Is it another far-fetched story, or do we think this magician actually exists?”
He smiled. “Based on the bottle of unfiltered lumien Gentus waved in front of my face, I believe they do.”
Thank you very much for visiting my blog today πŸ’•. I hope you get the chance to do some vacation reading this summer, and if you’re going to YALC, maybe I’ll see you there .


“Every great love starts with a great story.”

— Nicholas Sparks


There are lots of reasons why I get invested in a story and its characters. It might be the creative world-building, or perhaps an intriguing mystery, or a great villain (even better if they have a redemption arc), or a seemingly insurmountable problem. But no matter the genre, I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic. If there’s a relationship to root for, I’ll be cheering it on.


With that in mind, today’s post is a tribute to all of the love stories in YA books. It’s only a snapshot of what’s out there, but it was a lot of fun to make, and my TBR list is definitely longer as a result! Thank you very much for visiting my blog today, and I hope you enjoy my latest A-Z πŸ’•.


A is for Arranged (when parents think they know best)

Red Wolf by Rachel Vincent

“‘The village of Ashbourne needs you. Whether they know it or not.’

The field seemed to spin around me as I tried to make sense of what I was hearing. ‘You’re selling me in service to another village? To people I’ve never met? To a husband I’ve never even seen?’”

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

“As he ordered at the counter, he watched Dimple, totally relaxed in a way she hadn’t been with him, talking to Celia. And not for the first time in the past hour, Rishi wondered how his parents could’ve made such a big mistake.”


B is for Bad (the anti-hero love interest)

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

“His smile is laced with dynamite. ‘Go to sleep.’

‘Go to hell.’

He works his jaw. Walks to the door. ‘I’m working on it.’”

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

“Nate Macauley tips his chair back and smirks at me. ‘You make a wrong turn? This is detention, not student council.’”


C is for Celebrity (ordinary character meets VIP)

Once Upon A Con (series) by Ashley Poston

“I didn’t know what to say, but I wanted to reach out and touch his shoulder. We barely knew each other, but it felt like he had just admitted something to me that he’d never told anyone else before. Maybe he realized that, too, because his shoulders went rigid. I stilled my hand to keep it by my side.”


D is for Disguise (falling for someone you would never otherwise have fallen for)

Defy The Night by Brigid Kemmerer

“I wonder if that’s the truth she’s told herself, too. That it doesn’t matter that I was Weston Lark—because he’s dead. Now I’m just me.”


E is for Enemies to Lovers (or, as Shakespeare wrote, “My only love sprung from my only hate!”)

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

“They celebrate love as though it’s power, even though it has killed far more humans than I ever have.”

Starflight by Melissa Landers

How did he do that? A minute ago she wanted to break his jaw, and now she had to fight the urge to pat him on the head and give him a cookie. That had to be some kind of superpower. She finally understood how he got everything he wanted in life.”

My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth

“He smells like clean laundry and summer and I hate it. I hate all of it.”


F is for Friends to Lovers (seeing someone in a whole new light)

Ten Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

“‘I wish it was me,’ he says quietly, and my head shoots up. ‘You do?’ I ask. He gets up from the chair and moves slowly toward me. ‘I wish all the dates had been mine.’”

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

“He kissed her, and she glowed with that feeling. The one with wings.

‘You bring the rain down on them, Pip.’”


G is for Ghost (the supernatural love interest)

Ghosted by Emily Barr

“‘I can’t be a ghost,’ he said. ‘I’m not dead. I’d know if I was dead, wouldn’t I?’”

You've Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

“‘I don’t want to open my eyes,’ Sam says. But the ride is about to come to its end. I can feel it. I squeeze my eyes tighter, hoping to stop time or at least slow it down. Because I don’t want to open mine, either. I don’t want to lose him. I want to keep them shut and live in this memory of us forever. I don’t want to open my eyes and see a world without Sam. But sometimes you just wake up. No matter how hard you try not to.”

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

“This green place in which I stood with James turned slowly around us like a music box. All my memories returning, and all his. I could see and feel each of his days and he mine … Our lives overlapped as naturally as two blades of grass brushing together.”

H is for Historical
(clothing and customs from a bygone era)

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

“Lizzie was certain that her father secretly wished she’d been born a boy, and while Lizzie had no complaints about being a young woman, sometimes she wished she weren’t a young lady.”


I is for Insta Love (when lightning strikes)

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

“Don’t be afraid. Take chances. And when those don’t work out, take more.”


J is for Jilted (getting over a breakup by finding someone new)

A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

“Miami held my most cherished relationships, the ones I cry for in secret. Abuela. AndrΓ©s. Stefanie. My heart and body and memory are not finished with them yet.”


K is for Knight in Shining Armour (escaping a bad situation)

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

“But Logan had to laugh when he realized that he was the maiden in this scenario. And he didn’t care one bit.”


L is for Love Conquers All (anything is possible)

The Aurora Cycle (series) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

“You will not lose me. I am yours forever. When the fire of the last sun fails, my love for you will still burn.”


M is for Meet Cute (a memorable beginning)

Breaking Magic by Alex C Vick (because Cal and Alanna = one of my favourite couples)

“‘Don’t expect me to bend down and kiss your feet just because you said sorry,’ she retorted.

‘Kiss my feet?’ I repeated. I scrunched up my toes in their dusty brown boots. She blushed bright red. Zack and Albany grinned at each other.

‘I don’t want anything from you,’ I said nervously.

‘Good, because you’re not getting it!’

‘Good, because I don’t want it!’”


N is for Not Enough (not everything can be fixed)

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“I’m broken, and no one can fix it. I’ve tried. I’m still trying. I can’t love anyone because it’s not fair to anyone who loves me back.”


O is for Opposites Attract (having nothing in common but falling in love anyway)

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

“I’m not going to fall in love with you.”

“How do you know?”

“I don’t believe in love.”

“It’s not a religion,” he says. “It exists whether you believe in it or not.”


P is for Proximity (characters forced together by factors outside of their control)

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

“You don’t have to kiss me. You don’t even have to like me, Heiress, but please don’t make me do this alone.”

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle and Katherine Webber

“He sighed as he straightened. ‘I don’t want your money, Princess. And I don’t like the term kidnapper. I’m really more of an accomplice. Shen, the middle man. I’m just in charge of getting you from point A to point B.’”


Q is for Quest (when love and adventure go hand in hand)

The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder

“Maybe falling in love wasn’t something you dreamed about, or something you left to destiny. Maybe it was something that happened when you were having too much fun to notice.”

The Beholder by Anna Bright

“I had no idea what to make of the boy in front of me, or what to do with him, except to play his game and see if I liked it.”


R is for Royalty (princes and princesses are just as clueless about love as the rest of us)

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

“As though they were always meant to end up here: this boy who had murdered and stolen, and this girl made of secrets and lies, their cursed hearts pounding.”

Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

“We wouldn’t have worked out long-term anyway. He likes girls who don’t wear make-up. I like guys who don’t tell girls what to do with their bodies.”


S is for School (love in the classroom)

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

“My mom once told me that the world is divided into two kinds of people: the ones who love their high school years and the ones who spend the next decade recovering from them.”

All's Fair in Love, War, and High School by Janette Rallison

“I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to find just one ideal guy. I’ve probably read a hundred romances, and every single one of them has my ideal man in it.”


T is for Triangle (it’s complicated)

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

“For a moment, the three of us stare at one another in wordless comprehension. I look between the two of them—a fallen angel, and a king, the dark and the light, and feel a deep, churning thrill at what I’ve done. What we’ve done. This is how it will be now. Oaths between us. Bound to each other. Forever.”

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

“They’re both just going to make fun of us for having yet another communal crush. According to Riana, Anderson and I are enmeshed, which basically means we’re codependent. Apparently some people believe falling in love is a thing you’re supposed to do on your own.”


U is for Unrequited (loving someone who doesn’t feel the same—or do they?)

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

“One thing I learned a long time ago is that even if you think you’re meant to be with someone, that doesn’t necessarily mean you get to be with them.”


V is for Vampire (a classic: the love interest with fangs)

Metallic Red by Jennifer Ann Shore

“I closed my eyes and tried my best to think of anything other than the delicious, metallic scent of blood. When the bell rang, I was relieved to open my eyes and discover that everyone around me was too caught up in their own selves to see the half-human, half-vampire teetering on the brink of insanity.”

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

“Even from the beginning, that was the problem. People liked pretty things. People even liked pretty things that wanted to kill and eat them.”


W is for Wealth (one character has it and the other doesn’t)

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

“‘And you are?’ He meets my eyes.

‘Her daughter.’ I know he’s asking for my name, but I don’t want to give it. The first thing I learned about the rich is that they find the common folk an amusing distraction but would never, ever want anything real. And that’s fine with me.”


X is for Ex (when the Ex is still in the picture)

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

“I am a Herondale. We love but once.”

“That is only a story.”

“Haven’t you heard?” James said bitterly. “All the stories are true.”

Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green

“I don’t know why other people have to make things so hard.”


Y is for Your Own Perspective (there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to love)

Loveless by Alice Oseman

“I used to dream of a spellbinding, endless, forever romance. A beautiful story of meeting a person who could change your whole world. But now, I realised, friendship could be that too.”


Z is for Zigzag (“The course of true love never did run smooth” –Shakespeare)

This is Not the Jess Show (duology) by Anna Carey

“I tried to get a better view into the car, to see Kipps one last time, but the door slipped down in front of me, closing him off. Then the car pulled away, ripping down a deserted road. And just like that, Kipps was gone.”