By Lisa Ickowicz
There’s something about a pair of star-crossed lovers that makes us root for them extra hard. Romeo and Juliet, anyone? Loves that don’t come easy are somehow that much more satisfying and sweet. Jesse and Scarlett from bestselling author Katie McGarry’s new contemporary YA novel Only a Breath Apart, coming January 22nd, have a love that is literally cursed. In honor of them here are some of our favorite forbidden romances in YA fiction.
Jesse & Scarlett (Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry)
It’s not so easy to fall in love when it’s believed that whomever you fall in love with is doomed. But Jesse Lachlin’s mother believes they’re only cursed if they move off their land. Jesse wants to stay and work on his family’s land, but a tribunal must vote and decide if he can. His ex-best friend Scarlett happens to be on that tribunal. As they reconcile to try to help one another their friendship turns to love. Scarlett wants to leave to attend university. But there’s that curse about not leaving the land. Are their destinies carved in stone? Or can they be broken?
Lena & Ethan (Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl)
Ethan Wate, has been counting the months until he can escape from the Small Southern town of Gatlin. Suddenly he is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. It turns out his dream girl is real and has just moved into one of Gatlin’s oldest and infamous plantations. Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone Ethan has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them—even if it means risking his life.
Cassia & Ky (Matched by Ally Condie)
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a rare glitch, but Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, she’s faced with an impossible choice between Xander and Ky and between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
Lena & Alex (Delirium by Lauren Oliver)
In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn’t about to make the same mistake. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government’s radar. And they go and do the unthinkable–fall in love.