Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you celebrate it or not I thought it would be a great idea to recommend books that fit the 8 different archetypes of love from romantic to platonic. Let’s jump right in!
Philia – Affectionate Love
A love that runs deep in friendships
- Wax and Wayne – Wax & Wayne series by Brandon Sanderson
- Percy and Grover – Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- Locke and Jean – The Gentleman Bastard series by Scott Lynch
These are ride or die friendships that I love with every fibre of my being! These are only a select few of some great friendships that I have read over the years but these stood out to me the most. Friendships that go through everything together, pull each other up, survive all the odds and despite whatever happens they will always have each others back through it all!
Storge – Familiar Love
A love for family
- Scarlett and Tella – Caraval by Stephanie Garber
- Edward and Alphonse Elric – Fullmetal Alchemist series by Hiromu Arakawa
- Korede and Ayoola – My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Slightly different choices for this section focusing on love for your family. You have Caraval where Tella braves the wonders and dangers of Caraval to save her sister who was taken by the mysterious leader of this game, to Edward and Alphonse who fight tooth, nail and metal to support each other and help each other get their bodies back. The one resounding feature of that series is the love these brothers share for each other. And very differently you have Korede and Ayoola which might not be someone’s first pick but I chose this as it can be how the love for your family will have you doing any and everything to protect them. Even hiding dead bodies.
Pragma – Enduring Love
Couples who have been together for a long time
- Jack and Mabel – The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
- Eddie and Marguerite – The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
- Moiraine and Lan – The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
Another varied selection here. I started off with the stereotypical married couple have have been together for years with Jack and Mabel. Married for year, struggling through living in the harsh snowy Alaskan climate, trying and failing to have children. I then moved onto Eddie and Marguerite who while not being together as long as Jack and Mabel, Eddie’s love for Marguerite is so strong and endures for so long. He never stops and will never stop loving her. And finally, a more unconventional pick, Lan and Moiraine, who are not a couple but they have a bond and have stuck by each other for so long and do truly love each other.
Eros – Romantic Love
- Hades and Persephone – Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe
- Cati and Andreas – Miss Abbott and the Doctor
- Achilles and Patroclus – The Song of Achilles
Probably the most obvious choice when it comes to love. Romantic love. I decided to choose established couples (Hades and Persephone may not be official yet but let’s be honest they have everything but the label) that I really enjoyed reading about. Hades and Persephone had me hooked from day dot, Cati and Andreas reminds me a little of my own relationship which adds to my love of an already great and hilarious pairing and how could I not include the iconic couple of Achilles and Patroclus. They are the only reason I enjoyed the book as much as I did. I did not care about the war just their love.
Ludus – Playful Love
Beginning stages of love
- Charlie and Nick – Heartstopper Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman
- Heinrey and Navier – The Remarried Empress by Alpha Tart
- Naho and Kakeru – Orange series by Ichigo Takano
Another really easy bunch of selections here. All of these feature couples that aren’t properly together but have expressed interest, desire or love to another. Volume 1 of Heartstopper is just so beautiful as you get to watch these two boys slowly realise their feelings for one another and what that entails for them. The Remarried Empress (webcomic) may have Heinrey and Navier married but that is merely political as of now while Heinrey may be head over heels, Navier is still in those beginning stages. And finally, Orange sees the blossoming relationship between Naho and Kakeru.
Mania – Obsessive Love
- Kady and AIDAN – Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
- Henry VIII and literally any woman he finds attractive – The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
- Isabel and Sam – The Appeal by Janice Hallett
I struggled a little bit with this one as I didn’t think I read many books with this kind of love. I have decided to choose books that loosely fit this theme. You have Kady and AIDAN where AIDAN, an AI, is obsessed with Kady which I thought was a really interesting dynamic. King Henry VIII as his obsession with different women led to a lot of changes in the history of England from a new church to the birth of one of England’s most successful monarchs and I chose The Appeal as I felt that the obsessive friendship between Issy and Sam was a really strong part of the novel and I wanted to highlight that. Not all love has to be romantic after all.
Philautia – Self Love
- Circe – Circe by Madeline Miller
- Agnieska – Uprooted by Naomi Novik
- Wu Zetian – Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
Now, I decided to use this section as women who choose themselves and their power over others. Some do it selflessly and others (Zetian) wreak havoc but listen girl power! Circe is a beautiful story about a woman choosing herself and what she wants for her life, Uprooted has a woman who chooses herself and her power in a more beautiful and selfless way then there’s my girl Zetian (WHO I LOVE SO MUCH) who chooses herself and what she wants even if she has to take everyone down with her!
Agape – Selfless Love
The love you have for others
- Zelie – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
- Harry Potter – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
- Zafira – We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
I chose this section as more of someone who sacrifices themselves or makes a dangerous decisions for the greater good/for the love of others. Zelie and Zafira both go on a dangerous journey to try and bring magic back to their world and in also liberating their people. Harry also walks knowingly to his death in order to save and protect those that he loves and while I’m not a massive Rowling fan this act is very poignant for this section.
There you have it! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!