The Keys to My Heart #1: Love-Hate Relationships

Posted June 8, 2013 by Debby in Discussions, The Keys to My Heart / 32 Comments


This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the bookish things that steal my heart.

Welcome, welcome one and all! I’m here today with a new discussion feature. Don’t worry, Book Nerd Problems isn’t ending – those will still be posted periodically. I haven’t run out of topics for that, but while those topics tend to get a bit more snarky or funny, I want to add some more positivity to the blog as well. I mean, I am a book lover, so I want to be able to gush about the things I love! So from now on you’ll be getting one discussion per week, either a gush fest or a snark fest, and I’m going to try to keep the two balanced (i.e. you’ll get a BNP next week).

This series of discussions will center on any concept, setting, plot element, etc. in books that will at least get me to pick up a book if not fall completely head over heels for it. Let’s get started!

#1. Love-Hate Relationships


– Girl meets boy.
– Boy is mean to girl.
– Girl can’t stand boy.
– EVENTS TRANSPIRE.
– They realize they’re madly in love.

I love love-hate relationships. That gradual transition from hate to love just totally steals my heart. I think I love it so much because such a relationship comes hand in hand with witty dialogue and tons of relationship development (when done well). I mean, to make that jump from enemies to lovers, that either takes a huge plot twist that forces them together and/or a series of all these little signs and signals that their relationship is changing, slowly over time.

To me, the most important part of a relationship is a believable build up, so I suppose that ties into why I love this so much. It just makes it so much more endearing and meaningful when they finally do end up together. I mean, on the opposing end of the spectrum you have instalove, where you know it from the second they meet eyes that they’re in love… and then here you have this love-hate dynamic where there’s usually so much tension and you just want to jump up and down and scream…

And when they do finally have that moment when they can’t deny it any longer, my high level of involvement and investment usually leads to a reaction something like this.


So yeah. Love-hate relationships = totally more rewarding. Let’s look at some examples.

Exhibit A: Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The one, the only, the original (…I think?). I’m not one to read the classics very often. I just find it really iffy and tough to get through, but I will always love Pride and Prejudice and a lot of that is because of this couple. It’s one of the most beautiful love stories ever.

Exhibit B: Katy and Daemon from the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Probably the best love-hate relationship in YA. The sexual tension between these two is off the charts and there’s such witty dialogue all around. I love it. Side note: I’m due for a re-read.

Exhibit C: Penryn and Raffe from Angelfall by Susan Ee

Aww man. Despite romance not really being the focus of this series, this relationship is GOLD. They really start off as total enemies on different sides of a war, but gradually start to feel more for each other. Ugh, where is the sequel? I seriously need more.

Exhibit D: Misa and Usui from the manga ‘Kaichou wa Maid-sama’

This is probably my favorite anime and manga of all time, precisely because of this love-hate relationship. It is so freaking perfect and beautiful and nothing can top it. (NOTHING!!!!) I used to be quite an anime and manga fanatic, but no series gave me the feels like Kaichou wa Maid-sama. I highly recommend it. And I just remembered I have like 10 unread chapters of it. So guess what just popped on top of the priority list?

Beyond the Pages

Aside from books, this is an element I am guaranteed to love in any kind of media (which you already kind of saw with Exhibit D). Where else do these love-hate relationships steal my heart?

Be still my shipper heart…

As a true media junkie, I always tend to sometimes *cough* get too sucked into whatever media I’m following and before I know it, *BAM* I’m in the fandom. You see, it’s great that in all the above listed examples these couples ACTUALLY HAPPEN and they are a thing. But my love for love-hate relationships has me over analyzing any relationships that come close to it and then shipping the hell out of it. The great thing with fanfiction is that like minded people make the ship so beautiful and often they become my top ships. So which ships am I talking about?
    • Draco Malfoy & Hermione Granger from Harry Potter: This was without a doubt my OTP of OTPs. But I fear Whoufflé may have topped it this year. But oh the scenarios and possibilities with this ship! I’ll never let go!
    • Arthur & Morgana from Merlin: I’ll never forget the beauty of season 1.
    • Casey & Derek from Life With Derek: Don’t even try to deny it, we all shipped it.

      On a personal note…

      I also want this discussion series to get a little bit more personal, because I feel like if I fall for certain elements continuously, then that has to mean something. So what does this say about me? I don’t believe a relationship should come too easy, for one. So that definitely turns me off to instalove, and what you see often in love-hate relationships is that they do so much to prove their love. Now that’s romance.

      Second, in my personal life as well, I think it’s the best thing if you can have this kind of dynamic where you sort of argue, but more tease each other, which is often what grows out of these love-hate relationships. It puts you on equal footing, allows you to challenge each other, and keeps it interesting. And by all means, it circumvents the tendency to get so sickeningly sweet.

      So that’s me. I’ll be on the lookout for the next guy to say he hates me, I suppose. And now I’m realizing what a weirdo this whole post is making me sound like.

      Let’s Talk!

      So, what about you? Do you love these relationships just as much as I do? Do you have any book recommendations with great love-hate relationships? And what do you think about this new discussion series? Good? Bad? Too long?

      Let me know in the comments!

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      32 responses to “The Keys to My Heart #1: Love-Hate Relationships

      1. girlusdorkus

        I LOVE love/hate relationships! But they often tend to be done badly 🙁
        And okay, I'll confess I *kinda* squealed when I saw Usui/Misaki. It's insane how hard I ship them.
        And Chuck/Blair (Chair is a really unfortunate fandom name). And Sonny/Chad. And The Proposal. *derp*

        I'm looking forward to more of these posts 🙂

      2. Would it be creepy to say that this post gave me goosebumps? It totally would be. BUT NOW YOU KNOW. I adore love-hate relationships as long as they're done right. I've seen a couple of books attempt it at it turned out terribly, but Katy and Daemon are amazing. I want to reread the series too, even though I've already had to recap the first two. I might as well!

        Penryn and Raffe have a love-hate relationship!? SUDDENLY A LOT MORE EXCITED. I'm also going to have to check out Kaichou wa Maid-sama. I've never even heard of it before!

        How dare you put Logan and Veronica there without warning me. Crying into my hands.

        "I don't believe a relationship should come too easy" Are you joking with this line. "No one writes songs about the ones that come easy." HOW DARE YOU. *cries some more*

        That Ten gif is me right now. *dances*
        My recent post #WWReadathon: Goals + Updates

      3. I really like this feature! I'm more for the slow-burning romance than the love/hate kind but there is some overlap between the two. They both take enough time to develop, they are realistic and they're at their best if they involve copious amounts of teasing :D.

      4. achoquet

        Oh, love this new feature! From the basic reasoning of why you love it to the examples (both book and other) to your own personal connection, it's perfect! I'll be looking forward to the next one.

        Personally, I think the love hate relationships are great, if they can be pulled off. I mean, if they hate each other and are enemies, there really has to be something there to change that. But the witty dialogue and struggle to fight those feelings? So much fun to read.
        My recent post Bookish News: Gendered Covers in YA

      5. Love/hate relationships, when they are done nicely, are one of my favourite things in a book. I love that tension and that build-up. While I am a firm Ron/Hermione shipper, I will admit Casey and Derek has crossed my mind once or twice, even though it makes me feel gross and awkward.

        My recent post Wither by Lauren DeStefano

      6. IReadBooksnDrinkTea

        I love love-hate relationships too. I like the whole awkwardness, the embarrassment, tension, denial and the witty banter that usual comes with these relationship. I haven't read many books that feature such relationships, so the only one I like is Pride & Prejudice.

        On TV…there's Spike and Buffy
        And wasn't Rory in Gilmore Girls also had that love hate thing with Jess in the beginning, similarly later Rory and Logan?
        Damon and Elena…yes…
        I feel like there is more of such relationships on TV but I can't seem to remember…

        I haven't read North and South, but since you like Pride & Prejudice…I would recommend the North and South mini series…all the repressed feelings…:)
        My recent post I Read: Adorkable by Sarra Manning

      7. Yeah, I don't even want to talk about the bad love-hate relationships. (Like the half-assed one I just read in Rush by Eve Silver, ugh.)

        YESSS USUI AND MISAKI. They are so perfect I can't even. I need to get caught up on the manga pronto since it's ending this year. I will be sobbing. Probably.

        🙂 Glad you liked it!

      8. Teeheeheehee you make me so happy bookish twin.

        I think I might aim to reread Lux before Origin comes out… but I'm not sure I'll have the reading time. Would be worth it though. Literally the first time I read Obsidian, I was giggling, squealing, and flailing. Books seldom give me feels so strongly.

        YES YOU WILL LOVE ANGELFALL. And you need to watch Maid-sama pronto. I rewatched it last week and just kept thinking about how much you would love it, hahaha.

        xDDD that line – that was totally unintentional. It's just what I truly think 😛 I should start keeping track of how many times I get you crying 😛

        YES. It's perfect, isn't it?

      9. Yes. When authors rush the build up for a relationship, I feel cheated. And it kind of kills the chemistry, very often. Glad I'm not alone in this!

      10. Slow-burning works too, I guess I just like love/hate because it adds that extra tension. Slow-burning without tension like that tends to get a bit too sappy for me… but in any case, a good build up is just absolutely necessary! And yes, teasing!!! I just love that <3

      11. 😀 so glad you like it!! haha, I am pretty proud of it myself.

        Definitely fun to read, but yeah, they need to be done right. There's enough bad examples out there as well. But I suppose that counts for every literary element ever.

      12. Haha, don't feel bad about liking Casey and Derek. Seriously, everyone I know who has seen that show pretty much ships them. And we all sort of think that's also the reason it got canceled, hahaha. They created a ship that sailed itself and couldn't do anything to stop it.

      13. Oh I haven't watched Buffy but I have heard the raving shippers about that, haha. Haven't seen Gilmore Girls either. TV does tend to use this a lot. I also considered naming Annie and Liam from 90210, though that ship was utterly destroyed (and then I stopped watching). There's probably many more, but.. can't think of them.

        Hmm, I haven't watched or read North and South but I'll put it on my list now! Sounds great! Thanks!

      14. Heck yes to love-hate relationships. Oh man, I ship them like nothing else. If I have an OTP (I would prefer to have bunches), then it's probably Benedick and Beatrice or Elizabeth and Darcy. I blame those stories for how much I love snarky banter/hatred becoming snarky banter/love. Also, I agree with you that it tends to be better-written. No instalove here. You have to put time into these to make them work. MWAAHAHA. And yes, THE TENSION.

        Hmmm, I'm not sure if I would like Armentrout's stuff, but you're making it tempting.

        Manga has a bunch of these and I love it. 😀 Special A has one too, for example.

        LOGAN AND VERONICA FOREVER. DO YOU HEAR ME, ROB THOMAS?

        Ngl, though, I totally was a Dan/Blair shipper.

        Hahahaha, Draco/Hermione. My non-canon super ship is Zutara. GAH.

      15. Omg I am soooo torn about this post! Torn because I have a total love-hate relationship with love-hate relationships. (Let me explain.) Sometimes, when it's done so well, I'm over the moon, locked in my room like a lunatic fangirl. But when I can guess immediately that it's a love-hate relationship in the making, I get turned off. It feels like a plot device, like insta-love's close cousin or something. I don't know. But I just think that this is something that needs to be done really well to evoke the fangirl reaction from me.

        If you're looking for the BEST love-hate relationship, check out the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. It's not YA, but it's urban fantasy so it's not like super dense or long or hard to read. Barrons…sometime during the second book, you will fall head-over-heels in lust with his character.

        I love this new feature idea! Can't wait to read more.
        My recent post Book Review – Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz

      16. That's true, a love-hate relationship shouldn't be totally obvious and it should be convincing at the least. But I guess I haven't come across many that feel like such a cop out. If you have, I'm sorry 🙁

        Okay okay, I keep hearing you talk about this Fever series, but love-hate? Now I'm convinced. It's going on my to-read list. 🙂

        Thanks!

      17. YES. Glad you're just as big a fan as me 😀 I actually haven't read Much Ado About Nothing, but maybe I should put that on my list. And YES definitely, after reading relationships like this, snarky banter is a MUST in romance to me. When it's all sugary sweet and sappy of "I love youuuuu more" I just want to barf.

        Aw man, if you're that big a fan of love-hate relationships, you will absolutely ADORE the Lux series. It will give you all the feels. Seriously. It's so worth it.

        Special A? I haven't read that one! I will have to look it up. I'm in the mood to read some more manga for a change.

        I pretty much stopped watching Gossip Girl before Dan/Blair really started popping up. So… Yeah, I don't know about that.

        ZUTARA. Oh god, how did I forget to name that? HECK YES to Zutara. It was freaking amazing and I'm still not over the fact that it didn't happen.

      18. Judith

        Such a great feature! Love/hate relationships are probably one of my favorite things ever, especially as opposed to instalove *shudders* And I can't think of examples more perfect than the ones you mentioned. Katy and Daemon as AMAZING together. Their sexual tension + bickering is the main reason I love those books. Another one of my favorites is Brittany and Alex in Perfect Chemistry. And OH MY GOD all your off screen examples: LOGAN AND VERONICA DEBBY LOGAN AND VERONICA <3 <3 <3 *coughs* I'm okay. I'm fine. Sonny and Chad were so freaking adorable together, and I really love Blair and Chuck and Elena and Damon (before I gave up on those shows).

        Um. Was I actually going to say anything meaningful?

        Probably not. I just really love love/hate relationships. The chemistry and build up of tension are just freaking amazing, when done right that is.

      19. YAY 😀 I haven't read Perfect Chemistry, might need to put this on my list now. But YOU need to read The DUFF and Angelfall. Like for realz.

        xD I knew you would freak out about Logan and Veronica. Sigh. *pats* I also gave up on Gossip Girl and am still torn on TVD. I think I might watch the next season as well just because Damon and Elena are actually together now.

        <3

      20. dragana5kovic

        I love a good love-hate relationship too. Darcy and Elizabeth are one of my favorite couples. 🙂 Some other books I love with enemies who become lovers are: Playing for Keeps by R.L. Mathewson or Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost…
        I like this new discussion series of yours. We should sometimes talk about pretty things we love not only about our problems. 😉
        My recent post Book Review: Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson

      21. Jasmine Baggenstos

        Chuck and Blair are probably my OTP. I just…gah. They're amazing together.
        And yeah, I was totally obsessed with Sonny and Chad when the show was on 😛

      22. Darcy and Elizabeth will never get old. That's one of my all time favorites. I haven't read either Playing for Keeps or Halfway to the Grave, but I guess I'll check them out now 🙂 Thanks!

      23. Oh my goodness- When I saw Veronica and Logan I just froze and immediately melted. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR INCLUDING THEM! I'm currently watching the series for the first time and am onto the second series, and they seem to be getting closer and it's all lovely, but I doubt they'll try dating again. )':
        Actual tears. It's legit.
        My recent post Love Aubrey review and giveaway (AU only)…

      24. I'm totally with you on this topic of love-hate! It's because witty and sarcastic dialogue tends to be my undoing so I'm always on the lookout for books with a love-hate aspect to them. The first of its kind I read was probably Perfect Chemistry and I was so blown away by it. Also, Bet Me and Double Standards (adult contemp romances) are also some of the best ones I ever read.

        OhmiGod, I love Chuck and Blair, there's not a more perfect love-hate relationship than this one. *swoons* Also Katy and Daemon and Elena and Damon are one of the greater couples, too. The Proposal is such a good movie. The best starring Sandra Bullock.

        There's so much fanfiction out there about Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger that while I've never read one (it'll probably mess up the actual story for me or something, I'm weird), I think I kinda ship them in the corner of my heart.

        Alright, so this new feature of yours is too good. Original and entertaining!

        P.S. I pretty much recommend all of the book titles I mentioned above as well as Two-Way Street, Forget You and oh, From What I Remember…
        My recent post Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

      25. YAY I'm not alone! Oooh, I don't know any of these you're mentioning but I'm looking ALL OF THEM UP. Can't wait to add more epic couples to this list 🙂

        Aww man, you should try some Dramione fanfiction because… damn. So good. xD

        Aww, thank you 🙂

      26. CASEY AND DEREK. FRVR. NO REALLY.

        Also, I must find out more about this Veronica Mars O.o

        Oh god, I am SO with you on the Katy/Daemon angst. I think I liked the book BECAUSE of the it, not the plot or whatever. I find the plot weaker with each book tbh but who cares because SMEXY TIMES.

        SONNY AND CHAD. OMGSH CAPSY FEELS. My 13 year old self was giddy after the episode he asks her out, that is JUST SO I CANT.

        Also, Adorkabke, TBR, now.
        Arshia recently posted In Honor of Physics.My Profile

      27. Anna

        Here are of my favorite love-hate couples:
        -Beatrice and Benedick (“Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare)
        -The many versions of the “Shop Around the Corner” plot device (two people who hate each other are unknowingly anonymously amorously corresponding as pen-pals) my favorite version of which is “In the Good Old Summertime” starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson
        – Gwen and Arthur (“Merlin”)
        – Dimitri and Anastasia (“Anastasia”)
        – Prof. Henry Higgins and Eliza Dolittle (“Pygmalion/ My Fair Lady”)
        – Peter and Ellie (“It Happened One Night”)
        – Taiga and Ryuji (“Toradora”)
        – “Full House” (the Korean Drama)
        – Makino and Domiyouji ( “Boys Over Flowers”)
        -Inuyasha and Kagome (“Inuyasha”)
        – Bo Jin and Park Kyu (“Tamra the Island”, Korean drama)
        – Ranma and Akane (“Ranma 1/2”)
        – Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy (“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen)

      28. RG

        I like the book ‘It Happened One Autumn’ by Lisa Kleypas. It certainly has a ‘Pride and Prejudice’ feel to it. 🙂 I have read many books with a Love/Hate theme but I guess this is one of my favs 🙂

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