This post has been linked up to the 2017 Book Blog Discussion Challenge.
Okay, first of all, in case you’re like I was when I first started blogging and you’re like, What the heck’s an OTP?—it means One True Pairing. (Seriously, why do we bloggers need to make up acronyms for everything? We write for a living—or at least for a very serious hobby—can we really not muster up the energy to write three extra words?)
A One True Pairing is that couple that you will ship until the end of time, that you need to be be together in order to be able to go on with life. If the couple does not get together, you will cry buckets and lay around on the couch in a malaise for all of time … or something like that. (Let’s not get overdramatic here, people.)
In the bookish world, an OTP is like a necessity. Every wrap-up questionnaire, every tag (Are those a thing anymore? I don’t see tag posts much anymore.), every link-up that poses questions at some point or another seems to ask about our OTP. Who is this year’s OTP? Who is your all-time favorite OTP? Do you have an odd OTP that others don’t ship? They’re mentioned everywhere in the book blogging community! Especially the YA blogging community. (Case in point: I got the idea for this post because Shannon mentioned them in her Discussions from the Trash post.)
I’m obviously supposed to have an OTP … or three … but I don’t.
Well, okay, I guess I should clarify. I DO have an OTP in real life. I’ve been with my husband since we were in high school, so I think that totally qualifies. And, let’s face it, if I were going to choose between a bookish OTP and a real-life OTP, I’d rather have the real-life one. But that just doesn’t work for all these little questionnaires—I mean, if every time there was a question about my OTP, I answered that it’s me and my husband, I think you guys would (rightfully) roll your eyes. Um, that’s obviously not the intent of the question!
So, I always sit and try to think about a couple I shipped really hard. I mean, I ADORE romance in books, so this should not be a hard question. Looking back at my recently read books on Goodreads, I see tons of couples that I really wanted to get together. Couples that gave me the feels and made me all swoony and sometimes tied my stomach in knots or even had me in tears when things weren’t going well. See, it’s not that I don’t love a good romance. It’s just that not many of these couples stand out in my mind in ways that make me think of them on even a semi-regular basis. I’m not pining away for them … or even thinking about them at all when I’m not looking at my Goodreads read list. So are they an OTP? Probably not, right?
I think there are a few reasons that I don’t have an OTP:
- I’m fickle. Like, I said, I love a good romance. But when I finish a book and I’m all moony over a couple, I usually immediately start a new book. And I find a new couple to swoon over. And, most times, I love this new couple just as much as the last … and my heart swells for them and breaks for them and … yeah, I ship this new couple just as much and kind of leave that last couple behind …
- I have a terrible memory. When I look back at the books I’ve read, I can barely ever remember names. That makes it hard to talk about how much I adored so-and-so and so-and-so together because … well, I can really only remember them as so-and-so and so-and-so. If I can remember a character’s name, they must have been spectacular!! And if I can’t even remember something as basic as the characters’ names, I can’t really be that in love with them …
- I’m on the right side of the ship. Part of what makes an OTP so desperately angsty is when there’s a good chance your couple isn’t going to make it, right? But most of the time, I root for the obvious guy—the one who’s gonna get the girl. And when I don’t, I tend to have trouble attaching to the romance because I know I’m rooting for the wrong guy. Then I just get frustrated, and there’s no OTP in sight.
- I tend to fall for the guy, not the couple. When I looked back at my recently read books, I saw the Bloodlines Series, and I thought, Well, what about Adrian and Sydney? I loved them together! But then I realized that it’s really just Adrian I loved. Back when I read the Vampire Academy Series, I shipped Adrian and Rose. I didn’t care about Dimitri at all. (That was one of those cases where I knew I was rooting for the wrong guy.) So, I was over the moon when I found out Adrian was getting a whole new series … and then I shipped him with Sydney. But I really just wanted Adrian to get his happy ending. I don’t know if I could call it an OTP in this case … not because I didn’t love Sydney and Adrian as a couple, but because I was pretty much just rooting for Adrian and whoever he was with. (Sydney’s better than Rose anyway, I think … but that’s a whole other issue.)
- Needs to be a series. There are lots of contemp couples that I love, but I tend to remember the fantasy ones more. Why? I think it’s actually just that memory thing again. I need at least three books to imprint a couple on my brain … constant reminders that I love them. If there’s a standalone with a couple I love … I tend to forget them without all that extra reinforcement.
So, I guess I don’t have a true OTP, but there are some couples I’ve loved. Here are a few (and, yes, I had to look through my Goodreads read list to come up with these, so …):
- Adrian and Sydney from Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines Series
- Rafe and Lia from Mary E. Pearson’s The Remnant Chronicles
- Fitz and Molly from Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy
- Katniss and Peeta from Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy View Spoiler »(though I actually didn’t love the end of the last book because the culmination of the romance felt so unsatisfying to me … like Katniss just kind of ended up with Peeta by default and was only semi-happy to be there … poor Peeta!) « Hide Spoiler
- Meg and Simon from Anne Bishop’s The Others Series (I really need to read the last book next so I can find out if they end up together! I mean, of course they do … at least they’d better!!)
- Ridge and Sydney from Colleen Hoover’s Maybe Someday (A standalone contemp!! Though I have to confess, it’s really Ridge that I adore.)