TOP YA DUOS
1. Violet & Katie
Mostly Good Girls
The humor and realism of Violet and Katie's faltering best-ever friendship is insanely well-written. These are both well-developed characters with personalities and wants that often clash, which is handled so, so well. An excellent friendship without veering into the annoying our-friendship-is-perfect-we-have-no-problems territory.
2. Cisco & the Bean (Isabelle & Annie)
Another awesome best friends duo are the girls from Flirt Club who remind me so much of my own middle school friends. They're funny, awkward, geeky, and awesome.
3. Ruby & Chloe
Nova Ren Suma
Honestly the sisters from Imaginary Girls are the whole reason I decided to do a top-five of awesome YA non-couple duos. Their relationship -- loving, confusing, weird -- has a layer of hard-to-describe creepy and yet, at the same time, is remarkably relatable and realistic. The bond of sisterhood is shown so well in Chloe and her charismatic older sister, Ruby, that I couldn't do my end-of-the-year posts without mentioning them.
4. Kurt & Danny
Joshua C. Cohen
One of the rare male friendships in YA, Kurt and Danny are an unlikely duo brought together in spite of the bitter rivalry between their teams. As the rivalry escalates their friendship becomes more difficult, but when the boys are witness to horrific bullying, they must come together to survive and end the war that's overtaken their teams.
5. Becca & Camille
After the Kiss
Terra Elan McVoy
This one's a bit of a cheat. Becca and Camille aren't exactly friends. For much of the novel they don't even know each other and when they do it's in a very casual, superficial way. And yet in spite of that this story, told from both girls' perspectives, highlights how similar and different the two girls are. They deserve a spot on this list because throughout the book I desperately wanted Becca and Camille to become friends. Their story, both sides of the same coin, makes them a strange but great duo.
TOP YA COUPLES
1. Doug & Lil
Okay For Now
Gary D. Schmidt
Romance isn't at the center of Okay for Now and yet in spite of that the slow-moving and so sweet love story between Doug and Lil, the first girl he meets in his new town, was one of my favorite parts of the entire novel. it's a very simple and sweet relationship that doesn't overpower the story.
2. Belly & The Boy
We'll Always Have Summer (Summer #3)
Alright, I was going to totally ruin the ending of this series, but then I decided not to. And since I can't ruin it, I can't say much about why I love this couple so much. I will say: it wasn't the ending I was expecting and yet, when it happened I thought oh, this is perfect. They belong together. And really, isn't that the best?
3. Lacey Anne & Ty
Small Town Sinners
I'm surprised at just how much I loved Lacey Anne and Ty, but their relationship is really one of the most interesting I've seen in YA and Ty is one of the more compelling love interests. The two care about and are attracted to each other, but they also challenge each other and help each other to grow. It's not an easy relationship, but it's one that really obviously works and is important to them.
4. Adam & Mia
Where She Went (If I Stay #2)
Oh, Adam. Oh, Mia. A heartbreaking love story if there ever was one and yet... and yet it's so great. So great I don't even really have words for how much I love the love story of these two.
5. Anna & St. Claire
Anna & the French Kiss
If I had to choose a favorite contemporary YA couple, it would be, hands down, Anna and St. Claire. Their romance is sweet and confusing and awkward and, for lack of better words, meant to be. I don't normally say that but Anna and St. Claire honestly are soulmates and I love them so, so, so much. LOVE! SO MUCH LOVE! <3 <3 <3