This week’s topic is Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon, but since most of the books I read are not wholly swoon-worthy (I enjoy angst and drama and action and emotionally traumatizing books, like anyone else), I’m going to discuss instead
Top Ten Book Scenes That Will Make You Swoon
(in no particular order)
1. Delirium, Lauren Oliver
|For a while we just lie there in silence. His chest rises and falls with his breathing, and after a while the motion starts to lull me to sleep. My limbs feel impossibly heavy, and the stars seem to be rearranging themselves into words. I want to keep looking, to read out their meaning, but my lids are heavy too: impossible, impossible to keep my eyes open.
“Tell me that poem again.” My voice doesn’t sound like my own; my words seem to come
from a distance.
“Which one?” Alex whispers.
“The one you know by heart.” Drifting; I’m drifting.
“I know a lot of them by heart.”
“Any one, then.”
He takes a deep breath and begins: “‘I carry your heart with me. I carry it in my heart. I am
never without it. . . .’”
He speaks on, words washing over me, the way that sunlight skips over the surface of water
and filters into the depths below, lighting up the darkness. I keep my eyes closed. Amazingly, I can still see the stars: whole galaxies blooming from nothing—pink and purple suns, vast silver oceans, a thousand white moons.
Simple, sweet, stars, and my favorite e.e. cummings poem. How do you not swoon?
2. The Distance Between Us, Kasie West
So I have a thing for banter and hot chocolate, but I’ll confess that part of what makes me swoon about this scene (and several others in this novel) is that Xander reminds me of one of my favorite Degrassi characters of all time. (Anyone venture a guess?)
|“Hello, Dolls and More.”
“A week ago someone warned me not to buy the blueberry muffins at Eddie’s, but I didn’t listen and bought them anyway. Now at odd hours I get these insatiable cravings.”
I’m so relieved at who’s on the line that I let out a weird laugh/sigh combo then quickly clear my throat. “They’re laced with addictive substances.”
“I believe you now.”
“So are you going to let me in? It’s kind of cold out here. I’ll share.”
My eyes dart to the door.
“I think this muffin might even have your name on it….Oh no, sorry, that’s my name.”
“You wouldn’t want me to die of hypothermia, would you?” he says.
“I don’t think it gets cold enough here for that.” I shuffle on my slipper-clad feet to unlock the door then hold it open for Xander.
“Hi.” His voice echoes in the phone I’m still holding to my ear. I push the Off button.
It’s been so long I had almost forgotten how good-looking…and rich he is. But it clings to him along with the cold air as he walks inside. I relock the door and turn to face him. He’s holding a brown Eddie’s bakery bag and two Styrofoam cups with lids on them. “Hot chocolate… Or coffee? I only took a tiny sip out of each so it doesn’t matter to me.”
“I thought you might be a hot chocolate girl.”
I take the hot chocolate from him and try not to register my shaking hand as I do so…My gaze travels the length of him. It irritates me that this early in the morning, Xander can look so…awake. If I saw him in the middle of the night with bedhead and sleepy eyes, would he still look so perfect?
“Your stare can make a guy insecure.”
“I’m not staring. I’m observing.”
“What’s the difference?”
“The intent of observation is to gain data and form a theory or conclusion.”
He tilts his head. “And what theory have you formed?”
That you’re at least one step removed from normal.
3. The Truth About Forever, Sarah Dessen
The Truth About Forever was one of the first swoon-worthy books I’d ever read. It’s hard not to fall for Macy and Wes as they fall for each other through honest games of Truth, random conversations, games of Gatcha, sculpture, running, and World of Waffles. I don’t think ‘Sa-woooon’ quite describes how cute this book is.
|“Honestly,” I said.
“Come on. You have to admit, it’s sort of ridiculous.”
Now that I had to define it, I found myself struggling for the right words. “You know,” I said, then figured Kristy had really summed it up best. “The sa-woon.”
“Wes, come on,” I said. “Are you seriously not aware of how girls stare at you?”
He rolled his eyes, leaning back on his palms. “Let’s get back to the idea of you being perfect.”
“Seriously. What’s it like?”
“Being perfect? I wouldn’t know.”
“Not being perfect.” I sighed. “Being…”
As I tried to come up with something, he flicked a bug off his arm.
“…gorgeous,” I finished.
“Again,” he said, as the parking lot girls passed by, eyeing both of us, “I wouldn’t know. You tell me.”
“Donneven,” I said, in my best Monica imitation, and he laughed. “We’re not talking about me.”
“We could be,” he said.
“I’m not gorgeous,” I said.
“Sure you are.”
I just shook my head, knowing this was him evading the question. “You,” I said, “have this whole tall, dark stranger thing going on. Not to mention the tortured artist bit.”
“You know what I mean.”
He shook his head, clearly discounting this description. “And you,” he said, “have that whole blonde, cool and collected, perfect smart girl thing going on.”
“You’re the boy all the girls want to rebel with,” I said.
“You,” he replied, “are the unattainable girl in homeroom who never gives a guy the time of day…”
“I’m not perfect,” I said. “Not even close.”
“I’m not tortured. Unless you count this conversation.”
4. There You’ll Find Me, Jenny B. Jones
|“You’re not too bad, Finley Sinclair.”
I couldn’t have looked away from this boy if the room had caught on fire. “You’re okay yourself. At times.”
“But we can’t get involved.”
“No.” I swallowed. “Definitely not.”
His face lowered a fraction of an inch. “Because I’m infamously bad.”
“And I’m staying away from trouble.”
His voice was rough, husky. “It would never work.” I took a step closer. “Impossible.”
He traced my cheek with the pad of his thumb. “We don’t even like each other.”
“I pretty much can’t stand you.”
And then his lips crushed to mine.
Beckett and Finley had one of the most natural love-hate relationships I’d ever read. The teasing, the fact that fate kept throwing them together, and of course, a million moments like this.
5. If I Stay, Gayle Forman
|“All I can think about is how fucked up it would be for your life to end here, now. I mean I know that your life is fucked up no matter what now, forever. And I’m not dumb enough to think that I can undo that, that anyone can. But I can’t wrap my mind around the notion of you not getting old, having kids, going to Juilliard, getting to play that cello in front of a huge audience, so that they can get the chills the way I do every time I see you pick up your bow, every time I see you smile at me.”|
If I Stay remains one of the most adorable and most beautiful(ly heartbreaking) books I’ve ever read. Though the cute parts most certainly made me swoon, it was this moment, when Adam pleads with Mia to stay, to live, even though he understands why she wouldn’t want to, even though he’s trying hard to be selfless. And in the end, while he wants her to survive because he loves her, it’s the rest of what he says, about wanting her to live a long, fulfilling life accomplishing her dreams, that really grabs my heart.
6. Princess Diaries X: Forever Princess, Meg Cabot
My cousin asked for this book the year it was published, and I gave into my curiosity and read it, even though I knew it was the last in a series of ten books. I was a fan of The Princess Diaries film (I have to watch it every time ABCFamily or Disney Channel air it), but this book had me sold on Mia/Michael since their first scene together. My favorite is this scene though because oh dear, the sexual tension! (My second option was the following horse-and-carriage scene but it was too long!)
|“You’ll do the right thing,” Michael said confidently. “You always do.”
I just stared at him. “How can you even say that? I so do not.”
“Yes, you do,” he said. “In the end.”
“Michael, I screw everything up,” I said, laying down my fork. “You, more than anyone, should know that. I completely ruined our relationship.”
“No, you didn’t,” he said, looking shocked. “I did.”
“No, I did,” I said. I couldn’t believe we were finally saying these things…these things I’d been thinking for so long, and saying to other people—my friends, Dr. Knutz—but never to the one person to whom they really mattered…Michael. The person to whom I ought to have said them, ages ago. “I never should have made such a big deal over the Judith thing—”
“And I ought to have told you about it from the beginning,” Michael interrupted.
“Even so,” I said. “I acted like a complete and utter psycho—”
“No, Mia, you didn’t—”
“Oh my God,” I said, holding up my hand to stop him with a laugh. “Can we please not try to rewrite history? I did. You were right to break up with me. Things were getting too intense. We both needed a breather.”
“Yeah,” Michael said. “A breather. You weren’t supposed to go and get engaged to someone else in the meantime.”
For a second after he said it, I couldn’t inhale. I felt as if all the oxygen in the room had been sucked out of it, or something. I just stared at him, not sure I’d heard him correctly. Had he really said…was it possible he’d really…?
Then he laughed, and, as the waiter came back to pick up his empty salad plate (I’d barely touched mine), said, “Just kidding. Look, I knew it was a risk. I couldn’t have expected you were going to wait around for me forever. You can get engaged—or, what is it? Right, friendship-ringed—to whomever you want. I’m just glad you’re happy.”
Wait. What was happening?
7. Heist Society, Ally Carter
|“His arm was warm against hers. “I always wanted to do the Henley.”
“Can you be serious for a second?”
“Dance with me.”
“What?” she asked, but his arms were already going around her waist. He was already holding her tightly against him.
“Dancing. Come on. You can do it. It’s a lot like navigating through a laser grid. It requires rhythm.” He moved her hips to the beat of the distant music. “And patience.” He spun her out slowly and back toward him. “And it’s only fun if you trust you partner.” The dip was so slow, so smooth, that Kat didn’t know it was happening until the world had already turned upside down and Hale’s face was inches from her own. “Count me in, Kat.” He squeezed her tighter. “You should always count me in.”
Though the Heist Societynovels aren’t traditionally romantic, it is basically impossible to deny Hale’s swoon-worthiness, especially in scenes like this. I love ships that kick ass together, and adorable moments in the midst of the missions are an excellent bonus.
8. The Sweet Far Thing, Libba Bray
|“Thank you for bringing me,” he says.
“You’re welcome,” I answer. “I’ve something else to share with you.”
I press our palms together. Our fingers tingle where they touch. His eyelids flicker and then they open wide in understanding of the magical gift I’ve given him.
Reluctantly, I take my hand away. “You can do anything.”
“Anything,” he repeats.
“Well, then.” He closes the small distance between us and puts his lips against mine… I count the kisses—one, two, three, eight. Quickly, I pull away to catch my breath and my bearings.
“But…you could have whatever you wished.”
“Exactly,” he says, nuzzling my neck.
“But,” I say, “you could turn stones to rubies or ride in a fine gentleman’s carriage.”
Kartik puts his hands on either side of my face. “To each his own magic,” he says, and kisses me again.
Yes, this book made me cry for days, but before that, there were beautiful moments like this. (Even if they are the last things you remember about it.)
9. Love Irresistibly, Julie James
|“Anyhow… we get to Champaign, which as it so happens, is where Kyle and I first met ten years ago. And the limo turns onto the street where I used to live while in law school, and Kyle asks the driver to pull over because he wants to see the place for ‘old time’s sake.’ So we get out of the limo, and he’s making this big speech about the night we met and how he walked me home on the very sidewalk we were standing on—I’ll fast-forward here in light of your aversion to “the mushy stuff”—and I’m laughing to myself because, well, we’re standing on the wrong side of the street. So naturally, I point that out, and he tells me that nope, I’m wrong, because he remembers everything about that night, so to prove my point I walk across the street to show him and—” She paused here. “—And I see a jewelry box, sitting on the sidewalk, in the exact spot where we had our first kiss. Then I turn around and see Kyle down on one knee.”
She waved her hand, her eyes a little misty. “So there you go. The whole mushy, cheesy tale. Gag away.”
Cade picked up his coffee cup and took a sip. “That was actually pretty smooth.”
Rylann grinned. “I know. Former cyber-menace to society or not, that man is a keeper.”
I strongly considered About That Night for this, but since that book basically always makes my TTTs (What? Kyle Rhodes is my favorite!), I had to go with this instead. I don’t even know how this boy can be real—that proposal is perfection.
10. Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stephanie Perkins
|“Once upon a time, there was a girl who talked to the moon. And she was mysterious and she was perfect, in that way that girls who talk to moons are. In the house next door, there lived a boy. And the boy watched the girl grow more and more perfect, more and more beautiful with each passing year. He watched her watch the moon. And he began to wonder if the moon would help him unravel the mystery of the beautiful girl. So the boy looked into the sky. But he couldn’t concentrate on the moon. He was too distracted by the stars. And it didn’t matter how many songs or poems had already been written about them, because whenever he thought about the girl, the stars shone brighter. As if she were the one keeping them illuminated.
One day, the boy had to move away. He couldn’t bring the girl with him, so he brought the stars. When he’d look out his window at night, he would start with one. One star. And the boy would make a wish on it, and the wish would be her name.
At the sound of her name, a second star would appear. And then he’d wish her name again, and the stars would double into four. And four became eight, and eight became sixteen, and so on, in the greatest mathematical equation the universe had ever seen. And by the time an hour had passed, the sky would be filled with so many stars that it would wake the neighbors. People wondered who’d turned on the floodlights.
The boy did. By thinking about the girl.”
As we’ve already established, throw in some star-gazing and a book full of adorable passages like this, and I’m basically sold.
Which books or scenes make you swoon?