As we head into Valentine’s Day, we’re tickled to be bringing you the 2013 edition of our popular Literary Swoon series, in which we invite some of our favorite young adult authors to share books that have made them positively faint with pleasure.
We asked two questions: What is your favorite romantic quote or scene? Why has it stayed with you?
We’re kicking off the feature today with Jessica Spotswood, author of the popular Cahill Witch Chronicles. She told us she got so into this idea that she even skimmed through the book she chose all over again..although we all know that was probably just an excuse for a re-read. ;)
Fair warning that some spoilers may follow!
Jessica Spotswood’s Favorite Romantic Book
I love Briony and Eldric from Franny Billingsley’s Chime, which is one of my all-time favorite books ever.
Actually, it would be assumed that the young lady had no such impulses at all, but I’ll tell you something: Chocolate melts on my tongue too.
In this scene, Briony drinks rather too much wine and obliquely questions Eldric about whether he’s had sex. Basically, he says that he’s a man of 22…and she calls him out on the assumption that young men of 22 are expected to act upon such impulses, while young ladies of 22 are not — are in fact meant to pretend they haven’t such impulses. But she does! I love their banter, the way that she never hides her cleverness from him — and that he admires her for it.
“I love a person for communion, communion with wine and coats and help and trust–even if that person feels he’s doing all the trust and gets grumpy. I love a person for knowing I’m the Amazon of the Swampsea, and for helping me be even more Amazonian, although he oughtn’t to deal out those little butterfly punches, because that’s cheating. I love him for making me laugh, and I love it that I make him laugh—“
This is my favorite bit in Briony’s declaration of love. Eldric earns her trust, even though she starts out awfully damaged and secretive. He makes her laugh. He encourages her to run wild in the swamp and teaches her to box, and she calls him on pulling his punches. In turn, she encourages him with his art. They are partners, and I love that.
Word magic. If you say a word, it leaps out and becomes the truth. I love you. I believe it. I believe I am loveable. How can something as fragile as a word build a whole world?
This is a quote at the very end. Briony starts the book demanding to be hanged. She reminds herself: What, above all, mustn’t you forget? You mustn’t forget to hate yourself.
And yet, over the course of the book, Eldric helps her put aside her self-loathing and remember she is worthy of love. (There’s also an absolutely swoonworthy first kiss on Blackberry Night – but I won’t spoil that for anyone who hasn’t read it yet!)
Have you read Chime by Franny Billingsley? What do you think of Jessica’s choice?
Jessica Spotswood is the author of the Cahill Witch Chronicles, which includes Born Wicked and the upcoming Star Cursed (June 18, 2013) from Putnam Juvenile. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. You can find Jessica online on her website, blog, Twitter, and GoodReads.
Check out the rest of the Literary Swoon series & win a box of romance!
A new author will be featured daily until Valentine’s Day, when The Midnight Garden bloggers will share their favorite romantic scenes.
Talk to us about what you think of the romantic choices daily–we’ll choose our favorite comment for each day, and the 6 finalists will be entered into a drawing to receive a box filled with romantic books! The box will includes recent releases featuring love-struck couples.