Favorite YA Ships


In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we have collected our favorite YA couples—or ships! It may be true that you can’t have a story without plot and conflict, but a personal addition to that equation for us is a ship! If there isn’t a couple that becomes the highlight of the book (even if they aren’t supposed to be main characters), then what’s the point in reading it? 

Sometimes these couples are messy, over dramatic, and cause a lot of “Can’t you see they’re obviously in love with you!” moments, but that doesn’t outweigh the love, devotion, support, laughs, and perfection that they are when they are together. Whether they started out as enemies, opposites, or are just star-crossed lovers, we love them. Here are our top six favorite YA Ships!

Aelin & RowanThrone of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Enemies-to friends-to-lovers is always a trope that will steal my heart! When Aelin first meets Rowan in Heir of Fire (Book 3 of the Throne of Glass series), she can’t tolerate the insufferable, brooding, tattooed man. Rowan is relentless in his training, and does not take kindly to her sharp wit or arrogance. But when he sees the scars that came from Aelin’s traumatic past, his entire demeanor changes. Suddenly, she is not just an arrogant, lost princess, but an equal. Rowan helps Aelin embrace her truth that she has been forced to hide for eighteen years. In the end, Rowan breaks his vow to the immortal Queen Maeve, and pledges his allegiance to Aelin.

My favorite part of the “Rowaelin” ship is their belief and strength in each other! They are both fierce fighters with quick wit and daggering glances, who are more than capable of winning wars on their own, but together they are an unworldly force destined to destroy armies and rule the greatest kingdom Ardalan has ever seen. Even though they have been broken and crushed by traumatic events (losing families, friends, and autonomy) and forced to become the fierce warriors they are, they know they can be vulnerable and open with each other. This contrast and balance in their relationship makes them one of the most enjoyable ships!

Will & Tessa & JemThe Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

Team “Wessa” or Team “Jessa,” that is NOT the question! I am not a fan of love triangles… but this is no ordinary love triangle! Will and Jem’s parabatai love for each other is just as strong as their individual romantic love for Tessa. But a curse keeps Will from accepting or giving any kind of romantic love, and Jem is slowly dying. They both have deep feelings for Tessa, but neither of them feel worthy of her love—Will wants Jem to be happy with Tessa, and Jem wants Will to be happy with her. Tessa loves them both equally, and who can blame her?

Fortunately, by the kind heart of Ms. Clare, this love triangle ends happily for everyone! Due to Tessa’s immortal warlock blood, she gets to love both Will and Jem in different decades (I don’t want to ruin the plot too much for you!). Tessa and Will’s relationship remains a Victorian/Edwardian classic love story, filled with literature, raising two kids, and running the London Institute. Tessa and Jem’s love story, however, becomes a modern American relationship set in the 2010’s filled with music, answering unsolved histories, and raising together an adopted Shadowhunter and their own daughter. But even as the relationship blossoms in each pair, they never lose sight of the bond the three of them share, which makes this an epic and successful love triangle that truly stands the test of time, a.k.a “Herongraystairs.”

Alec & MagnusThe Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

My OTP! In my eyes there will NEVER be a purer ship than “Malec.” Covered in glitter and with cat-slit eyes, Magnus Bane is guaranteed to be the life of any party. Alec, on the other hand, would much prefer his holey sweaters and standing in the background. But opposites attract! Though Alec is at first unsure of who he is, being with Magnus helps him come to terms not only with his sexuality but the kind of person he wants to be in society. From feeling second-best to his parabatai, Magnus becomes the catalyst for Alec’s character growth by helping him see his own potential and strength. 

There is just something warm, real, and loveable about this couple! Alec worries why Magnus won’t answer his texts, Magnus insists on buying Alec new sweaters, Alec constantly makes sure that Magnus isn’t spreading his magic too thin, and Magnus helps Alec speak up for himself. Even though Alec hates being called Sweet-Pea, everything about this relationship screams sweet! For that brief moment when we thought it wouldn’t work—I will never forgive Cassie Clare for the cruelty of page 511 of City of Lost Souls—after (literally) going to the depths of Hell for each other, we get the happy ending that we waited for! A wedding, leading political positions, and two adopted little boys later—one a Shadowhunter like Alec, the other a warlock like Magnus—Malec is still standing strong!

Madeline & Jasper —  Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey

I love a good enemies-to-lovers pairing, and the Madeline and Jasper ship of Last Chance Books is one of my favorites! All Madeline wants is to run her family’s bookstore when she gets older, but her dreams are put in jeopardy when Jasper’s family opens up Prologue, a chain bookstore, right across the street from theirs. Desperate to save her family’s store and take down Prologue, Madeline ropes Jasper into an epic prank war. Madeline’s plan backfires, though, when she ends up falling for Jasper!

What I loved the most about this ship was how real it felt for a teenage romance. Madeline and Jasper were playful enemies at first, neither of them really hating each other, and the progression of their relationship felt natural. And, as much as Madeline wanted to take Jasper’s business down and save her own, their pranks against each other were done in (mostly) good fun. They had such great chemistry and their banter was hilarious! Everything about their romance was gloriously fluffy and it left me so happy by the end of the book. Madeline & Jasper are definitely at the top of my list for the best enemies-to-lovers! 

Hazel Grace & AugustusThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Before I even knew what a ship even was, I shipped Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. After meeting during a support group for teenage cancer survivors, Hazel Grace and Augustus strike up a quick and easy friendship. Worried about her cancer getting worse and leaving Augustus heartbroken, Hazel Grace at first rejects the idea of a relationship. But, as she and Augustus grow closer, she realizes that, cancer or not, life is too short to deny yourself the love and happiness you deserve.

Hazel Grace and Augustus have been my number one ship since I was in eighth grade, and they will continue to be my number one ship for the rest of my life. I don’t think there are two people more perfect for each other than these two. Their love story is so beautiful and so heartbreaking. They both know how fragile their health is, how fragile their lives are, and how likely it is that one of them is going to end up with their heart broken. Despite that, their love for each other is stronger than the fear of losing each other. They take the plunge and fall in love, even if they know it’s something they’re only going to get to experience for a short period of time. This is what makes Hazel Grace and Augustus my favorite ship of all time. They love each other so deeply and so truly, that it doesn’t matter that they won’t get to have a lifetime together. Every minute that they get to spend loving each other is worth the heartbreak they know they’re going to face.

Soraya & ParvanehGirl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

If you’re a fan of slow-burn, sapphic ships, then Soraya and Parvaneh from Melissa Bashardoust’s Girl, Serpent, Thorn is the ship for you! Cursed as a baby with a poisonous touch, princess Soraya has spent her entire life hidden away. When she meets and falls for a charming soldier, she thinks she finally has a chance at happiness. Except the charming soldier is not who he said he was, and when he attempts to overtake the kingdom, Soraya must team up with Parvaneh, a demon, in order to save her family.

The tension and the yearning between Soraya and Parvaneh was absolutely exquisite! I loved their slow-burn romance. Neither Soraya or Parvaneh expected to fall for each other (and, honestly, neither did I), but I was so happy when they did! I was actually so surprised by how tender Parvaneh was with Soraya, but that just made it all the better. She was the first person (or demon, rather) to make Soraya feel beautiful, wanted, and seen. They both had their rough edges before meeting each other, but they softened each other out beautifully. It was so sweet to witness Parvaneh’s pride over Soraya coming into her own and honing her “curse” into a gift. Of all the ships I have, this one deserved their happy ending the most! Soraya and Parvaneh will always have a special place in my heart!

These couples bring us so much joy and make some of these books instant favorites! They can be frustrating, but ultimately we know that these couples are meant to be, and we will happily sink with these ships! 

PRR Writer Sadie Cruz & PRR Writer Taylor Quinn