It’s Valentine’s Day, so we’re ready to celebrate love. Yes, we already brought you our Top Ten Tuesday of swooniest books. But we also wanted to share some of our favorite kissing scenes (without simply repeating the same books from Tuesday), because if there’s one thing a YA writer should be able to do well, it’s describe a kiss. You know what we mean, because not all YA couples go all the way, but they all have to make us believe in their romance with their kisses. When it finally happens in some books, you can’t help but squeal, and then call your sister and proceed to giggle like 12-year-old girls. Those are the moments we want to celebrate today. So here are 14 of our favorite epic kisses in YA (needless to say, these scenes could be considered spoilers!) in no particular order.
There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet. “Is this the moment?” Harry asked weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. “OI! There’s a war going on here!” Ron and Hermione broke apart, their arms still around each other. “I know, mate,” said Ron, who looked as though he had recently been hit on the back of the head with a Bludger, “so it’s now or never, isn’t it?” “Never mind that, what about the Horcrux?” Harry shouted. “D’you think you could just — just hold it in, until we’ve got the diadem?”
“Yeah — right — sorry –” said Ron, and heand Hermione set about gathering up fangs, both pink in the face.”
2. Celaena and Chaol, “Crown of Midnight” by Sarah J. Maas:
There had never been any line between them, only his own stupid fear and pride. Because from the moment he’d pulled her out of that mine in Endovier and she had set those eyes upon him, still fierce despite a year in hell, he’d been walking toward this, walking to her.
So Chaol brushed away her tears, lifter her chin, and kissed her.
The kiss obliterated her. It was like coming home or being born or suddenly finding an entire half of herself that had been missing. His lips were hot and soft against hers – still tentative, and after a moment, he pulled back far enough to look into her eyes. She trembled with the need to touch him everywhere at once, to feel him touching her everywhere at once. He would give up everything to go with her.
She twined her arms around his neck, her mouth meeting his in a second kiss that knocked the world out from under her.
3. Levi and Cath, “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell:
Cath closed the book and let it fall on Levi’s chest, not sure what happened next. Not sure she was awake, all things considered.The moment it fell he pulled her into him. Onto him. With both arms. Her chest pressed against his, and the paperback slid between their stomachs.
Cath’s eyes were half closed, and so were Levi’s and his lips only looked small from afar, she realized, because of their doll-like pucker. They were perfectly big, really, now that she had a good look at them. Perfectly something. He nudged his nose against hers, and their mouths fell sleepily together, already soft and open. When Cath’s eyes closed, her eyelids stuck. She wanted to open them. She wanted to get a better look at Levi’s too-dark eyebrows, she wanted to admire his crazy, vampire hairline—she had a feeling this was never going to happen again and that it might even ruin what was left of her life, so she wanted to open her eyes and bear some witness.
But she was so tired. And his mouth was so soft.
And nobody had ever kissed Cath like this before. Only Abel had kissed her before, and that was like getting pushed squarely on the mouth and pushing back.
Levi’s kisses were all taking. Like he was drawing something out of her with soft little jabs of his chin. She brought her fingers up to his hair, and she couldn’t open her eyes.
Eventually, she couldn’t stay awake.
4. Taylor and Jonah, “Jellicoe Road” by Melina Marchetta:
When I turn around, he cups my face in his hands and he kisses me so deeply that I don’t know who is breathing for who, but his mouth and tongue taste like warm honey. I don’t know how long it lasts, but when I let go of him, I miss it already.
5. Hazel and Augustus, “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green:
“Augustus Waters,” I said, looking up at him, thinking that you cannot kiss anyone in the Anne Frank House, and then thinking that Anne Frank, after all, kissed someone in the Anne Frank House, and that she would probably like nothing more than for her home to have become a place where the young and irreparably broken sink into love.
And then we were kissing. My hand let go the oxygen cart and I reached up for his neck, and he pulled me up by my waist onto my tiptoes. As his parted lips met mine, I started to feel breathless in a new and fascinating way. The space around us evaporated, and for a weird moment I really liked my body; this cancer-ruined thing I’d spent years dragging around suddenly seemed worth the struggle, worth the chest tubes and the PICC lines and the ceaseless bodily betrayal of the tumors.
6. Sydney and Adrian, “The Golden Lily” by Richelle Mead:
He reached out and pulled me to him, one hand on my waist and the other behind my neck. He tipped my head up and lowered his lips to mine. I closed my eyes and melted as my whole body was consumed in that kiss. I was nothing. I was everything. Chills, ran over my skin, and fire burned inside me. His body pressed closer to mine, and I wrapped my arms around his neck. His lips were warmer and softer than anything I could have ever imagined, yet fierce and powerful at the same time. Mine responded hungrily, and I tightened my hold on him. His fingers slid down the back of my neck, tracing its shape, and every place they touched was electric
7. Four and Tris, “Divergent” by Veronica Roth:
For a few minutes we kiss, deep in the chasm, with the roar of water all around us. And we rise, hand in hand, I realize that if we had both chosen differently, we might have ended up doing the same thing, in a safer place, in gray clothes instead of black ones.
8. Nastya and Josh, “The Sea of Tranquility” by Katja Millay:
“Josh, there are like five hundred Italian restaurants at home. You could have taken me to any of them. Why did we drive two hours to have dinner?”
“I wanted to talk to you.”
I wanted to talk to you. He says it like it’s the most obvious answer in the world. He drove us two hours away for dinner, to a place where no one would know us, so that we could have a conversation. I want to laugh and cry and hug the living crap out of him. I kiss him instead. As soon as my lips are on his, his hand is at the back of my neck and he’s pulling me against his chest like he’s been waiting for this forever and he’s not going to let me get away. But I don’t want to get away; and if the steering wheel wasn’t there, I would climb into his lap just to be closer to him. Then he shifts just slightly and I’m not kissing him anymore. He’s kissing me. And when he does, part of me is lost. But it’s the part that’s twisted and mangled and wrong, and for just that moment, with his hands in my hair and his lips on my mouth, I can pretend that it never existed.
9. Tessa and Will, “Clockwork Prince” by Cassandra Clare:
He bent down to her; their mouths met again, and the shock of sensation was so strong, so overpowering, that she shut her eyes against it as if she could hide in the darkness. He murmured and gathered her against him.
10. Lennie and Joe, “The Sky Is Everywhere” by Jandy Nelson:
What’s gotten into me? Now I really can’t breathe. A situation made worse by the lips that are suddenly pressing into mine.
Our tongues have fallen madly in love and gotten married and moved to Paris.
After I’m sure I’ve made up for all my former years of kisslessness, I say “I think if we don’t stop kissing, the world is going to explode.”
“Seems like it,” he whispers. He’s staring dreamily into my eyes. Heathcliff and Cathy have nothing on us.
11. Todd and Viola, “Monsters of Men” by Patrick Ness:
His noise is getting quieter, but I can still see it there still-
See how he feels the skin of my hand against his, see how he wants to take it and press it against his mouth, how he wants to breathe in the smell of me and how beautiful I look to him, how strong after all that illness, and how he wants to just lightly touch my neck, just there, and how he wants to take me in his arms and-
“Oh, God,” he says, looking away suddenly. “Viola, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-”
But I just put my hand to the back of his neck-
And he says, “Viola-?”
And I pull myself towards him-
And I kiss him.
And it feels like, finally.
12. Ellie and Mikey, “You Against Me” by Jenny Downham:
“Is this how it is for everyone?” she whispered.
“How do you know?”
“I just do. I’ve never felt this with anyone before.”
“Serious. That isn’t a line.”
“Kiss me,” she said.
He did. Everywhere.
13. America and Prince Maxon, “The Selection” by Kiera Cass:
“With his hand holding my face toward his, Maxon lowered his lips to mine and gave me the faintest whisper of a kiss. Something about the tentativeness of it made me feel beautiful. Without a word, I could understand how excited he was to have this moment, but then afraid at the same time. And deeper than any of that, I sensed that he adored me.”
14. Anna and Étienne, “Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins:
I trail my fingers across his cheek. He stays perfectly still for me. “Please stop apologizing, Étienne.” “Say my name again,” he whispers. I close my eyes and lean forward. “Étienne.” He takes my hands into his. Those perfect hands, that fit mine just so. “Anna?” Our foreheads touch. “Yes?” “Will you please tell me you love me? I’m dying here.”
And then we’’re laughing. And then I’m in his arms, and we’re kissing, at first quickly—to make up for lost time—and then slowly, because we have all the time in the world. And his lips are soft and honey sweet, and the careful, passionate way he moves them against my own says that he savors the way I taste, too. And in between kisses, I tell him I love him. Again and again and again.