I love banter. All the better when it’s laced with sarcasm, humor, amusement, jealousy, or a little bit of all four.
I picked two favorites from recent reads:
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: Will finds Tessa inside his friend Jem’s room. (Guy Jem, not girl Jem.)
“Do you normally turn up in gentlemen’s bedrooms in the middle of the night? If I’d known that, I would have campaigned harder to make sure Charlotte let you stay.”
“I don’t see how what I do is your concern,” Tessa replied. “Especially since you abandoned me in the corridor and left me to find my own way back to my room.”
“And you found your way to Jem’s room instead?”
“It was the violin,” Jem explained. “She heard me practicing.”
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins: Lola’s glasses fall off and are stepped on at work, her long-time crush, Cricket escorts the half-blind Lola home.
I trip on the sidewalk again, and his arm is around my waist, and when I pull from his grasp, he only tightens it. There’s a silent struggle between us as I try to wiggle my way out. “For a skinny guy, your arms are like a steel trap,” I hiss.
Cricket bursts into laughter. His grip loosens, and I break away, stumbling forward.
“Oh, come on, Lola.” He’s still laughing. “Let me help you.”
“I’m never going anywhere again without a backup vision plan.”
I adore these exchanges. Notice how much punch they have compared to a narrative that tells the reader the character feels awkward.