Hey everyone! I’m typing from what is probably one of the most intense book hangovers I have ever experienced due to the fact that I have finally finished the “Lunar Chronicles” series, and now I have no idea how to move on with my life! On that note, I will hopefully have a book talk for “Winter” up soon, but since there is just so much to cover, I figured I’d introduce a new feature of this blog in the meantime! For a while I’ve been planning to start doing a set of themed book recommendations every month, and seeing as my school semester is being surprisingly light, I thought now would be a good time to start!
So seeing as it’s nearly Valentine’s Day, I figured a good theme for the month would be Romance! I actually don’t read a lot of straight up romance novels, so this is going to be more of a list of books that either contain some of my all-time OTP’s, or just have a really well written romantic relationship within the story! Let’s get started!
So first off, I can’t talk about romantic young adult novels without mentioning “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. I’m pretty sure that the majority of the world has read this by now, but I just have to say that the relationship between Hazel and Augustus is probably one of the most well written and absolutely beautiful relationships that I have ever read. For the probably very few people who don’t know, this book follows these two teenagers, Hazel and Augustus, who have been diagnosed with cancer after they meet at a support group and begin to get to know each other and fall in love, and I know that premise sounds really sad, but John Green has this amazing writing style where he mixes these tragic concepts with wonderfully sarcastic humor from the characters, and it works so well. There’s actually not much more to say, just know that it’s this incredible mix of hilarious, beautiful, and heartbreaking writing, and if you haven’t read it by now, you should definitely should!
Next up we have the two series with my highest amount of all-time favorite ships: “The Mortal Instruments” and “The Infernal Devices” by Cassandra Clare. There are a lot of series with really great romantic subplots and parings (“The Lunar Chronicles”, “Legend Trilogy” , and “Throne of Glass” come to mind), but I don’t think I have ever been as absolutely invested in certain parings as much as I am with those in the “Shadowhunters Chronicles”. “Mortal Instruments” has all of these great slow-burn relationships, and I know a lot of people are sick of love triangles, but “Infernal Devices” has one that’s just done so incredibly right that you can’t help but get completely invested. Also, “Mortal Instruments” has Malec. Enough said.
Next is one of my personal all-time favorite books, which just happens to have a really cute romantic : “Warm Bodies” by Isaac Marion. I think the best way to describe this book is to picture “Romeo and Juliet”, but set after the zombie apocalypse where Romeo (R) is a zombie and Juliet (Julie) is a survivor, and everyone makes much more rational decisions. Plus the writing (from the perspective of the zombie main character) is incredibly creative and well done, it keeps a great balance of darkness, humor, and romance, and develops a believable relationship between the two main characters. Plus there’s a sequel coming out this year! And a really good, if not entirely accurate movie adaptation! If you like unconventional love stories, this is definitely a book that you’ll love.
So, from here on out I don’t know if this all counts as one recommendation or as a few, but there is one author in particular who is honestly so good at writing believable, well-developed, and sometimes just completely adorable romance. There’s about four books by this author that I want to recommend, so without further ado, let’s talk about Rainbow Rowell!
The first Rainbow Rowell book with a great romantic plot that I have to recommend is one I actually just read this month: “Attachments“. This book is set in a newspaper office in the late 90’s, and follows two women, Beth and Jennifer, who use the office e-mail to communicate with each other and talk about their lives during the workday. Meanwhile, a man named Lincoln is hired to screen the newspaper employee’s e-mails to make sure everyone is using the computers professionally, but over time he finds himself getting invested in what’s going on with Beth and Jennifer, and he actually starts falling in love with Beth. Like I said, I literally just finished this book, and it was seriously adorable. If you’re into stuff with slow-developing relationships it’s definitely something you’ll like, and it had a pretty unique premise!
Next up is “Eleanor and Park”, also by Rainbow Rowell. This book takes place over one school year in 1986, and focuses on the developing relationship of two characters, Eleanor and Park, after they meet on the school bus. This is a great example of one of those stories where two characters don’t really like each other at first, but then slowly start to become friends and then fall in love, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I absolutely love that storyline every time I read it. The two characters also stand-alone really well and have their own storylines that just come together in such an amazing way, and it’s just overall a beautifully written romance. I will warn that there are some pretty heavy social issues and themes within the story, and it is a little sadder than some of the author’s other books, but overall it’s an incredibly well done story!
Up next we have one of my all-time favorite contemporaries, and books in general: “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell. The story follows a girl named Cath through her freshman year of college, and I honestly don’t think I have ever read a story with such a relatable main character until I read this book. Cath writes fanfiction for a book series that she loves, and the whole book just portrays so well what it’s like to be completely in love with fiction, and what it’s like to have anxiety in social situations. There’s also this amazingly adorable romantic plot throughout the whole book, with one of the sweetest, most romantic love interests I have ever read, and it actually adds so much to the story. There’s really much more to say, “Fangirl” is a ridiculously relatable and adorable book, and if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend you do so!
Finally we have a book that isn’t only an amazing Rainbow Rowell novel, but also one of my absolute favorite books of all time: “Carry On”. Three words: Snowbaz, Snowbaz, SNOWBAZ!!! I honestly cannot remember the last time I fell so hard for a ship since before I read “Carry On”. Seriously, the relationship between the main characters is so adorable and believable, and beautifully written, and just this incredible example of enemies to friends to lovers and oh god everyone needs to read this book! The story follows these characters who attend a school for magic (actually the characters that Cath is writing about in “Fangirl”, even though you don’t need to read “Fangirl” to understand “Carry On”), and I don’t really want to spoil anything and it’s actually kind of hard to describe, but trust me, you will absolutely fall in love with this book and it’s characters!
Well that’s about it for this month’s set of recommendations! Thank you for reading, and have a great Valentine’s Day!