I don’t know what it is about life lately. Maybe it’s the time of year, the hues of red and pink that cover Target’s Valentine’s section, or maybe it’s just my little brain searching for peace–either way, nothing is bringing me comfort like a good Romance Novel. To escape the harshness of the real world, and tune in to a fake one where everything is topped off with the perfect quip, coincidental run-in, or romantic gesture is all my heart’s desired lately. And if you’re feeling similarly, here are six amazing Romance Novels that I’d recommend to get you in the Valentine’s Day Spirit!
- The Plus One by Mazey Eddings
I learned about Eddings at last year’s Texas Book Festival as she was there promoting another project, and I even mentioned her in an article. At the time, though I’d purchased one of her books, I hadn’t yet read it. Well, now I’ve read that project, and this one, and I intend to read every other book Eddings creates because she’s just that good. The Plus One follows not one, but two characters, as we flip between the minds of Indira, a recently single psychiatrist hoping to make it through her brother’s wedding (even though her ex is literally in the wedding party), and Jude, a doctor and her brother’s best friend who’s been secretly dealing with symptoms of anxiety and PTSD. And despite the somewhat medical undercurrent of this book, please don’t be misguided, this book is hot. Like, don’t read if you are under the age of 18 hot. It’s also just amazing. A book that has your complete attention from start to finish. I just couldn’t put it down, and while I usually find switching back and forth between perspectives boring, Eddings makes it fun. Because it’s a Romance Novel, you want to know what’s in the heads of both characters as they slowly fall for each other.
- Flip The Script by Lyla Lee
Another author I was introduced to via the Texas Book Festival, Lyla Lee is genuinely my favorite Romance Author. Her books are so cute, engaging, and have a level of LGBTQ+ representation I’ve never really experienced before. As a bisexual author originally from South Korea, Lee likes to use her novels to explore the dichotomy that exists between coming from such a cultural background and being truthful to oneself. Flip The Script is the perfect example. When Hana gets the role of a lifetime in a new K-Drama, the fans go crazy with conspiracies, thinking she’s dating K-Idol turned lead actor Bryan Yoon. Little do they know she couldn’t care less about the lead actor, but the co-lead actress…now that’s another story entirely. Heartfelt, full of joy, and social commentary, Flip The Script is such a comfort to readers and a book I’d wholeheartedly recommend.
- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
The Fault In Our Stars was an instant classic upon its release on January 10, 2012, over ten years later and it still reigns supreme. The novel, in case you’ve never read it, follows Hazel Grace, a teenager with terminal cancer who, upon attending Support Group, meets the wildcard that is Augustus Waters. Charming, handsome, and brandishing an unfathomable zest for life, their attraction is immediate and life-altering. This novel has my entire heart. It’s heartbreaking, beautiful, meaningful, and adds some much-needed levity and awareness to the dreaded C word. If you have never read this book, god do I highly suggest it. But, I might add, please purchase a box of tissues before you do so. The first time I finished it I made the mistake of joining my mom on a trip to Home Depot afterward, and trust me, you do not want to be sobbing in the lighting section. Not a great look.
- The Entire Heartstopper Series by Alice Oseman
Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper is a phenomenon. An incredible, heartfelt, and loving graphic novel series turned Netflix Original that’s notable for its amazing LGBTQ+ Representation and its heartwarming story. I can never express how much I love Heartstopper. My favorite pastime is genuinely re-watching the series or re-reading the Graphic Novels. And for those who haven’t done either, Heartstopper tells the story of Charlie Spring, the only openly out kid at his all-boys school in England, as he finds himself head over heels enamored by the most laddish boy of them all, Nick Nelson, the rugby jock. Alice Oseman is an expert at dialogue, conveying so much in such few words. For an easy read and a Romance Novel that’ll make you blush and kick your feet up screaming Heartstopper is fully the way to go. And the entire Graphic Novel Series is available online for free, and you can check that out here!
- I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee
My favorite part about Lyla Lee is that she is equally as obsessed with romance as she is with Reality TV, and as a Reality TV junkie myself her books end up being the best of both worlds. I’ll Be The One follows K-Pop-lover Skye Shin as she auditions for an American Idol-esque TV series to find the next K-Idol. The only problem? As a plus-sized girl, the odds are already stacked against Skye, add in an uber-famous K-Idol looking to make it big in the US, Henry Cho, and the competition gets even more fierce. This is another one of those books that had me fully kicking up my feet and giggling. I think I finished the entire thing in two days because I just couldn’t put it down. And, if you’re going to read both of Lyla Lee’s books, I’d suggest starting with this one since there is a nice nod to the ending in Flip The Script.
- Tilly In Technicolor by Mazey Eddings
Another book with two perspectives, Tilly In Technicolor tells the story of Tilly, a neurodivergent teen spending the summer in London for an internship before entering her college years. It’s on the plane to this adventure that she meets our other narrator, Oliver Clark. The smart, diligent, and at times a little blunt Autistic teen and Tilly butt heads almost instantly in what can only be described as a Meet Disaster. The situation only gets worse as they realize that they aren’t just stuck on a plane together, they are both doing the internship and are going to be stuck together for the whole summer. God this book is good. It has great neurodivergent representation, a great love story, and again there’s just something so amazing about getting to be in both characters’ heads during a specific event. Seeing both of them fall more and more in love.