Ah, the month of February. The month for cold weather, Valentine’s Day, and cuddling up with your significant other…
Or, if you’re like me, cuddling up with a mug of hot chocolate and a good romance novel for a book date.
I love romance novels. Cheesy, not cheesy, dystopian, not dystopian, I don’t care. I love romance novels more than most other books. So, naturally, for my first book rec post, I thought a romance novel recommendation of my favorites would be perfect.
The books that I’m going to recommend all have some of my favorite love stories of all time. Some of them aren’t necessarily romance novels, but the love stories are highlighted often in the books and they’re some of my favorites of all time.
So pick up a mug of your favorite hot drink, grab your cozy blanket, and find a nice spot to curl up with a great novel, handpicked by me from my personal favorites!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
In alphabetical order:
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
This book is fluff to the max, until you get to the last quarter of the book. It’s a sweet romance with a decent amount of substance and amazing characters (Etienne St. Clair stole my heart for a solid month after I read this. I still love him so much). It’s great and written in a beautiful way, and this book is probably one of my essentials for Valentine’s Day.
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
A recommendation from a friend, this paranormal romance follows the story of Ethan (a human from Gatlin, South Carolina) and Lena (a Caster belonging to an ancient, powerful family). I love the movie, I love the book, and I highly encourage you to read it because Ethan and Lena’s romance completely overwhelmed me and made me feel so emotionally drained after I finished. I haven’t read the other books in the series, so I can’t speak for them, but this first book is absolutely dazzling.
Burned by Ellen Hopkins
Let me say something about this one: I love Ellen Hopkins. I love every single book she’s written, I love the free verse poetry style of her novels, and the stories are just so riveting. This is the only book on this love story recommendations list, but there will be plenty more on future recommendations. This is my favorite Ellen Hopkins novel by far, and its story sucks you in quickly for a read that will stay with you long after you finish it. Trigger warning, though, for anyone who’s sensitive to child abuse. If you’re not one of those people, then I highly recommend giving this book a try.
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Becky Bloomwood is a character made from the same soul as me. I’m not exaggerating. I love her, I love her story, and I love this book. This book is the first in a series that chronicles Becky’s adventures, and even though the romance is not the main focus, it’s definitely a loveable part of the books and part of what makes these books so fun to read. If you’re looking for a fluffy romance, definitely come to Kinsella’s most famous novel.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
For me, this is one of the essential young adult romance novels. Rowell is a master of words, and this book is some of her finest works. It’s absolutely breathtaking. I read this on a recommendation from a friend, and she did not disappoint. This book is one that will not quickly fade from the public eye, and it will likely stay as one of the best romance novels for years to come.
The Everafter by Amy Huntley
One of my absolute favorite books ever! This book is haunting. I read it years ago and it is still the first book I recommend to people who ask me for a book to read. The narration is unique, the characters are fantastically portrayed, and best of all, the romance is top-notch. This book is amazing, and even if it isn’t exactly your cup of tea, I would highly suggest giving this book a chance this Valentine’s Day.
Every Day by David Levithan
Another haunting romance is found in this novel. The romance is definitely not the absolute main focus of the novel, but it is a big part of it. It’s been a while since I read it, and I haven’t read the sequel yet, but I remember loving this book (another recommendation from a friend!), and I think anyone interested in an unusual love story will love this book too.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
In the same way that Becky Bloomwood and I share a soul, Cath Avery and I are the same person. Seriously. This is my favorite Rainbow Rowell novel, and she writes such good romances (the reason why she’s making two appearances in this book rec). If you’re craving a realistic fiction romance, Fangirl may be the one for you.
The Future of Us by Jay Asher
I don’t even know how to explain this book. I loved it, but I’m not sure how to explain why I loved it. It’s a futuristic-ish romance between two high school friends in the nineties who receive a free AOL internet disk that allows them to see their futures and alter them–all on Facebook. It was a pretty unique read and it was entertaining. I would recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a romance that doesn’t quite fit the usual YA mold.
Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
This book is one of my all time favorites. I love it. I read it because of the movie that came out last year starring Sam Claflin (*heart eyes*) and Lily Collins. Movie was fantastic, and the book is even better. It’s full of sweet friendships and family relationships, and a love story that is as entertaining as it is infuriating at times. Definitely give this one a try if you enjoy novels that are written in a format that’s atypical of a normal novel.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
An oldie, but a goodie. I adore this novel. It’s one of my favorites of all time, and I never get bored reading it. The romance between Noah and Allie is one of the classic love stories in all of literature, joined in the ranks by couples such as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy (more on them in the next rec). So if you’re in the mood for a classic romance with a touch of sadness, The Notebook is your book date this Valentine’s Day.
Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
Okay, let me get something out of the way: I can’t stand Pride & Prejudice. I hate the story, I hate the characters, and I can’t stand the writing style. But I love adaptations of Pride & Prejudice. And this adaptation by Elizabeth Eulberg is probably my favorite. It’s cute, it’s sweet, and its characterization delves deep into the brains of the characters. If you want a book that revolves around a cute and fluffy romance, then think about giving Prom and Prejudice a try.
Renegade by J.A. Souders
There are no words for how much I love this book. This book is wonderful. The characters are wonderful and relatable, and their romance is beautifully written. This is the first novel in a dystopian trilogy about an underwater world called Elysium (I still haven’t read the third book, though–I’m a bad fan.) I love this book and I recommend it to everyone who enjoys dystopian literature.
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
I really thought I could get through a Valentine’s Day book rec post without talking about Nicholas Sparks multiple times. Well, I was wrong. Safe Haven is a book for any of you book lovers who are looking for all of the romance and emotion of The Notebook, but with a bit more drama and a little bit less sadness.
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen is the queen of YA romance, but this is the only book of hers that I read recently enough to recall enough details to recommend it. Saint Anything is a romance that asks important questions. One of them being, how do you deal with guilt for something that you didn’t do? And does family come from something stronger than blood? The characters are amazing, and I related so well to the protagonist. This is one of my favorite Sarah Dessen novels, and I would recommend it to anyone.
The Selection by Kiera Cass
What’s better than the romance between a prince and his chosen girl? Well, this story is made a bit more complicated by the fact that the chosen girl is competing for his love against thirty-four other girls. Oh, and she doesn’t really want to be there. I’ve loved this book for a while now, and it deserves all of the hype that it receives. It’s a great read for anyone who likes a little substance with their fluffy romance.
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
My absolute favorite series. Ever. In addition to being a fan of romance novels, I love paranormal romances. This one is the best by far. The first book in a trilogy, it follows the story of Grace (a human girl obsessed with the wolves who live in the woods around her house) and Sam (a boy who becomes one of those wolves every winter) and their fight to overcome Sam’s increasingly morbid fate. I read this book a long time ago when it first came out, and I’ve read it so many times since that my copy looks like it’s about to fall to pieces. I encourage everyone to give this one a try, even if you’re not a fan of paranormal romance.
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
A bit of a sadder pick, but such a good one. This book is delightful. The writing is poignant and descriptive, and the illustrations are beautiful. I picked this book up because of the colors on the cover and the weight of it because I wanted a bit of a longer read. It’s such a good read, and a wonderful romance despite the title.