Ah. ‘Tis the season for love. Valentine’s day is ’round the corner just in case the aisles in your grocery store haven’t reminded you. In honor of lover’s day, I decided to make a list of my favorite Romance books for you lovers out there. I rarely read romance novels these days because many of them are corny, not well written and just make me roll my eyes.
When I was in secondary school (high school for my Americans), I loveddddd romance novels. In fact, I read my first Mills and Boons when I was in Primary 3 (third grade) and I actually still remember the name – “A Night of Possession”. I read romance novels right up to Secondary school then just sort of got tired of the repeated tropes. If you’ve read one, you’ve read them all. But I’m not going to be a grinch. This is my contribution to the “holiday” and my way of spreading love to you guys out there. Here are a few of the romance books that I have enjoyed over the years:
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller:
“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”
Miller retells the story of one of Greek Mythologies’ greatest heroes through the eyes of his best friend Patroclus. Staying true to the big points of Greek mythology, she weaves the story of an intimate friendship and eventual romance between Achilles and Patroclus with the Trojan war as a huge backdrop for their love. This book was absolutely fantastic and is a take on Homer’s Illaid, the romance is slow burning and believable.
- Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella:
I love British chicklit. Whenever I want to tune out and cleanse my reading palate, especially after a very gruesome read, Sophie never fails me. I love that her books are funny and fast paced. You can read most of her books in a day. Twenty-eight year old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital and does not recognise herself – she’s skinny, perfect teeth, designer bags- and she has a millionaire (of course!) husband that she does not recognize either. Sophie takes us on a hilarious ride through Lexi’s past and her struggle to come to terms with her current self.
- One Day by David Nicholls:
“You know what I can’t understand? You have all these people telling you all the time how great you are, smart and funny and talented and all that, I mean endlessly, I’ve been telling you for years. So why don’t you believe it? why do you think people say that stuff, Em? Do you think it’s a conspiracy, people secretly ganging up to be nice about you?”
I love a good “will they? won’t they?” romance. I love friendship turned lovers stories. I love unrequited love and “I don’t want to ruin the friendship” romance tension. This book is everything I love about a love story all tied into one and has all the aforementioned. Dexter and Emma meet on the last day of college, spend a night together and can’t stop thinking of each other but they slip into the comfortable confines of friendship and the author takes us through the snapshots of their life on the same day – July 15th- over twenty five years. We see so many missed opportunities, so many fights, so many squabbles and breakdowns as they both try to come to terms with how much they really matter in each other’s life.
- The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon:
“Stars are important,” I say, laughing.
“Sure, but why not more poems about the sun? The sun is also a star, and it’s our most important one. That alone should be worth a poem or two.”
Don’t you just love it when you see the title of a book inside the book? I just feel like the author is winking at me from afar. Anyway, this is a YA romance novel. I found this author last year and I’ve read two books by her and this is by far the better of the two. I really enjoyed this book. Natasha is a girl whose family came illegally into the states from Jamaica and they’re currently being deported and she’s trying a last hail mary to get a stay before they have to leave in a couple of hours, Daniel is a young man who is on his way to his Yale interview that he is contemplating skipping because it’s just not what he wants and he feels pressured by his parents, who are also immigrants. This book is about their chance encounter and the 24 hours they spend together afterwards.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Ahhhh, the classics! I am an avid member of the Austen cult, I have read all the Austen books and even the Austen dupes. I know a lot of uptight people dismiss Austen as trivial and chicklit but what do they expect a middle class English woman to possibly write about in the 1800s? Sci-fi? Austen writes and constructs characters that she knows and her observation of human interactions has stood the test of time. There are no wasted plot devices in this book, the plot is tightly woven and not a single word is out of place. Pride and Prejudice is about the proud Mr. Darcy and the very witty and sharp tongued Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. The Bennet family will not disappoint you with their hilarity and every day living.
I hope you all have a fantastic Valentine’s week. Are you celebrating? Do you like romance novels? Tell me some of your favorites! I’d love to add some to my ever growing TBR list!