With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s every single person’s nightmare to realize that there’s no hope in sight when it comes to receiving a box of chocolates or a giant bouquet of roses. Fortunately, the fictional world is a saving grace and an unrealistic love story is a perfect remedy to cure false hopes.
Here are five books that you should read, especially if you are a hopeless romantic.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Normal People is an Irish love story depicting the lives of two high school students, Connell and Marianne. At first, they pretend not to know one another, as Connell is extremely popular and a well-rounded student and athlete, while Marianne is an outcast with a troubled past and disturbing home life. When Connell comes to pick his mother, Marianne’s maid, up from her house one day, a dangerous and intimate connection ties the two together. As the story evolves, the reader is shown the progression of their complicated and vulnerable relationship, and it will leave readers with the idea that there really is someone out there for you, even if they are not who you expect.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath has just moved into college and is dreading living life without her twin sister, Wren. As she struggles to cope with social anxiety and form a relationship with her roommate, a spunky junior named Reagan, she meets Levi. Levi is Reagan’s ex-lover turned best friend and brings out the extroverted and passionate side of Cath. The book is set in two parts, Cath’s first and second semester of her freshman year, and their relationship buds as she finds her confidence and voice as a writer. Overall, Fangirl proves that an unexpected person in your life can end up turning you into a better person in the long run.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Lara Jean Covey has always been a fan of writing love letters to the crushes she could never admit her feelings to. These confessions unexpectedly fall out of her possession when her little sister sends them in hopes of finding Lara Jean a boyfriend. When Peter Kavinsky gets his hands on the letter she wrote him in seventh grade, they become involved in a fake relationship to spite his ex-girlfriend, but also secretly because he’s always liked Lara Jean. As the two grow closer, it’s hard not to believe that this isn’t one of the best teenage romance novels from the last five years. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is bound to inspire readers to write their own love letters and unrealistically hope that one day fate will bring you to the person you’ve always had feelings for.
The Course of Love by Alain de Botton
The Course of Love portrays the fast-paced love affair of Rabih and Kirsten, who go from co-workers to friends to lovers in the span of only a few months. They marry and have children, but their relationship turns down different and strenuous paths as the “happily ever after” notion they once believed in no longer seems legitimate. Through trials and tribulations, the couple’s bond to one another remains intact and illustrates how love can survive and thrive in the long term. Readers will not be able to put the book down as Botton’s beautiful writing and loving tone make this an addicting read.
The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo
Four adult daughters of Marilyn and David Sorenson, still madly in love after 40 years together, rehash their old rivalries and long forgotten and buried secrets that will eventually complicate all of their lives. Marilyn and David never knew this would be their lives at the start of their relationship, where the book begins, in the 1970s. The Most Fun We Ever Had reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the love they share for each other, while their daughters’ backstories are also told in vivid and, at times, hilarious detail. As their parents’ history becomes intertwined with their own, the daughters begin to realize the importance of love and how sacred it is when it is shown, whether it be romantically or paternally.