Are you in search of a romantic read that doesn’t sacrifice technique for the sake of your OTP? Here’s a list of five books to fall in love with.
First love: “Call Me By Your Name” by André Aciman
“Call Me By Your Name” is an intoxicating love story about a precocious 17-year-old American-Italian Jewish boy and his first great love. During the fleeting Italian summer of 1983 Elio falls hard and fast for Oliver, a 24-year-old visiting American Jewish graduate student. Told from the beautifully rambling and unique point of view of Elio, “Call Me By Your Name” is irresistible. The novel’s poetic style and short length makes it perfect for a college student’s schedule. Also check out Luca Guadagnino’s award-winning film adaption of the novel.
A little bit of everything: “I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson
The romantic young adult novel won’t just make your heart swoon; you’ll be left breathless, teary-eyed and with stitches in your side as twins Noah and Jude discover not only love, but themselves in this unique coming of age story. Alternating between Noah and Jude’s perspectives before and after their mother dies, Nelson weaves an impossible narrative. Nelson’s expert use of metaphors and a kind language that relishes in breaking the rules reads like the divine love child of a poet and an artist. Add this profoundly moving coming of age novel to the top of your to-read list.
Oldie but goodie: “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
Is there a more iconic couple than Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet? Austen’s arguably most well-known novel is a classic romance. “Pride and Prejudice” takes place in the British Regency era and follows Elizabeth Bennet, a stubborn, witty and caring young woman, as she is pressured to marry for money, for social elevation or out of fear. Elizabeth’s growth coincides with her relationship with Mr. Darcy, a rich man as prideful as she is prejudiced. While the novel is long and has many layers, the classic romance is worth the extra effort even if only to ultimately watch the wonderful 2005 film version starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.
Classic tearjerker: “A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks
What’s a Valentine’s Day book recommendation list without one of Sparks’ finest works? This relatively modern retelling of the classic tale of the bad boy turned good by a girl with a good heart is always enjoyable. Set in Beaufort, North Carolina in the late 1950s, Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan fall in love despite their divergent reputations and tragic unforeseen circumstances. Fans of Sparks’s beloved novel and NBC’s “This is Us” should check out the 2002 film adaptation of the same name starring Mandy Moore and Shane West.
The feminist choice: “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte
Bronte’s classic novel “Jane Eyre” rounds out the list as a controversial feminist choice. The 19th century novel follows Jane Eyre through her spiritual, moral and romantic growth. Bronte’s social commentary doubles as an interesting though unusual love story between Jane and Mr. Rochester full of mystery, supernatural elements and poetic language. “Jane Eyre” is a must-read for a romance novel connoisseur.