Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Love is in the Air: Top 5 Books Every Romantic Should Read

Across the world, February is known as the month of love, and for a lonely book lover like me, it doesn't mean relationships, but romance novels—lots of them. Captivating romance novels are very hard to find, especially when originality comes into play. I've concocted a list of the 5 best romance novels every teen should read. From the cobblestoned streets of Paris, France, to the frigid chill of Chicago, these following novels evoke a deep sense of what it must feel like to be in love, and before you know it, you've fallen head over heels in love with relatable fictional characters and dream-like settings.

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
 Perkins is by far the queen of contemporary romance, and Anna and the French Kiss is the living proof. This novel follows American student Anna Oliphant as she travels to Paris for boarding school, where she meets the "English-French-American-Boy-Masterpiece" Etienne St. Clair. Talk about swoon worthy. I guarantee that you'll leave this book feeling gut wrenched and yet extremely happy. This book definitely gives you one heck of an emotional rollercoaster—from tears of distress to tears of joy, and it'll stick with you forever.

2. The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Time travel and romance? Yup. I know. This book is quite the tearjerker. Niffenegger's poetic way with words allows her to literally reach into your heart and give it a good twist as you read this novel. An absolutely remarkable romance, this book tells the tragic love story of Clare Abshire and her husband Henry DeTamble—who also happens to have the power to time travel. The problem: he time travels completely against his will. The novel explores Clare and Henry's relationship, from the day they met, and how Henry's ability to travel is both incredible and terrifying, with the boundaries of their relationship constantly being pushed to the breaking point.

3. Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Another young adult novel set in Paris (you can never have too much), this story begins with good-girl Allyson Healy on a European tour with her best friend when she suddenly meets Willem—bold, mysterious, and the complete opposite of everything Allyson considers herself to be. Captivated by his charm and character, Allyson makes the completely rash agreement to spend a day with him in Paris, a decision very unlike her, which sets off a chain reaction of decisions and actions that the old Allyson would have never made. Before she knows it, Allyson's discovered a whole new side to herself that she never knew existed, and she's not sure whether to embrace it or suppress it.

4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

This heart-wrenching novel tells the story of two teenage boys Aristotle and Dante. A more serious novel, the topics touched on throughout the book are definitely eye opening and emotionally packed. As these two boys grow to discover themselves and who they are, the reader does so as well, and together we and the characters embark on a journey of love and self-acceptance.

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This novel is for all the fangirls out there. For all the girls who sympathize with fictional characters and would choose to live in a fictional world over the real world in a heart beat. Cath, college student, is a fangirl herself who constantly has her head in the fictional world of Simon Snow (equivalent of today's Harry Potter). Reserved, anti-social, and an avid fan fiction writer, Cath is quite the opposite from her twin sister Wren, especially now that they're in college. One day, Cath meets Levi, her roommate's boyfriend, who happens to be unnervingly attractive, and also always seems to be taking whatever time he can to spend around Cath. Quirky, light, and relatable, Fangirl is a novel that any book lover will indefinitely relate with, and it will leave you wondering where you can get a wonderful guy like Levi for yourself.

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