Top 5 romance books to read all month long

Valentine’s Day is a great time to watch — and read about — all kinds of love

Shreya Darji, Arts & Culture Writer

It’s love season and Valentine’s Day is known for chocolate, sweet hearts and lovable rom-com movies with a significant other or by yourself. But, if you can watch them, why not read them as well?  The lovable rom-com characters on screens are just as lovable as the characters on the print.

Freshman Amalia Deans noted the positive impact of rom-com books.

“The relatability of the characters make me feel that I could have someone love me like that, which is a good and bad thing, depending on the day,” she said. 

Rom-com books are always a great way to celebrate and get in the mood of Valentine’s. Here are some great rom-com books to get in the spirit


“Book Lovers” (2022) by Emily Henry

In this relatively new entertaining rom-com that plays on romance stereotypes, Emily Henry introduces Nora Stephens as the protagonist, a ruthless literary agent currently living in New York who clashes with Charlie Lastra, a book editor over a book focused on a small town named Sunshine Falls. When she decides to visit Sunshine Falls with the encouragement of her sister, she discovers that Charlie currently resides there. Bonding over manuscripts, family arguments, and new lover interest ensue on the plot and Nora is left wondering… are they worth it?  NPR critic Carole V. Bell touches on this when giving a final note about the book: “… this novel delivers an insightful comedic meditation on love, family and going your own way.” Filled with tear worthy and swoon worthy moments, Book Lovers is a great addition to your Valentine’s day book shelf. 


“What If It’s Us” (2018)  series by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera 

The “What If It’s Us” series by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera consists of “What If It’s Us” and its sequel, “Here’s to Us” (2021). Both novels center around the lives of two young teenagers who then grow to be young adults, Ben and Arthur. Ben is a writer who had recently broken up with his boyfriend and then meets Arthur, an avid fan of theater who is interning at his mother’s law firm for the summer. During the first book, both are young teenagers who seem to be at the hands of the universe in terms of their meetings as they try to enjoy the moment they make during their summer. The first book is sweet and definitely a cute rom-com to enjoy for Valentine’s and as Kirkus Reviews observes, “[The] joyful romance is both sweet and substantial.” 

“Here’s to Us” continues on from the freshman year of college. While there isn’t much that can be said without the spoilers as it does continue from the “What If It’s Us” timeline after about a 2 year skip, the content of the book itself as sweet as its prequel and as Kirkus Reviews puts it, “[the book] checks all the right boxes.”


“Love from A to Z” (2019) by S.K Ali

“Love from A-Z” by S.K Ali is a delightful and impactful love story; not only focused on romance but important issues as well. Published in 2019, the book centers around the lives of the two protagonists during a summer in Doha, Qatar; Zayneb and Adam. While the book is in the genre of romance, the book has characteristics that can be attributed to coming of age novels; as the two protagonists are a senior in high school and a freshman in college having personal struggles throughout their journey. The book not only focuses on the romance aspect, but also intertwines the issue of Islamophobia and to make the book have even more of an impact. It combines family struggles with personal struggles through the interchanging perspectives of Zayneb and Adam throughout their diary entries which make up the book. The book is a great book to read for Valentine’s, as it is a sweet and charming romance but it also it impactful as Zalika Reid Benta from Quill and Quire mentions in their review: Teens and adults of any cultural background will relate to the book’s themes of family, loss, friendship, uncertain futures, and first loves. But Love from A to Z also offers the rare opportunity to read about the viewpoints of Muslim teens in the words of Muslim teen characters.” “Love from A-Z” is a touching novel with heartfelt meaning that is the perfect addition to a Valentine’s binge read list.


“Better Than The Movies” (2021) by Lynn Painter

With countless references to rom-com films abundant, this book is a rom-com lover’s dream. From “My Best’s Friend’s Wedding” (1997) to “10 Things I Hate About You” (1999) references, the book focuses on the life of rom-com lover and expert, 17 year old Liz Buxbaum. Liz Buxbaum always loved rom-coms, from making plays about them to making soundtracks for them. In Liz’s mind her happily ever after lies with her childhood crush, Michael.  So, she enacts a plan to get him to ask  her to prom. But in order to enact her plan, she needs to enlist the help of her insufferable neighbor Wes. Through the romantic schemes and personal struggles, Liz comes to believe that maybe Wes Bennett isn’t as bad as he seems…and maybe she’s got her trope all wrong. “Better Than The Movies” is romantic and swoon-worthy read as reviewed by Sophia Thomson at “‘Better Than the Movies’ is light, fun, and reads like the love-child of ‘To all the Boys I Loved Before’ and “The Duff” (the film, not so much the novel). This novel is perfect for romance lovers who want a hilarious feel-good story full of awkward, heartfelt, and swoon-worthy characters.” As a book filled with rom-com references, “Better Than The Movies” is a great book to add to your Valentine’s day reading list. 


“Beach Read” (2020)  by Emily Henry

“Beach Read” by Emily Henry is a light contemporary romance novel that will keep you engrossed from beginning to end. January, a romance writer,  moves into her father’s lake house and is experiencing writer’s block about romance due to a breakup and other personal reasons. After arriving at the lake house, she finds that her neighbor is her former college rival who would always critique her work during class, Augustus “Gus” Everett who writes gloomy literary fiction. During the course of the book, they make a bet and try to write in the other’s genre (with lessons from the respected expert on them) and things turn out a little differently than both of them ever expected. This book has an enemies to lovers trope while also being a great light read as reviewed by Kirkus Reviews: “A heartfelt look at taking second chances, in life and in love.” A cute rom-com, “Beach Read” is yet another book that is a great addition to any “to be read” book list for Valentine’s. 


All in all, this list is perfect for a cute Valentine’s Day, but the list also includes reads on important topics such as the needed representation of topics such as Islamophobia and LGBTQIA+ romance in “Love from A to Z ” and What if it’s us.” All of the books on the list introduce you to not only love between two characters but love in every variety. From familial love, to platonic love between friends, to love between romantic partners, you’ll see love in every which way. For any hopeless romantic and optimist like me, love is something that can be applied to every situation and these books show just that. So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, make sure to take note of these books, and let your inner hopeless romantic shine through.