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5 Books You Need To Read If You Love Romantic Comedy Movies

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

I genuinely believe that the greatest part of life is doing the things we love just because. We all need our guilty pleasures, our comfort soundtracks, films, and desserts. Personally, my biggest personality traits are that I’m a bookworm and that I’m obsessed with romantic comedies, and it’s, indeed, a pleasure to be discussing exactly these today!

Rom-com is a genre pretty present in the movies, but since “love actually is all around” (as said by my favorite Prime Minister of the UK, Hugh Grant), why not look for it in books as well? So here’s a list of some great literary romances perfect for those of us who are hopeless romantics. Grab your favorite sweater, make some hot chocolate, light a scented candle, and let’s go!

1. Beach Read, by Emily Henry

Emily Henry is a booktok sensation because of her addictive and great love stories, and you know what is best? Her books are about books! In Beach Read, our main characters are January and Gus. She is a romance writer, he is a fiction writer. They studied together and used to be rivals, but now, they are spending the summer in neighboring houses. Since they are both stuck in a creative block, a deal is made: Gus is writing a novel with a happily-ever-after, and January is about to create the next literature classic.

To do so, they will go on a lot of field trips to understand more of the other genre: from meeting with survivors of a cult to a Meg Ryan movie marathon – where they watch When Harry Met Sally… (1989), Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and You’ve Got Mail (1998) – all amazing, by the way.

Will they fall in love along the story? The answer is obvious, but go read it to find it out! The book is published here in Brazil by Verus Editora, which has also already released some of Emily’s other novels, like People We Meet on Vacation and Book Lovers. Oh, and I almost forgot, Beach Read also has Taylor Swift references – my third personality trait!

2. Love and Gelato, by Jenna Evans Welch

We all love a rom-com with a beautiful setting, right? If you are a fan of Letters to Juliet (2010), I have to recommend Love and Gelato to you! In this adorable and lightweight story, Lina moves to Florence, Italy, to live with her father – who she had never met and who didn’t know he had a daughter – as her mother’s last wish. While she is there, she will try to understand what happened to her parents, leading them to not end up together, with the help of her mother’s diary. Along the way, she will see stunning places and make new friends, including Ren, a boy who lived close to her…

In 2022, Netflix adapted Love and Gelato into a movie, but the only thing it has in common with the book is its title – so do yourself a favor and don’t watch it. However, if you liked the story and don’t want it to end, you can also check Jenna Evans Welch’s two other books, that can be read separately while also taking place in the same universe: Love and Luck, for the fans of the Ireland car trip of Leap Year (2010), and Love and Olives, with its magnificent greek setting, just like Mamma Mia! (2008).

3. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

This is a classic for a reason. Pride and Prejudice is the original enemies to lovers and it has inspired many of the romance books and movies we have today. Did you know that Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) is a modern adaptation of it? Well, sadly, the book doesn’t feature the scene of Colin Firth and Hugh Grant fighting on the street to the sound of “It’s Raining Men”, by The Weather Girls, but I guarantee it’s still worth the read.

We follow the story of the five Bennet sisters – Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia – during the beginning of the XIX century. At the time, women didn’t have rights of property, so, when their father died, their house would be given to their closest male relative. This means that they must find beneficial marriages. As Mr. Bingley moves nearby, he and Jane fall in love immediately, but his best friend, the famous Mr. Darcy (who inspired all of the cold CEOs out there) disinvolves this ardently love-hate relationship with Elizabeth, even if she’s poor and “not handsome enough to tempt him”.

I’m a huge Austengirl who has read all of her books, so I decided to mention Pride and Prejudice because it’s her most famous and because Kathleen Kelly from You’ve Got Mail has read it about 200 times. However, I must recommend some of her other novels for being amazing as well: Emma is the inspiration for Clueless (1995)Persuasion is perfect for those who love the second chance trope, but I’m definitely not recommending the Netflix adaptation of it; and Northanger Abbey is my actual favorite: it’s the first book she wrote, so it’s a good and easier start; it’s a parody of gothic literature; and it has a book lover as a protagonist and Mr. Tilney as the love interest – who is much better than Mr. Darcy, in my opinion.

4. Normal People, by Sally Rooney

Yes, I’m completely aware that this is not a romantic comedy, but I decided to include a book for those who like complicated relationships that make us cry. In Normal People, we meet Marianne Sheridan and Connell Waldron. She’s a rich and yet very lonely girl, who doesn’t have friends. He’s a popular boy but from a lower-income family. Even if they didn’t talk at school, they end up seeing each other a lot, since his mother works as a maid at her house. This leads them to a secret relationship, permeated by notions of power, and we follow the implications of that throughout high school and college.

If you like movies that portray more realistic affairs and that show a deep philosophical side of the characters, you will definitely enjoy this book. For me, it gives off the same vibe as the Before trilogy, especially Before Midnight (2013). Also, Normal People was adapted into an amazing tv show starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal.

Did Marianne and Connell’s story catch your attention? Make sure you check Sally Rooney’s two other books as well: Conversations with Friends and Beautiful World, Where Are You, both published here in Brazil by Companhia das Letras.

5. Better than the Movies, by Lynn Painter

This is another booktok sensation that was just translated to Portuguese by Editora Intríseca. Elizabeth Buxbaum is, just like us, obsessed with romantic comedies. She always dreamed of living one, and an opportunity finally arrives when her childhood love, Michael Young, moves back to their town ten years later. To get him to notice her and invite her to the senior year ball, she asks for the help of her neighbor, Wesley Bennett, who everybody thinks is nice and handsome, but who she thinks is very annoying. We get the love triangle, the fake dating, the friends-to-lovers, AND the enemies-to-lovers trope in one shot!

Two other very cool things about this book that I think should be told: it mentions Taylor Swift’s songs (the Swiftie agenda is stronger than ever), and every chapter begins with a rom-com quote! The first one is from Notting Hill (1999), which is literally my all-time favorite, so of course it was easy to convince me to read it. 

In addition, the cover of the novel has a bunch of iconic movie scenes references. Can you recognize them all?

I could talk about this subject for hours straight, but I think this was enough to start. So, if you liked this list, rush to your closest bookstore – whether or not it’s owned by Tom Hanks – and begin your next favorite story!

The article above was edited by Giullia Cartaxo.

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Juliana Sanches

Casper Libero '25

A journalism student with a passion for books and words since a young age. I adore creating art and am very interested in culture, entertainment and music :)