Romance Books for Valentine’s Day

1. Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith 

Days before going on a last hurrah trip before college, one of the main characters, Hugo, is dumped by his girlfriend. He decides he still wants to go on the trip, but the companion ticket is still booked under the name of his ex-girlfriend, Margaret Campbell. Hugo offers up the ticket online to another Margaret Campbell, and this is where our second main character, Margaret (Mae for short), comes in. Mae has just been denied by the school of her dreams, and she’s trying to come up with a short film that will give her another chance to get in. Mae and Hugo both push each other to face their fears and become the people they've always wanted to be. Almost the entirety of this book is set on a train. I recommend this book if you’re looking for a love story that’s kind of cute and a bit cheesy. There’s not really a lot going on. The plot is easy to follow, so it may not be your cup of tea if you’re looking for something more drama-filled. The characters are relatable and fun to read about.  

2. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren 

The main characters in this adult fiction book, Josh and Hazel, went to the same college and meet again ten years later at a party Hazel’s friend was hosting. The two decide to go on blind dates together after Josh finds out his girlfriend is cheating on him. They have trouble finding people they really like because Hazel is very eccentric and a lot of men find her to be too much, while Josh has trouble opening to the women he goes out with. The two start to bond and end up in each other’s beds. Josh is the only man who sees Hazel as a breath of fresh air since he spent many years being in a relationship where he didn’t feel like he could truly be himself. This book was one of my favorites to read. The chemistry between Hazel and Josh will make readers desperate to see them end up together. Their banter is really entertaining, and Hazel’s perspective was the best to read from. The romance is realistic, so if you’re not into insta-love romance you won’t get that from this book. Their relationship is built up over time and they're one of my favorite book couples.  

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

This book is set in Texas following two Mexican-American teenage boys, Aristotle and Dante. When the two meet at a public swimming pool, on the surface level they seem to have nothing in common. Aristotle is very closed off and prefers being alone, while Dante is open-minded and always sees the bright side of things. The two begin to build a beautiful friendship that over time leads to them to questioning their own sexualities and falling for one another. I think this book is great for anyone to read, but especially for those struggling to accept their sexuality. The journey these two characters go through is very beautiful and inspiring to those who are afraid of being themselves. The characters feel real to you while you’re reading about them, and it’s hard not to get sucked in and want the best for them. This story is a bit on the sadder side, but it is totally worth picking up.