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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

If you are like me, you probably hate the look of romance novels. Ya know, the stereotypical grocery store paperbacks with a very muscular guy or maybe even fuzzy handcuffs. They are absolutely one of a kind, and maybe for good reason. Even so, more mainstream romance novel covers and content tend to be overly cheesy. Love stories in these books are typically unattainable and unbelievable. They are overly romanticized novels that do not take into account real life or real love stories. This Valentine’s Day, I was on a mission to find genuine love stories that would not make me cringe if I pulled them out of my bag in public. With this goal in mind, I found five amazing love stories that are not only not cheesy, but they will also leave you with the warm fuzzy feeling of reading about true love. 

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote 

Set in 1940’s New York, Holly Golightly is a young girl that seems to have it all. The cutest apartment, dates with millionaires and a wonderful sense of style. She also has a lot of perplexing traits. She’s a snob, a heart-breaker, a traveler and a tease. Eventually, Holly befriends a writer who becomes entranced by the character that she is. Together, Holly and the writer have many ups and downs throughout their relationship, but they seem to always make it back to one another. All the writer wants is to have Holly as his own, but can he or should he even try to tame Holly?

“High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby

Rob had Laura. Rob lost Laura. Laura now has the guy upstairs. Struggling with the break up, Rob fills his life with his failing record store, pretentious music tastes and the idea of never getting married. Between the witty banter Rob has with the clerks at his record store and the countless girls he hates going out with, Rob is somewhat both relieved and miserable to not be in a relationship. That is until he sees Laura again and everything comes flooding back. Will Rob’s devotion to Laura convince him that the life of a spouse is not so bad after all? 

“Love, Kurt: The Vonnegut Love Letters” by Kurt Vonnegut 

Kurt Vonnegut is an expert in satire, but this collection of love letters he wrote to his girlfriend Jane show his softer side. Over the course of four years, Vonnegut wrote over two hundred letters to Jane. The letters detail the couple’s ups and downs throughout college, enlistment, marriage and young love. Kurt and Jane did not have the perfect relationship by any means, but these letters show that love can be imperfectly-perfect. This intimate collection shows the trials of falling in love and falling into yourself. 

“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

“Eat, Pray, Love” is not your typical love story; rather, it is a story about loving yourself. Elizabeth Gilbert had everything she wanted, except an anxiety free life. Panic and confusion preoccupied her mind constantly when she was supposed to feel utterly perfect. She decides to leave the anxiety behind and focus on herself without the constraint of outward success. Gilbert does not need a husband, a career or anyone for that matter. She only needs to find herself on a journey throughout Italy, India and Bali. 

“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s classic is one of the premier books that shows opposites attract. Elizabeth Bennet is coming of age and having to navigate manners, morality and marriage. Mr. Darcy only has to worry about what woman he finds most handsome and accomplished. Throughout the novel, Elizabeth and Darcy constantly clash. Their witty banter and sometimes passionate arguments lead them down a road they did not realize they could navigate. Together they must overcome their pride and prejudices to fall completely, and perfectly, and incandescently in love. 

This Valentine’s Day, don’t fall into the trap of romance novels that are not true love stories. Rather, immerse yourself in a romance that is definitely not perfect and far from cheesy. Find true love in the pages of a good book!

Sam is a communications studies and sociology double major at Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors playing tennis, baking anything with dark chocolate in it, or just spending time with friends and family. She is obsessed with reading anything by Kurt Vonnegut, watching period pieces, and constantly scrolling Twitter.