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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 ODU chapter.

If you ever find yourself exploring TikTok’s latest communities, one in particular you can’t miss, especially amongst avid book readers, is BookTok. 

With the renowned community that lets you know what’s in and what’s out, and people’s recommendations across a plethora of genres, you’ll surely find at least one book that suits your taste. 

Among this community, one author rose above the rest in romance fiction: Colleen Hoover. Most famous for her book “It Ends with Us” which not only topped the charts with three million copies sold, but is in the works for a live adaption, is only one of the stories that readers find enjoyable with its “rollercoaster of emotions.” 

Nevertheless, with these rollercoasters of emotions that one may find in this book amongst other ones in her lineup, are some heavy topics and tropes that some find distasteful. With the glamorization of topics like abuse and having male characters that are beyond “fixing,” some even wonder why this book is labeled as a romance at all.

Now you may ask, what are some good recommendations that you do not even have to question whether it was meant for us hopeless romantics? What are some authors who know the field, know what we want as romance readers, and deliver it to the point we wish we were the main character? 

Well, here are some standout authors as well as their top books that get you in the feels in all the right ways: 

Talia Hibbert – “The Brown Sisters Trilogy”

If you want an author that gives you the giddy tingles when reading, Talia Hibbert is the one to check out. In her “The Brown Sisters” novels, we go into the life of three sisters with strikingly different personalities as they embark on challenges as adults with complicated love lives. As Hibbert aims to write “spicy, diverse romance because she believes that people of marginalized identities need honest and positive representation,” we also see how diverse in personality they are as well. With male main leads that sweep you off your feet with their charm and vulnerability, and three strong female sisters with an incredible bond and infectious personality, you cannot help but want to read all three of their stories.  

Ali Hazelwood – “The Love Hypothesis”

Another known BookTok author and book that you probably have seen across the hashtag is Ali Hazelwood’s “The Love Hypothesis.” My dear folks in STEM who just love everything about chemistry, this book is for you. I mean who would not swoon over finding the love of your life during the lab as you collaborate on a fake dating scheme to fool everyone around you? This light-hearted, easy-to-read love story is one to geek about. With Hazelwood’s label being “the reigning queen of STEM romance” by the Washington Post, you can also dive deeper into her list of novels and read a story about two physicists as Elsie fights for her dream job and love along the way.

Nina Varela – “Crier’s War”

Even though we are in the year 2023 it is still difficult to find queer novels that are accurate representations with good plot lines that appeal to your preference. “Crier’s War” by Nina Varela does that and then some with this fantasy written war novel about two teen girls falling in love with their enemies to lovers’ in a science fiction romance. Not only is the building of relationship between these two girls’ edge of your seat worthy, but the story and world building is easy to understand unlike some fantasy novels that can throw a lot at you in one sitting. “Crier’s War” also has a second book in its lineup following Ayla and Crier’s story amidst a pending revolution between humans and automans called “Iron Heart.” 

Joya Goffney – “Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry”

Following main character Quinn as she battles her greatest fears, this coming-of-age novel is a whirlwind of emotions sure to make you, well, ugly cry. If you are a fan of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han, you would absolutely love “Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry.” Quinn’s journal gets leaked, chaos ensues, and she falls in love with the boy who helps her through it. Not only is Quinn a perfect character for this hilarious, heartfelt story, but all the characters Goffney implements into the mix have their own story and personality that make them different. 

Pro Tip!

For all things reviews and to keep up with your friend’s reading history and books they want to read I really suggest downloading an app called GoodReads! You can put books on your to be read (TBR), and even track what page number you are on in a book for easy access to jump right back in your book lore. Happy reading!

Hello! My name is Maria Toombs and I am a Journalism Major at Old Dominion University! I am a lover of the most cheesiest of romance novels, and I believe writing is not only a source of healing, but a gateway into letting your voice be heard.