With Valentine’s day behind us, we’re still in the romantic spirit! And while those paranormal romances abound in bookstores across the globe, around this time of year we might be in the mood to give up those fantastical love interests of vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons, or angels… and just grab a good book about two humans who fall in love.
Here are 14 recommended books for the 14th:
1. Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me (Kristen Chandler)
KJ, an outdoorsy girl, lives almost within the boundaries of Yellowstone Park. Upon joining her school newspaper, she is partnered with Virgil, the new kid and photography genius. They work together to create an article about the wolves of Yellowstone and find romance in the process.
2. Tangled (Carolyn Macker)
“Tangled” is a good word to describe the lives of these four teenagers (the Suburbanite, the Player, the Actress, and the Blogger) who find themselves on a Caribbean island over Spring Break. Their lives, which start out unrelated, end up completely tangled together.
3. I Now Pronounce You Someone Else (Erin McCahan)
Bronwyn has never fit into her own family, to the extent that she has a secret identity that fits into a theory she has – “the only explanation”– that she was switched at birth. So when she meets Jared Sondervan, she falls in love not only with the boy but also with his close and loving family.
4. The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson)
17-year-old Lennie loves and looks up to her older sister Bailey, but when Bailey dies suddenly, Lennie finds herself caught in a love triangle between two boys: Toby, who was Bailey’s boyfriend and therefore knows exactly what Lennie is going through and can comfort her; and Joe, the new kid who just moved from Paris, who is able to transport Lennie out of her grief.
5. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (Jennifer E. Smith)
Hadley Sullivan is stuck in JFK airport, having missed her plane to London for her father’s wedding to a woman she’s never met. But in the waiting area, she meets Oliver, who is sitting in her row. They talk throughout the trans-atlantic flight but lose each other in the Heathrow terminal. Can they ever find each other again?
6. Pure (Terra Elan McVoy)
Tabitha and her friends all wear Purity rings, a symbol of a “virginity-until-marriage” pledge they share. But one day, Tab meets a boy who makes this promise seem very hard to keep, and Tabitha is forced to keep some secrets from her best friends, with whom she has always shared everything.
7. Sloppy Firsts (Megan McCafferty)
16-year-old Jessica Darling’s best friend has just moved away, and Jess feels more lost than ever at school without the one person she could always talk to. With her parents’ obsession over her older sister’s wedding, Jess worries about her own nonexistent love life until she meets Marcus, an intellectual guy who finds his way into her heart.
8. Delirium (Lauren Oliver)
Delirium is a dystopian novel in which scientists have found the cure to Love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure on their eighteenth birthday. But when Lena, a seventeen-year-old girl does the unthinkable and falls in love, her predictable, happy, life is in danger.
9. The Boyfriend List (E. Lockhart)
Ruby’s life is turned upside-down in days as she simultaneously loses her best friend, boyfriend, a lacrosse game, and rumors begin to spread about her. Her first step to recovery is making a list of every boy she has ever had “any kind of anything” with.
10. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (Rachel Cohn & David Levithan)
If you enjoyed reading or watching the movie of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, you’ll probably like this book, written by the same authors. Dash and Lily find themselves on their own in New York City at Christmas. When Dash finds a red notebook full of literary clues that Lily left in the stacks at a bookstore, the adventure begins.
11. The Difference Between You and Me (Madeline George)
Emily is vice president of the student council, wears sweaters with fake-pearl buttons, and ballet flats. Jesse cuts her own hair with a Swiss-army knife, wears big green fisherman’s boots, and has founded a society called NOLAW, the “National Organization to Liberate All Weirdos.” Though they have nothing in common, somehow they fall for each other. But when Jesse begins a crusade against a ‘big-box store’ (basically Walmart), it pits her against Emily, who is trying to get the store to sponsor events at their school. Will their relationship survive this test?
12. Shug (Jenny Han)
A great book for Middle Schoolers, Annemarie Wilcox (or Shug, as her family calls her) hates her junior high school, until she begins to see Mark, a boy she’s known for her whole life, in an entirely different way.
And of course, what would a list of Valentine’s day books be without a few by Sarah Dessen, the Queen of Romance Novels herself?
13. The Truth About Forever (Sarah Dessen)
Macy isn’t looking forward to the summer, while her boyfriend is away at camp and she is sure to be bored. But sometimes, unexpected things come up, like a catering job, or her sister’s project of renovating the neglected beach house, or meeting Wes, a boy with artistic talent and a love of ‘Truth-telling.’
14. This Lullaby (Sarah Dessen)
Remy’s mother has had five husbands so far, and as a result Remy is skeptical of love and doesn’t believe in long-term relationships—that is, until she meets Dexter, a rock band musician like her father, and who is determined to charm tough-as-nails Remy until she softens up a little.
–Libby B. (’14)