Nowadays when it comes to romance and Valentine’s Day, most people turn to movies to get that gushy feeling or sense of female empowerment from sassy female leads. But let’s go back to the traditional novel which can be even more powerful. Here’s my ultimate list of must-reads whether you want to be put into a romantic mood, empowered or simply entertained.
Where Rainbows End and P.S I Love You
To kick off my list, I turn to my favourite author, Cecelia Ahern. Ahern is known for always incorporating a magical touch into her novels, putting a unique stamp on her real characters in the real world. Where Rainbows End follows best friends, Rosie and Alex on their life journey and their ever-changing relationship. An epistolary novel written in the form of letters, emails and messages, it has the reader cursing and praying for their life decisions as you become attached to the characters. Whilst adapted into the enjoyable 2014 film, Love Rosie, the book still provides the ultimate closer connection with the characters, whilst covering a longer life span.
Bestseller, PS, I Love You follows married couple, Holly and Gerry. Following Gerry’s death, a grieving Holly starts receiving letters pre-arranged by Gerry. The letters help her re-discover life as Gerry hoped and each end in the words, P.S. I Love You. Once again, this novel is a twist on the usual romance. Through his letters Gerry remains present and proves how people can learn to love life again. The adapted film in 2004 stars Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler, but it doesn’t have the same intensity and depth as the novel. *Guaranteed to make you cry*.
If you’re a fan of the classics, then Jane Eyre is the perfect option. The novel follows Jane as she blossoms into a young woman whilst falling for the older Mr Rochester. The traditional couple can be admired but the complications of the ‘crazy’ wife and other traits can be considered insensitive and very old fashioned to modern day readers.
View this post on Instagram
"There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question." — Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre * Jane Eyre is one of my favourite wintry reads. The more I reread this novel, the more I admire its independent, strong-minded heroine. * #BiblioFunFact ~ Charlotte Brontë originally published Jane Eyre under her male pseudonym Currer Bell, which still preserved her initials – CB. In fact, all the Brontë sisters first wrote under pseudonyms that masked their identities but matched their initials: Emily Brontë was Ellis Bell and Anne Brontë was Acton Bell. * * * * * * * * * * * #bookstack #charlottebronte #janeeyre #bookstagramfeature #booknookstagram #bookaddict #bookcommunity #booknerdigans #goodreads #vscoread #vscobook #booklover #bookaholic #bookdesign #readabook #bookish #classicbooks #bookstagramer #booksforlife #bookslovers #booksfordays #bookishallure #bookstagramuk #booksfordays #alwaysreading #favouritebooks #bookishgirl #beautifulbooks #fortheloveofreading
You can always rely on Nicholas Sparks to provide a heart breaker. The Notebook features an elderly man tell the amazing love story of Noah and Allie to a woman in a care home. Covering issues such as Alzheimer’s, age and class, Sparks takes the reader on an emotional journey.
50 Shades of Grey
Slightly changing the tune, we have the controversial but successful series by E.L Grey. If you want to experience something a little bit more erotic, then 5o Shades of Grey offers just that. The novel follows the relationship of college graduate, Ana Steele and business man, Christian Grey as he introduces her to BDSM.
The Time Traveler’s Wife
This one’s an interesting mix of science and romance. Using time travel as a metaphor for exploring communication in relationships, The Time Traveler’s Wife takes a different angle on the traditional romance genre. The alternating first-person perspectives provides an insight on both characters experience.
Bridget Jones Diary
And sometimes love isn’t all that romantic. Sometime we just need a reminder that big baggy pants are ok and our girl Bridget does just that. A loveable character that every woman can relate with at some point in their life, Bridget Jones Diary won’t fail to make you laugh.
View this post on Instagram
⭐️⭐️⭐️ A fun read, realistic, but after all that how am I supposed to feel optimistic about Bridget and Mark's relationship? And it's one of those books where I feel like none of the characters learned their lesson…. . . . #bridgetjones #bridgetjonesdiary #book #books #bookish #bookworm #booknerd #bookhoarder #bookaholic #bookstagram #read #reading #reader #reads #bookshelf
And Valentine’s doesn’t just mean a time to be reading sickly romances and be gushing all over the pages, it should also be a time of empowerment.
What a Time to be Alone: The Slumflower’s bestselling guide to why you are already enough
This is the perfect book to help you find your self worth. Blogger, Chidera Eggerue gives her version of life lessons, featuring topics on loneliness, mental health, body image and racism, all in aid of showing how young women can be happy alone. And Chidera’s opinions have proven successful with her book becoming a Sundays Times Bestseller.
View this post on Instagram
“You no for fear how you go do am. You for just do am. The start dieh fear for dey inside sake of e dey mong. Anything wey be fresh dey come with fresh possibilities. Fresh possibilities be things we no go fit control sake of we no know them but them dey as we Dey start. As we dey set correct expectations for wanna body wanna eye for dey what we know already top.” • • “Don’t worry about how you’re going to do it. Just do it first. The scariest part of the process is the starting. Starting is scary because it’s new and anything new comes with a set of possibilities. Possibilities scare us because there will always be outcomes we can’t control but part of setting healthy expectations for yourself is to focus on what you can control.” • • #whatatimetobealone
Whatever your situation, becoming engrossed into a novel is the perfect escape! Use Valentine’s as an excuse to delve into a novel whilst you should be doing uni work…