Romance Book Recommendations – 2021 Edition

This post was supposed to have gone up on Valentine’s Day, just like the video I made, where I talk about some romance books and recommend them to you. But as always, I got sidetracked by a number of issues, and here I am, putting this up eons after it was supposed to have gone up.

It is, I think, fitting enough that I talk about some amazing love stories that have touched me, made me cry, and sent dinosaur-sized butterflies rampaging through my stomach. Not all of the love stories are the mainstay of the books mentioned. Some of them could be subplots, but the pull these stories had for me was undeniable.

As mentioned before, I did a video about these books and it went up on Valentine’s Day. If you’d like to go check the video out as well, please follow this link: The Melodramatic Bookworm’s Romance Book Recommendations on BookTube. (Also, while you’re at it, please subscribe? :D)

Without any further ado, let me talk to you about the books that have melted me with their AMAZING romances!

1. One Day by David Nicholls

Book cover for One Day by David Nicholls

This book will always be top of any romance list I make because of how wonderfully written it is and also because of Emma Morley. Emma is my fictional girl crush. She is so strong and true to herself. One Day, I want to be more like her. Might be a little late to hope that, but how can it be late for character development? At any point in our lives?

This is the story of Emma and Dex and we follow them on one day every year. How their relationship and feelings change, and how Emma doesn’t lose herself despite losing her heart to the careless, reckless Dex. Love this to no end!

2. All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

This list wouldn’t be complete without Colleen Hoover’s All Your Perfects – a book I’ve been harping on about on my channel and which was one of my favorite books of 2020.

Book cover for All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

This book is about Graham and Quinn, who meet each other when they find out that their partners are cheating on them with each other. A connection blooms and although I want to say that they have to figure out where they are going and if they want to be in a relationship, it’s pretty obvious that they do fall in love and even get married. But seven years later, things have changed. Something is missing in their marriage and now they have to figure out if they want to stay with each other.

First of all, where do they make people like Graham? Please tell me. I need to know. He is so sweet that I promptly fell in love with him. The mere memory of that book is about to make me cry, so I’m going to stop here. Just… Please, please, please read this book. Please.

3. The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

Another 2020 favorite! The Happy Ever After Playlist has another of my book boyfriends. Jason is the absolute sweetest as well and I think Graham and Jason will have to fight it out with my husband. I’m just here with the popcorn, enjoying the scene. 😛

Book cover for The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

Sloan, after the death of her fiancé, Brandon, is finding it difficult to be a functional human, drowning in her grief for two years now. But one day, a dog comes pelting into her car and she doesn’t know whose it is. It’s just there out on the road, and now she has to find out who the owner is. The owner is Jason, a musician who is currently touring in Australia. Sloan dog-sits Tucker, the dog, for Jason, and they soon form a connection. Soon enough, they are hurtling into love, but Jason’s rising career as a musician presents a problem, making them wonder if they will be able to make it work.

I still go back to read parts of this book because of how sweet it is and how it sends butterflies rampaging through my stomach. There’s so much love, warmth, kindness, and sweetness in this book. I love this book with all of my heart!

4. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Book cover for Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

A classic and a tome, this! Set during the American Civil War, it talks of survival and about how people can change, how relationships can change, how hopes and dreams can change when war is at your doorstep. I like Scarlett O’Hara for being the strong woman she is. But she is so excessively arrogant that sometimes I didn’t want to read about her. Still, her strength, grit, and determination are what makes her Scarlett O’Hara. It’s interesting to see how Scarlett’s definition of love changes over the course of this book. It’s a whole new character development altogether.

Also, Rhett Butler – oh my god! He is so flamboyant and so charming, but he is also one character who you can’t really admire for the entire length of the book. It’s an unlikely pairing, these two, but somehow, you ending up rooting for them.

But I must say that please have some patience with this book because first of all, it is long, and second of all Scarlett O’Hara can be a right pain. Be patient with her. Trust me, the payoff is really good!

5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars is one of my favorite, favorite books of all time. I thought I needed to get that out of the way first so that I can fawn over it more. Does that make sense?

Book cover for The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This is a Young Adult romance. Hazel Grace Lancaster has thyroid cancer that has affected her lungs and her parents force her to attend a support group, where she meets Augustus Waters, an amputee. How they fall in love and how their lives are about to change given that Hazel Grace’s cancer isn’t about to become any better forms the entire story.

The unexpectedness of it, man! I was obsessed with the movie when it came out and I cried like a baby, kay? And then I read the book. 6 times. It’s a beautiful love story that’s really deep in the way that it portrays teenagers. This was the first time that I’d read someone veering off from the typical portrayal of teenage love, and I really loved that. John Green quickly became one of my favorite authors after this.

6. Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

Book cover for Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

Love, Rosie follows two best friends, whose lives are so entwined with each other’s that they cannot let go, no matter what happens in their lives. They are about to find out that love isn’t easy, that it is more complicated than what we can see. There are so many layers to the emotion called love that you need to be super-patient to peel it off with someone who you want to be by your side as you do it.

I love that the book is told in an epistolary format, in the form of letters. Also, I don’t usually say this but I love the movie almost as much as I love the book. The movie stars Lily Collins as the titular Rosie and Sam Claflin, who has my heart! He smiles and my heart goes ba-dump! And Lily Collins was the perfect Rosie. I feel that no other actress could have played Rosie better than Lily Collins.

7. Love Story by Erich Segal

This is an absolute classic! One that you will not be prepared for, no matter how much you’re prepared for it!

Jenny and Oliver are two people from different worlds. While Oliver is an heir to a huge empire, Jenny is the daughter of a baker. They are attracted to each other and soon, their bond deepens and they fall in love.

Book cover for Love Story by Erich Segal

For those of you who haven’t read this book, I really don’t want to spoil it, but it’s such a classic tale of love and doing things for the ones you love and never complaining. The story of Jenny and Ollie trying to make things work, trying to live a life together, loving each other, trying to start a family, and the way they stand up for each other – it’s so heartening to read. It will be over before you know it, but it will leave you with a lot of thoughts about love. That’s why this book is called Love Story, and that’s why it is so beautiful in its shortness and its entirety.

8. The Venery Series by Suanne Laqueur

The books I’ve read in this series are An Exaltation of Larks, A Charm of Finches, and A Scarcity of Condors.

These are phenomenal to say the least. I feel like I’ve spoken so much about these books in January that my brain is short-circuiting now. If you’d like to go listen to me fawn over these, please watch my January wrap up.

I don’t even know where to start with this series. These are love stories, stories of familial love, stories of friendship – there’s different kinds of love in this series that you really need to see. This is a series that I will always, always recommend because of how beautiful Suanne Laqueur’s writing is. She makes the pages bleed into your heart. Please, please go pick up the Venery series. It’s AMAZING!

9. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Book cover for The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles, as is obvious from the name, is a mythological fiction novel and talks about the romance between Achilles and Patroclus. The way Madeline Miller has written this story is gut-wrenching! The way Achilles and Patroclus look at each other with longing and love each other the way they did! That last part kills me a little even now!

Basically this book is brilliant! You get so much in this one book. There are so many characters who you know from Greek Mythology and how they intertwine with Achilles and Patroclus’s story! This book will make you smile and ooh and aah, but it will also make you BAWL.

10. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I’ve done a full video review of this book, so I won’t talk much about it. Here’s the link – Me Before You – if you’d like to go check it out.

Book cover for Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

This is the story of Lou and Will, who, after an accident is rendered paralysed from the neck down. The Traynors hire Lou as a companion to him, to help him around and be a friend to him. The way Lou and Will’s bond deepens, how they become friends, how they become closer, and the way this whole story unfolds is so beautiful! A must read!

I do feel like the book was a little too long, but the movie was brilliant! I won’t say the movie was better than the book, but either way it was a very good adaptation. Go watch the movie as well, for added butterflies. 😛

11. Atonement by Ian McEwan

What a story this is! I’d recommend it even though I wasn’t a great fan of the writing. Read the gist below to find out why:

Book cover for Atonement by Ian McEwan

Robbie and Cecilia fall hopelessly in love over the summer, and Bryony, Cecilia’s sister, mistakenly thinks that Robbie is assaulting Cecilia when she sees them getting intimate. So when the lights go out and when someone rapes Lola in the grounds, Bryony thinks that it is Robbie and she gives him up to the police, convinced  that she has seen his face and that he was the one who raped Lola.

Robbie is sent to prison and he serves a number of years for something that he did not do. And because of this, Cecilia cuts off all connections with her family. Bryony, over the years, realizes that it was not Robbie who did it. In what way she atones for what she has done, forms the entire story.

I’m not a fan of the narrative format but Cecilia and Robbie’s pain pushes itself at you and tells you of a love so strong that you just want them to be reunited. You can feel their pain and that is what makes me recommend this book!

12. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

This was an unexpected favorite!

Book cover for A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Shirin, after 9/11, has to face a number of stereotyped views of her and her religion. She is tired of the rudeness, the stereotyping, and of society’s hypocrisy. And then, she meets Ocean James, who, she is very surprised to see, wants to get to know her. Do they build a relationship? Do they fall in love? Will they be able to get past all of these stereotypes? This forms the entire story.

A bad gist but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because of how well Tahereh Mafi has rounded the characters and their emotions. It’s very well-written book. The romance and the longing fills you up and you can also look forward to reading about the issues that the author addresses in here. Highly recommend! 

13. Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski

We’re rounding up this list with another phenomenal book!

Book cover for Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski

Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski  is the story of two people in 1980 Poland, who discover each other and quickly fall in love. But the political scenario of those times makes sure that they are not able to be as open about their love as they want to be. Ludwik, the narrator, is of the opinion that they should be able to be together, no matter what. But Janusz, who works with the political party, thinks that they should lay low, because he knows what the government will do to people like them.

This whole battle between their inner selves while silently battling society and the authorities and each other is something to read! That longing of wanting to be with each other but not being able to is a gut-wrenching read.

I read this last year and instantly fell in love with the way that the author has combined historical fiction with romance, while talking about what is right and what is not. He talks about self-preservation, saving the people you love, and so much more that I am not able to tell you right now! The way the author put everything in here, made that mixture, and threw it at my face like a wrecking ball caused me to cry like a baby. So worth it!

What are some romances that you are a fan of? What was your favorite book of February 2021? Which book are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

I’ll be back with a new blog post soon.

Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life! 😀

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