Happy Valentines day! I don’t usually post on Sundays but I thought since it is Valentines day I’d do a quick extra post to hop on the romance books trend. Despite only being one day of the month, in reading terms, Februrary is often based around valentines day. It is almost an unwritten rule that romance books make a big feature during February- the last few days it has been impossible to scroll through my wordpress reader without seeing at least a few romance book related posts! Same goes for booktube, there has been ALOT of romance content this week. Even if romance is not your usual preferred genre, it can be nice to read something different for a change, something lighthearted as romance reads often are- especially if you are reading a young adult one. So, if you are either looking for some more romance recommendations, or you want a quick romance to read (just so you can say you read one in February) then pick up one of the three young adult novels I’m about to talk about! These books I have included may not be directly considered romance novels, but the themes of romance and different types of love interest me, as none are particularly conventional. You could call these YA reads unconventional romances with deeper topics intertwined. These reads have slightly darker topics woven in between the romance, which isn’t for everyone, but I think it is an important part of the romance genre as romance/love isn’t as conventional as it is often portrayed in books.
Eleanor and Park
my rating: 3.5/5
I loved this book. Although I have not read it in a year or so, it is one of the first that comes to mind when thinking about YA romance. This YA is slightly on the older audience end of the spectrum as it does deal with some difficult topics, such as toxic/ abusive households, bullying, heartbreak and mental health. Elenanor is a new girl in town, but she does not go unnnoticed. Eleanor stands out easily, with her vibrant red hair and unusual dress sense, everyone takes notice of her, and does not give her an easy time. Park is fairly invisible, he does not stand out, he isn’t cool but he isn’t the opposite, he is just kind of there unbothered. When Eleanor sits next to Park on the bus, not by choice, it is at first silence and awkwardness, even anger from Park, but throughout the book we see them slowly start to connect and bond, a bond which turns into a love neither had felt before. But Eleanor has alot more going on than it seems, her difficult family life makes it hard for her to think about anything else. The love in this book makes it a great romance for me, I felt the love was so believable and passionate, it was great to read. However it is worth bearing in mind that there have been a few opinions expressing how the Asian sterotypes Park embodies are problematic, and whilst I haven’t read it in a while so cannot directly recall this, it is worth considering.
The perks of being a wallflower
my rating 5/5
This has got to me one of my favourite books, YA or not. Charlie has always been on the edge, never really directly involved. He tends to watch life from the sidelines. However, when two older students come along, Sam and Patrick, they take him under their wing and mentor him, giving him a chance to experience things he never has before. Charlie learns about love, failed attempts and unrequited love, so I would count this as a romance, even if it is not directly one. We observe different types of love, toxic, parental, platonic as well as how a combination of love and time can cloud over deeper things and cause you to see the world differently. Many deep topics are involved in this book, drugs, purpose, abuse and sexual assault. In a way I’d consider this an anti romance as it shows how truly fucked up relationships of any kind can be, but love makes it seem ok. This coming of age novel is deep and dark at points, but the love shared between some characters was so pure and genuine, even if it was not directly romantic. Warning, includes topics such as sexual abuse and mental illness.
The sun is also a star
my rating: 4/5
You may have seen this book as a film on Netflix, from what I saw people really liked it! But trust me when I say the book is 100x better! This is a love story like no other I’ve read, I thought it was quite unique for any other YA romance I’ve read. To sumarise the plot: Natasha and Daniel, two teens with a completely different outlook on life, run into each other ( when Daniel saves her from being hit by a car!) and sparks instantly fly! Although Natasha is at first reluctant, Daniel and his romantic outlook on life soon convince her to spend her day with him around New York. Natasha and her family only have a day left before being deported back to Jamaica, and so we follow her furiously fighting against this, meeting with a lawyer and demanding she can stay. Despite the mutual feelings between these two, Natasha fights it because the last thing she wants is to fall in love and have to leave it behind. But their paths keep crossing, so much it could arguably be fate. Watch as these two fall in love, learn things about themselves, and do things they have never done before, in the space of a few days. This story is written so well, I came to love both characters and root for them intensely. Although at first I did not love Natasha, I could understand her reservations, and I grew to love her all the same. If someone asked me for a YA recommendation, this book would probably pop up.
So there were 3 YA books fro you to read this month. They were all widely popular, which sometimes puts people off, but they are definately worth a read as they are all reasonably short anyway ( longest one is around 350).
Thanks for reading! Do you have any YA romance suggestions? Are you reading any romance this February? Let me know down below!