Valentine’s Day has come once again. And for those of us that are single (again!) it’s not a particularly fun day. But one way to make it a little better is to read a book with some characters who are in love. So here are my top picks for Valentine’s Day reads.
Livia’s experience of love has been disappointing to say the least. But all that is about to change. After years of illness, she’s off to spend the summer with her brother in America. She’s making up for lost time, and she’s writing it all down in her private blog. America is everything she ever dreamed of – and then she meets Adam. Can Livia put the past behind her and risk falling in love again?
This is one of the best ‘falling in love’ books that I’ve read in a long time. Totally believable while still being swoonworthy. Read my review here.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the “most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author’s works,” and Eudora Welty in the twentieth century described it as “irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be.”
What kind of a list would this be if I didn’t include one of the best couples ever? Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are obviously perfect for each other – if only they could see it.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn’t know why.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace…until now.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it’s spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.
If I’ve ever wanted a fictional guy to be my boyfriend, it would have to be Sam. He’s as close to perfect as they come. Read my review here.
When Marilla Cuthbert’s brother, Matthew, returns home to Green Gables with a chatty redheaded orphan girl, Marilla exclaims, “But we asked for a boy. We have no use for a girl.” It’s not long, though, before the Cuthberts can’t imagine how they could ever do without young Anne of Green Gables–but not for the original reasons they sought an orphan. Somewhere between the time Anne “confesses” to losing Marilla’s amethyst pin (which she never took) in hopes of being allowed to go to a picnic, and when Anne accidentally dyes her hated carrot-red hair green, Marilla says to Matthew, “One thing’s for certain, no house that Anne’s in will ever be dull.” And no book that she’s in will be, either.
I love the Anne of Green Gables books for so many reasons. One of them is Gilbert. Even though they aren’t together in this book, you know that one day they will be, and it’s a lot of fun to see them get to that point.
It’s hard to fall in love with an earnest, appealing young hero like Harry Potter and then to watch helplessly as he steps into terrible danger! And in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the much anticipated sequel to the award-winning Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, he is in terrible danger indeed. As if it’s not bad enough that after a long summer with the horrid Dursleys he is thwarted in his attempts to hop the train to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to begin his second year. But when his only transportation option is a magical flying car, it is just his luck to crash into a valuable (but clearly vexed) Whomping Willow. Still, all this seems like a day in the park compared to what happens that fall within the haunted halls of Hogwarts.
Chilling, malevolent voices whisper from the walls only to Harry, and it seems certain that his classmate Draco Malfoy is out to get him. Soon it’s not just Harry who is worried about survival, as dreadful things begin to happen at Hogwarts. The mysteriously gleaming, foot-high words on the wall proclaim, “The Chamber of Secrets Has Been Opened. Enemies of the Heir, Beware.” But what exactly does it mean? Harry, Hermione, and Ron do everything that is wizardly possible–including risking their own lives–to solve this 50-year-old, seemingly deadly mystery. This deliciously suspenseful novel is every bit as gripping, imaginative, and creepy as the first; familiar student concerns–fierce rivalry, blush-inducing crushes, pedantic professors–seamlessly intertwine with the bizarre, horrific, fantastical, or just plain funny. Once again, Rowling writes with a combination of wit, whimsy, and a touch of the macabre that will leave readers young and old desperate for the next installment.
After I knew that Harry and Ginny were going to be a couple I read this book again. And this is where I saw the beginnings of that. I wish I could have seen it before J K wrote it, but I didn’t. But now that I read this one, I see it every time, J K totally knew what she was doing, and that Harry and Ginny would end up together. So, technically not really a Valentine’s Day read in the usual aspect, I’m including this one on the list cause you can see the seeds of what will be a relationship between two great characters.
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.
Violet and Jay’s relationships is one of my favorites in YA. They’ve been friends since they were little, and it’s finally blossomed into something more. It’s so different from a lot of YA novels with characters that fall in love without knowing each other for very long. I liked that Jay and Violet with so comfortable with each other and had a history together.
So those are my picks for Valentine’s Day. What are yours?