Earlier this week, I posted Part One of my Valentine’s Day recommendation list. Here’s Part Two—as in the first installment, some of these I’ve read, some of them I want to read. Enjoy!
For the Smooch-Obsessed Valentine: Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
Anna is the obvious choice here, of course—it’s adorable and sweet as well as smart and funny; it takes place at a boarding school in Paris, which provides an Awesome Setting Double Whammy; and there’s also some sly mockage of Nicholas Sparks, which is always a good thing—and fans of the realistic contemporary romance will want to read over and over and over again. Two others that I’ve been meaning to get to FOREVER—each of which, incidentally, landed its author on a National Book Award shortlist—are Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan, and Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor: Kirkus wasn’t overwhelmingly positive about either, but I can never pass up dark fantasy and/or David Levithan, so I’ll be checking them in the hopes that the books are a better fit for me.
For the Insomniac Valentine: Graffiti Moon, by Cath Crowley
I have nothing but love for Graffiti Moon. It’s an up-all-night romance, reminiscent of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, except with art instead of music and set in Melbourne instead of New York. If you only click through to read up on one book from this list, let it be this one. And of course, as no list of Valentine’s reads would be complete without some Sarah Dessen. Along for the Ride fits this category perfectly—the heroine is an insomniac who does a lot of wandering around town after dark—as well as being a shining example of what makes Dessen’s books so special: Auden doesn’t just fall in love with a boy, but with a whole group of friends, AND she figures herself out AND she makes great strides in figuring out her family, too.
For the Bitter Valentine: Why We Broke Up, by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman
THIS BOOK. Do you remember watching She’s All That and thinking, “WOW. That romance isn’t going to last past the credits”? This book is basically about the aftermath of that relationship. In Why We Broke Up, intellectually sophisticated film buff Min writes an epic letter to her ex-boyfriend Ed, a somewhat doofus-y Golden Boy Athlete BMOC, that chronicles the rise and fall of their brief time together. It’s beautifully written: Every sentence evokes an image, Min’s prose has a rhythm that DEMANDS to be read aloud (my husband can attest to that fact, as I followed him around the house doing dramatic readings from it for days), and it’s angry and sad and passionate and just… AWESOME.
For the Pre-Ordering Valentine: A few books I’m looking forward to!
Kissing in Italian, by Lauren Henderson, is the sequel to Flirting in Italian. Which is all I need to know, because I ADORED Flirting in Italian. Funny, swoony, a little bit of mystery, plenty of descriptions of Italy and a whole lot of culture shock: I’m hoping that this one is just as much fun as the original.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han. A girl writes letters to the five boys she’s been in love with…and they accidentally get mailed out. It sounds like a book that will appeal to fans of E. Lockhart, so I’M IN.
One Man Guy, by Michael Barakiva. Boy meets boy in summer school, with a liberal dose of Armenian-American culture. I admit it, half of the reason I want to read this one is because I love the cover art.
Guy in Real Life, by Steve Brezenoff. Role-playing games, music, a late-night chance encounter…I would be TOTALLY THERE even if I hadn’t adored Brezenoff’s Brooklyn, Burning. As I DID adore it, I’m pretty much frothing to get my hands on this one.
I could go on, but instead, how about YOU give ME some recommendations for a good Valentine’s Day read in the comments?
Have a lovey-dovey day tomorrow!
If she isn't writing Bookshelves of Doom or doing her librarian thing, Leila Roy might be making stuff for her Etsy shop while rewatching Veronica Mars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5, Black Books or Twin Peaks. Well, that or she’s hanging out on Twitter. Or both.