As I mentioned before, I love doing booklists and book displays in the library. With it being a weekend leading up to Valentines Day, I thought it would be fun to create a list of books that show the complexities of relationships: the good, the bad, and the ugly. You can find my list of break ups and unrequited love in my Love Will Tear Us Apart Booklist and yesterday's Bizarre Love Triangle Booklist, which illustrates the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in when we fall in love whether it's by falling for someone we can't have or just bad timing. Since today is Valentines Day (Happy Valentines Day!), today's list, Can't Help Falling in Love, composes of books that celebrate relationships. I have to say, out of three lists this list was the hardest one to do! I have tried to pick titles that are from a variety of genres, some of which tend to be overshadowed by popular ones but are nonetheless good reads.
- The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan- I'm a huge Levithan fan and loved all of his YA books, but The Lover's Dictionary is his first entry into writing fiction for adults. A young man chooses to record the details of his longtime relationship with a woman he meets online in a dictionary format. Each entry stands for something associated with their relationship. Reviewers call this title a quirky Valentine to modern romance, from the guy's point of view.
- Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted- Lucius, whose arms were blown off in an explosion, forms a relationship with Aurora, a young girl whose mother recently died, in hopes that she will be able to help free him from the stigma of being different. Hailed by Kirkus Review as a romance that "transcends all of its potential pitfalls to create a powerful story about recovery and friendship."
The Visconti's House by Elsbeth Edgar- Laura Horton always feels like an outsider. When Leon Murphy, a loner in his own right, moves in with his odd grandmother, Laura notices that they have more in common than she originally thought, including wanting to solve the mystery behind Mr. Visconti, his once-ornate house and the woman he loved. Part realistic fiction, part mystery, and part romance is sure to satisfy lots of readers! (Available on 2/22)
Sand Chronicles by Hinako Ashihara- Ann, having moved to her mother's hometown in rural Shimane after the divorce of her parents, struggles to get used to her new surroundings, until a tragedy forces her to appreciate the people around her. Ann leans on Daigo, the first boy her own age that she met in Shimane, and their budding romance becomes the story's focus of this incredibly popular manga series. A must read for romantics!
- The Return of Jonah Gray by Heather Cochran- Sasha Gardner is an auditor for the IRS. When she starts receiving angry calls haranguing her for auditing a man she has never heard of, she's puzzled, until she learns a man named Jonah Gray has written on his website about the letter he received from her about a random audit. Sasha finds herself increasingly curious about Jonah, and what begins as a simple audit turns into anything but when the details about Jonah's life is discoverd. With her father gravely ill and a possible love interest at work begins, Sasha isn't sure if she's willing to risk her heart by pursuing a man she's never met.
- My Most Excellent Year: a novel of love, Mary Poppins, & Fenway Park by Steve Kluger- Boston teens T. C. and Augie are best friends who are more like "brothers". Alejandra has recently arrived from Washington, D.C., where her father served as a Mexican ambassador to the U.S. For an eleventh-grade writing assignment, the teens recount, in alternating chapters, the shenanigans, friendships, and heartaches of their "most excellent" freshman year. At the center of My Most Excellent Year is three heart pulling romances and a what it really means to be a family.
- Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen- From the time Bryce moves into the neighborhood, Juli knows there is no one else but Bryce for her. Bryce cannot stand Juli and thinks she is weird. As they grow older, their feelings don't change until junior high. Bryce now can't seem to get Juli off of his mind, but Juli isn't so sure with Bryce is all that appealing as she once thought. A cleverly written romantic comedy perfect for tweens and older alike.
- Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane- Indie record producer Brady and surly waitress Heaven are neighbors. When Heaven keeps receiving Brady's mail, which she promptly opens and reads it immediately solictating Brady's irritation. Soon irritation blossoms into attraction as the two eventually take a wacky road trip to Seattle, where Brady waxes enthusiastic about signing a young band and attempts to set up a meeting with the founder of Starbucks about his idea for a new drink. A witty romantic comedy done right.
- Storky: How I lost my nickname and won the girl by D.L. Garfinkle- Fourteen-year-old high school student Michael "Storky" Pomerantz's journal describes his freshman year, from dealing with his mother's dating his dentist to attempting to win the heart of the girl he loves. A book guarenteed to make you laugh out loud and at the same time make you think with Storky's poignant introspection.
- Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry- Orphaned as a small child after her wealthy parents were killed in a carriage accident, Lucinda is now 15 and working as the maidservant in her goldsmith uncle’s home while suffering abuse at the hands of her aunt. Life changes quickly for Lucinda she attempts to return a strange glowing stone to a woman locally known as the Amaranth Witch. A street thief, a prince, a goat, and an evil chief justice are just a few characters who complicate Lucinda’s life as tries to discover her own past and Beryl's true identity. Brimming with romance, danger and suspense is a sure win for romantics and fantasy lovers.