10 books to read for Valentine’s Day


The Song of Achilles, Love, and These Violent Delights are some books to read for Valentine’s day. | Photo from Aliyah Rodriguez.

Aliyah Rodriguez, Features & Lifestyle Editor

Whatever your relationship status may be – single, taken or “it’s complicated”– Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to pick up a romance book and dive headfirst into the romantic fantasy of your dreams. Here are 10 book that will get you in the spirit for Valentine’s Day: 


If you’re interested in LGBTQ Romance: 

Red White and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuinston  

The novel follows Alex Claremont-Diazthe son of America’s first female president who is running for reelection. After an incident at a royal wedding, Alex has to pretend to be friends with England’s Prince Henry to prevent a media scandal that will distract from his mother’s reelection. In a classic friends-to-more trope, Alex and Henry become friends, which eventually leads to romance as the two come to terms with their positions in the world.  

The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller 

Miller’s debut novel follows the story of Achilles – the infamous hero of Homer’s “The Iliad” – and Patroclus, through the eyes of Patroclus, from the moment a fateful accident forced their lives to intertwineThe story takes place prior to and during the Trojan War and the prose intricately weaves a romantic tale in alongside descriptions of ships, battle strategies and gory deaths. The book brings to question how much one is willing to sacrifice for fame, and how cruel fate can be to lovers.  

7 Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins-Reid 

When aging Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo is ready to tell her story, she chooses Monique Grant – an unknown magazine reporter – for the job. Giving her final interview, Hugo transports the reader through her life as a Hollywood starlet in the 1950s, her fame, her career and her seven husbands along the way. As Hugo’s life unfolds – ambition, unexpected friendships and a great forbidden love is revealed.  

If you’re interested in poetry: 

Love Poems by Pablo Neruda 

Originally published anonymously in 1952, Neruda’s “Love Poems” caused a great scandal for its sensual approach to romance. Filled with passionate and captivating images that reimagine the world through the lens of a lover’s body, this collection of Neruda’s poems is a must for Valentine’s Day. 

If you binged Bridgerton recently:  

The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn 

Now a series created by Shonda Rhimes for Netflix, “The Duke and I” is the first novel in a series that follows the regency-era Bridgerton family. Daphne Bridgerton, the book’s main character, is not like most eligible young girls in her time. She has always made friends with boys when such relationships were ill-advised, and when it’s time to enter the courting scene Daphne realizes that she is well-liked but not desired in the way that she wants to be. In comes Simon Bassett, the Duke of Hastings, who does not wish to be desired at all. A chance meeting between the two creates a plan that turns the ton on its heels: they’ll fake a courtship to attract suitors for Daphne and keep the ladies away from Simon. But what happens when their fake courtship starts to feel a little too real? 

Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen  

This classic romance novel follows Elizabeth Bennet, a young woman coming of age in regency-era England. In this classic I’m-not-like-other-girls story, opinionated Bennet often clashes with her romantic prospect, Mr. Darcy, displaying a pleasant performance of civilized sparring and witty banter. Austen’s wit captivates in this novel of manners as Bennet comes to terms with the societal norms and expectations of her time. She chooses the realness of who she wants to be over the superficiality that society demands of her.  

If you’re interested in some scandal:  

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin  

The novel follows Rachel White, a single thirty-year-old woman who has lived in the shadow of her best friend Darcy Rhone for her whole life. After a night of drinking at Rachel’s 30 birthday, she sleeps with Darcy’s fiancé Dex. Despite the complication, this one-night stand grows into something much more and Rachel explores the meaning of friendship and true love.  

The Violent Delights by Chloe Gong  

In 1926, a blood feud is boiling between the two rival gangs of Shanghai. Juliette Cai had returned home to assume her role as the heir of the Scarlet Gang while her rival – and first love – Roma Montagov runs the Scarlets. While this rivalry comes to its head, people begin to whisper of a contagion, a monster in the shadows causing bodies to stack up throughout the city. Juliette and Roma must set aside their guns to work together to save their city in this retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

If you’re interested in learning about love through the eyes of multiple women:  

Love by Toni Morrison 

The novel tells the lives of several women and their relationships to the late Bill Cosey. The main characters are Christine, his granddaughter, and Heed, his widow, who are both the same age. Once friends, the two are now at odds years after his death. Morrison uses a split narrative to explore love in its varying forms while exploring the relationships between the living and the dead. 


Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan 

The novel follows four friends who find strength in their friendships when the men in their lives prove less than reliable. The women struggle with stability and their identity in their rare friendship while waiting to exhale – waiting for Mr. Right to take their breath away.