I’ve always loved a good romance novel. But of course after a few years of reading them, one starts to see patterns or trends in them. Girl meets Boy, or vice versa. Some random conflict happens, usually something to do with sickness, uncooperative friends or family, “dark” pasts or just plain stupidity on behalf of both parties, and then the ever so predictable “…and they lived happily ever after”. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a happy ending just like anyone else, why read a book that will just make me feel worse about life when I read to escape my surroundings and enter the characters worlds. But every once in a while there comes a romance novel (which sometimes never intended to be one) that captures my heart and soul, and lingers in my thoughts years later. These books have a pattern of some sort, but their content so rich with thoughtfulness and deep perceptions into the real meaning of love from all different cultures defy the set course of how a book should be. And this is why I love them, they contain unique, unexpected plots that keep me turning the pages all night long until I’m finished. Usually containing other genres within them from philosophy to adventure, they interweave those moments in life that make this ever elusive meaning to love and its effect on our lives. I hope you enjoy my picks for today, gathered over the past few years, these books and their characters have stayed with me and I am sure you will feel them too.
Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
I have been a fan of Cecelia Ahern ever since I read this book. Spanning over decades, this book is written pretty much 98% using letters, emails and texts to tell the love story of Rosie and Alex. While there have been other books which have also used this format, I found no one has done it quite as convincingly as Ms Ahern has. While reading you feel as if you are spying into a friends email inbox, or intercepting their letters. A story of wrong timing in love, this book really inspired me and was a real page turner. If you’ve read some of Cecelia Ahern’s other books, you must agree with me she truly has a gift for spinning a magical ingredient into her books, somewhat like modern fairytales. And who doesn’t want a little bit of magic in their lives?
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
This book was my most recent read. Finished last night, I lay in bed thinking of the unique plot of the book, not only did it touch love and redefined it from the author’s own point of view, it brought to light a lot of other questions in society and how we would react in certain circumstances. What if love were thought to be a disease? A thought provoking and exciting book, the love story contained within was an interesting one.
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
I love books like this one. Rare gems that tell a story that is so much more than one. A romance that spans many lifetimes (literally). What if when you died you could remember everything from your previous life? Including falling in love with the same person over and over again. For those who enjoyed the ‘Time Travellers Wife’ (another choice on my list today), you will definitely enjoy this read. Though the writer usually writes for young adults, I believe mature females will fall in love with the interesting romance within these pages.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
There’s so much buzz lately about this book because of the film that is soon to be released featuring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. While I haven’t seen the film (so no comment about that) hopefully it will even nearly do justice to the book, as most films fall short of their book bases. However, I’ll get back to my review on the book and tell you that it was absolutely beautiful. I first read this book when it first came out in 2006. While actually being filed as a historical novel, the romance within it is what grabbed so many readers, and the film producers for sure. Telling not only of the heroine and hero’s romance (one that defies fear), it whips you up into the whirlwind romance that was the circus back in the 1920s. Which is even more intriguing with the events that took place during the great depression. Filled with colorful characters, exciting events and great story telling, this novel will stay with you long after the last page has been read.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneggar
Recently, I have been obsessed with all things time-related in novels. I love the hopping back and forth to scenes to piece together one beautiful story, and this is what the Time Traveler’s wife delivers. While sometimes noted as mix of romance and sci-fi, I felt this thought provoking novel a metaphor for relationships in general, whilst also addressing some deeper meaningful thoughts which you will once you get really into the book. Interesting twists kept me reading, and in the end I thoroughly enjoyed the love story that transpired within its pages.
The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder
Though not traditionally thought to be a romance novel, I found the “romance” that was told about in this book, though a simple one, so beautiful. Telling the story of love not only between man and wife, but his children too. There is something so special about telling a story through letters. With many of the pages being written in past form, as though the hero’s son is reading his story through letters passed down to him, I couldn’t help but be touched by the power of the father’s words, about embracing the world and this “fairytale” that is our lives, how we must appreciate all the beautiful things that are around us, and if given the choice to be spared the pain of what life could be versus experiencing all the other amazing things it has to offer, what would we do? In true Jostein Gaarder style (possibly my favourite author of all time) he leaves readers questioning themselves, and suprises us with a few twists in the plot here and there. If you like this book, you may enjoy his other such as ‘Sophie’s World’, while not a romance novel, that book too lingers in my mind to this day.
Let me know what you think, and if you know of any unique stories or plots in novels, feel free to comment or email me, I’d love to know your recommendations 🙂