Happy Valentine’s Day, Hoos. The month of love may be filled with hugs, kisses and chocolate covered strawberries, but even if you aren’t celebrating with a significant other this year, February is still a time to appreciate all the different types of love in your life. Whether you spend the month hanging with friends, going on dates or snuggling with your cat, February is a great opportunity to say thanks to the people who make your life special. Feel the love this February with these three books about friendship, romance and family.
“Book Lovers” by Emily Henry
Nora Stephens is your stereotypical rom-com girl — except she’s not the one with the happy ending. Having seen what feels like a thousand relationships crash and burn over the years, Nora has closed herself off to the world of love, choosing to instead focus on her career as a cutthroat New York City literary agent. In need of a break, her younger sister convinces her to go on a vacation to Sunshine Falls, North Caroline — an idyllic small town perfect for a summer romance, if that was the kind of thing Nora was looking for. After running into an old foe from the literary industry, Charlie Lastra, in Sunshine Falls, Nora’s dreams of a peaceful summer melt away. What the summer lacks in peace though, it’s sure to make up for in new beginnings.
Emily Henry is a modern legend in the world of romance novels. With four books on the New York Times Best Seller list — and another highly anticipated one set to release this April — her books have won her praise from critics and fans alike. “Book Lovers” perfectly captures the best of Emily Henry, as it explores not only love, but also how issues of grief and anxiety impact love. For anyone looking to read a classic style love story with a modern twist, “Book Lovers” is sure to please.
“Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory” By Raphael Bob-Waksburg
“Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory” is a collection of short stories revolving around love and the many different ways it can exist in the world. Each story is wildly different from the last, with some being written in the form of poems, and others spanning dozens of pages and developing complex science fiction plotlines. While every story in this collection is beautiful in its own right, certain stories stand out as especially poignant.
“Rufus” tells a story from the perspective of an unwaveringly loyal dog watching his human fall in and out of love, while “Up and Comers” is about a rock band that doubles as a group of superheroes living through the triumphs and terrors of saving a city. Another addition to this list of stand-outs is “More of the You that You Already Are,” which is the tale of an employee of a United States Presidents-themed amusement park as he simultaneously discovers the dark scientific secrets behind the park’s newest innovations, and the importance of spending time with his sister.
Bob-Waksburg is perhaps best known for his role as the creator of Netflix’s “Bojack Horseman,” which first aired in 2014 and gained popularity for its dark humor and cutting portrayal of mental illness and addiction. Bob-Waksburg’s unique voice shines through in “Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory” as well. While his short stories do take on darker topics at times — such as death, infidelity and animal sacrifice — each story is unified by its dedication to love, making the collection the perfect read this February for any realists out there looking to explore what love means.
“Ghosts” By Dolly Alderton
Nina Dean is a 30-something-year old who has finally got it all after working throughout her entire twenties. She’s an accomplished food writer and she owns her own London flat, and though she doesn’t quite have the love-life she dreamed she would have by age 30, she does have an excellent relationship with her ex-boyfriend and handful of friends from high school and college. That is, until everything in their lives starts changing.
Now, with her ex-boyfriend engaged to a new woman and her friends settling into lives with their new babies and homes in the suburbs, Nina is more alone than ever. That is, until she downloads a dating app and goes on a date with Max — a man who is just so perfect for her that he’s too good to be true. Too-perfect Max ghosts her out of nowhere, and Nina is left in the wreckage of their failed romance while she is still trying to make sense of the aching abandonment from her friends and grapple with the steady decline of her father’s health, and her mother’s refusal to acknowledge his illness.
While “Ghosts” may be shelved in the romance section, it more closely resembles a coming-of-age story about a woman redefining herself and reconnecting with her friends and family after growing apart. Alderton works as a columnist for “The Sunday Times” and has published several memoir and advice style nonfiction books, often writing about love and friendship. “Ghosts” is one of two fiction novels published by Alderton, with the second having been released in November of 2023.
If you find yourself in need of some more X’s and O’s, you need not look further than the pages of a book. Love is in the air and in the novels, so no matter your plans this February 14, these three books will help you get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day.