So. In love, things can be confusing and wonderful but also a little sad. You stay up until 2am making sugar cookies in the shape of lumpy hearts and rehearsing what you’re going to say to your new partner. Your heart breaks when you think about seeing them again. They’re the only thing you can think about.
You’re in good company. When you start to fall in love, look for a book that connects with you on a spiritual level, like a story or book of poems that talks about your love life and understands both your struggles and your triumphs, like a book of poems. Here are 25 ideas:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre, a very smart and beautiful governess, falls in love with her boss, Mr. Rochester, who is also her boss and her best friend. Who’s married? The love story shows how women had more power in the Victorian era and how love can get through even the worst of situations.
Every Kiss a War by Leese Cross-Smith
In Every Kiss a War, there is a love story, a story about kissing a stranger, a story about wanting too much, and a story about wanting too little. Every Kiss a War is made up of 27 short stories. It’s funny, weirdly relatable, and beautiful. All of the words in this book are poetry. It draws you in and doesn’t let you leave until your heart is broken (in a good way).
Love, an Index by Rebecca Lindenberg
Love, an Index is a book of poems written by Lindenberg about the real relationship she had with Craig Arnold, a poet who went missing while hiking in Japan. It was published by McSweeney’s. Poems that are both heart-wrenching and beautiful are written by people who have been hurt. They will make you cry from the inside out.
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The History of Love is a book that I keep going back to because I wish I had written it. It’s a story about Leo Gursky, Alma, Alma’s mother, and the people they love. Like her husband, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss has a way with words that allows her to think about a lot of different things at the same time. Love, loss, Jewish culture, lists, childhood, translations, writing, and how angels sleep are just some of the things she thinks about.
Dancing in Odessa by Ilya Kaminsky
This book has won almost every award there is, and I’m sure some were even made just for this book. Ilya Kaminsky’s collection of poems is always so tender and beautiful that you’ll think you’re being haunted by an imaginary waltz.
Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
Renée was the first woman Rob Sheffield had a relationship with. In this memoir, he talks about her through the metaphor of mix tapes, and he talks about how she changed his life. If you think you’re going to cry a lot, get that roll of tissue paper out now.
Love in a Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
It’s so good to know Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The only person who has a lot of passion for love is you, for sure. Lovers Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall head over heels in love with each other. This movie is called “Love in the Time of Cholera.” As it turns out, Fermina married a rich doctor instead of Florentino because that’s how things work sometimes. Florentino doesn’t give up, though. It takes him 50 years to try again.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Even in our childhood, we can find love. Literally. In the beginning, Clare meets Henry when she’s six, and the two go together from there, too. Time travel isn’t that easy, but it’s not impossible either. Because Henry doesn’t know which year or where he will go next, the couple is having a hard time living their lives the way they normally would.
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
During middle school, maybe you ate each of these books like Reese Pieces. You might have just seen the Anne Hathaway movie that was on TV. People who read about Mia and Michael’s story might have felt things (and wished that they were princes, right?).
Earth’s Horses and Boys by Jenny Minniti-Shippey
There are many racy poems in Earth’s Horses and Boys. They talk about love, seducing a famous poet in a hotel room, and finding that “space between your collarbones.” Did I just make you feel cold? 🙂
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
When Tristan Thorn is in love, he goes on a long journey to look for a lost star. If you want to read a fairy tale like you always dreamed it would be, this one is for you! There are witches, unicorns, and even elf-lords.
Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell
Everything I’ve Learned about Love From now on, we can read a book about love that is self-aware. This book will touch you on every level. Sarah Wendell is someone who can understand your love problems.
Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
She learned about love from the Jessica Darling series, which tells the story of Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie’s lives. Gina was 7th grade when she read the books. And how it’s worth it, even if it makes us feel bad at times.
Atonement by Ian McEwan
This is the love story that will end all love stories. Atonement is the story that will make you cry. Briony Tallis, an angsty tween, sees her sister Cecilia and a cute guy named Robbie Turner having sex. Briony does a lot of bad things, and then something else happens, and it’s bad. She basically wrecks everyone’s lives. Prepare to feel a lot of different things.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The circus is the only thing Jacob Jankowski can think of to do. Then, guess what? Guy falls in love with a woman who is very interested. Stunningly beautiful, Water for Elephants captures a desperate, timeless love story.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a book that talks about how much we love each other. And our love’s love, too. And our love’s love’s love, also. It’s about betrayal, and making decisions, and being alone. As you can see, love can’t be easily defined.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
We Were Liars is a great story about a family, a complicated girl, a determined boy, lies, and love.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Each of Lara Jean’s crushes gets a love letter from her. Instead of sending them, she hides the pieces of paper under her bed. If you have a secret box full of longing and desire, the box will often go away. Lara Jean finds that all of the letters have been sent out.
Tulips & Chimneys by E.E. Cummings
Tulips & Chimneys is a collection of poems that are sexually charged and perfect in every way. It is about love, sexuality, and the self.
Love is Power, or Something Like That: Stories by A. Igoni Barrett
Love isn’t always what we want it to be. Is not always the way we thought it would be. It’s an amazing collection of short stories. Boys pretend to be women in online chat rooms, maids might have sex with their bosses, and love comes out stronger than ever.
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Everything leads to You is about Emi, who is a big movie fan and a real romantic. Emi has been in a lot of bad relationships. Finally, she meets Ava, who isn’t like anyone else she’s ever met (in weird, wonderful ways).
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
It makes her life easier because she likes girls, and her Persian family doesn’t know she’s gay. Leila goes through high school almost unharmed by love, which makes her life easier. That isn’t true at all. When Saskia meets Leila, Leila realizes she must let go of her guard in order to truly love someone else.
The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
This romantic-themed story is organized like a dictionary, giving us sweet, unique snippets into a bigger, more important story about two people who are in love with each other.
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
Girls in White Dresses is the real Sex and the City that we never had. It’s a story about friendship that is a little sweeter and more optimistic than GIRLS, but not by much. This book is very good at capturing what love is like in our 20s (terrifying).
A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins
Neill meets Rachel in the middle of a very dark time. His father just killed himself, and Neill wants to know why. While he thought his one-time thing with Rachel would be over, Neill thinks it might be something more. It shows us how complicated and inconvenient love can be at times.