Happy Valentines Day, everyone! I can't think of a single holiday that is so simultaneously loved and hated. So, whether you're feeling the love or not so much, here are some books to get you into your own holiday spirit.
1. Zipped by Laura and Tom McNeal
This book has subplots to end all subplots. If fifteen-year-old Mick Nichols' discovery of, and subsequent obsession with his beloved stepmother's seeming affair wasn't complicated enough, he's dealing with a few other problems--problems ranging from the teenager-y love type to the dark and scary. He crushes on a Mormon field hockey heartthrob and begins a surprising friendship with a beautiful college freshman who's hiding a deep secret. All the while, strange things are happening at the Village Greens, where he works. I loved the way Zipped was narrated--perspectives switched and switched, carefully giving information while leaving a tantalizing amount up for speculation. Zipped has "right love" and it has "wrong love", and the ultimate message is that when there's love, things will turn out okay.
2. Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (illustrated by Maira Kalman)
This was not an easy book. Why We Broke Up was sad and real, but I was glad that I read it, because the writing format and style was, in my mind, amazing. Min, a high school junior and film geek, and Ed, a popular senior and captain of the basketball team, have broken up. Min is writing Ed a letter and she's giving him a box with every object she associates with their relationship. Min is witty, philosophical, sad and ultimately truthful. As she details why each object makes an appearance, you learn about who they both are beneath the surface and, of course, why, ultimately, they were never going to work out.
3. An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green
I am a very vocal John Green fan (perhaps a post on that to come). This book is a perfect example of why I love him--it's just a damn good story, and I don't think there's enough of that in YA lit right now. Colin has dated 19 girls named Katherine, and all 19 have dumped him. But that's not all--Colin's a child prodigy on the end of his run (18 years old) and he's having a "Where do I go from here?"type crisis. So he does what anyone in his situation would do--take to the road with his best friend and head to Kentucky, where he gets some new friends and a summer job, and begins to write The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability. The Theorem is going to avenge his type, the Dumped, by predicting how any given relationship will end. It will bring him fame and fortune--if only he could get it to work. And wait--there may be a girl for him along the way. Don't be afraid--this is not a math book. This is a smart, romantic commentary on the nature of dating and fame and genius.
So, whatever your mood this Friday, there's no better time to read a romantic favorite.
Did I neglect to mention your favorite romantic read? Let me know in the comments!