I know not everyone celebrates or even wants to think about Valentine’s Day, regardless if you have a significant other or not. I’ll personally be spending this Valentine’s Day weekend seeing a few close friends, working on some big grad school assignments, and then binge-watching as many movies as I can. You all know I’ll be for sure watching Always and Forever, Lara Jean this weekend, and I recently subscribed to HBO Max and I want to watch ALL the movies on there (sidenote that I’ve been really impressed by HBO Max so much so that I may share a post in in the near future about what I watched and what I want to watch so far??).
Whether or not you’re spending Valentine’s this weekend – I guess I’m sort’ve celebrating Galentine’s Day since I’ll be seeing one of my best girl friends – we could all use a cozy contemporary or romance book this time of year. In the past, I’ve shared Galentine’s Day and contemporary & romance recs posts based on all the books I’ve read overall, but I’ll be focusing today’s Valentine’s Day recs on some more recent reads of mine from 2021 so far and the end of 2020.
Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon – If you love a book that explores the feelings of friends who have more-than-friends feels for one another, Our Year of Maybe is the PERFECT read. The book follows best friends Sophie and Peter and the evolution of their relationship & lives after Sophie donates one of her kidneys to Peter.
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver – If you need a good cry this weekend, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is the way to go. This actually might be my favorite book that alternates between the present and alternate reality, as the main character grieves over the death of her fiancé IRL but her life with him continues in her dreams.
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle – I know, I know, Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years is probably one of the most recommended and hyped contemporary books out there… but I decided to still include it on this list because I too avoided it because of the hype and was nevertheless absolutely obsessed when I read it in December. In Five Years is definitely pitched more of a ‘Valentine’s Day’’-esque read (Dannie falls asleep on the night of her engagement only to wake up 5 years in the future with a different guy), as it focuses on the main character’s engagement, but ultimately has way more Galentine’s Day vibes because of the relationship and events surrounding the main character and her best female friend.
The Roommate by Rosie Danan – The Roommate is half on this list for readers who are especially looking for a steamy and super unique romance this Valentine’s Day (the main protagonist Clara moves to California to live with her best friend & crush, but ends up rooming with an Internet star…) and half because I’ve read nothing but RAVE reviews for the upcoming companion sequel, The Intimacy Experiment. The book is just so fun and the perfect book to read over the course of Valentine’s Day.
Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure by Amy Kaufman – If you’re someone who enjoys romance both on the pages and on the screen, I can’t help but recommend my most recent non-fiction read Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure. You may know that I recently jumped into The Bachelor franchise last year which made me really interested in learning more about what goes on behind the scenes. Amy Kaufman’s book is the perfect blend of finding out how the show is made from former contestants and show-runners, as well as providing commentary and analysis on subjects related to the show. I found so many of these discussions super interesting. Some of my favorite chapters concerned the use of alcohol on the show, the contention surrounding feminists having to defend their viewing of the show, and influencer culture.
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spiegelman – I feel slightly less guilty about not writing a proper mini review for The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany because I think it’s been popping up across a few of my blog posts because I enjoyed it so much! This one is actually the perfect Galentine’s meets Valentine’s cross-over read. Emilia and her cousin Lucy accompany their estranged aunt on a trip to Italy to help her reunite with the love of their life while also trying to attempt to override the curse placed on second-born daughters in their family.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes – I’ll have a mini review for Evvie Drake Starts Over coming up on the blog soon, but let it be known that no one should sleep on this contemporary romance! This book is perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and Emma Mills. This book following a young widow who rents out her house’s apartment to a professional baseball player was such a quiet and cozy read.
Have you read any of the books that I mentioned? Do you have any contemporary or romance recommendations for me? Share in the comments!