Associate Mosaic Editor
Reading has always been a pastime that I have thoroughly enjoyed, however, in the past few years, my ravenous appetite for literature has subsided. That was until I stumbled onto BookTok this summer. Unlike the New York Times Best Sellers list, BookTok has provided me with book recommendations curated by people I could relate to.
Book TikTokers, or BookTokers, offer a different perspective to reading that has rekindled my love. Their recommendations have resulted in my reading of more than 35 books this summer. Thus, I have been inspired to recommend my top five favorite romance reads that are perfect for submerging yourself into reading.
“Normal People” by Sally Rooney
This novel touched me in ways that I did not imagine any book could. The profound connection that the two protagonists, Marianne and Connell, share is something incredibly beautiful. Set in Ireland, the pair live in the same town yet never interact at school. However, Connell’s mother is Marianne’s housekeeper and the two share many conversations when he comes to pick up his mother.
Marianne is lonely, combative and incredibly closed off while Connell is popular and the star of the school’s soccer team. They attend the same university in Dublin, where their relationship resumes flourishing after a break when Marianne finishes high school from home.
During their years in university, they dance around one another, yet are always drawn back together. Their chemistry is unmatched and it is an incredibly realistic read that addresses the complexity of first love and relationships.
There is a Hulu adaptation starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal that is undeniably the best book to screen adaptation I have ever watched.
“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
There are not enough positive things that I can say about this novel. Evelyn Hugo is a Hollywood movie star who finally is ready to tell the stories of her seven marriages and all of the experiences in between. She recruits an unknown reporter, Monique Grant, for the job, shocking everyone including Monique.
As the novel goes on, you learn that Monique herself is tangled in the web of Evelyn’s life in a truly unexpected way. During their interviews, Evelyn details her rise to stardom in the 1950s to her decision to leave the show business in the 1980s. This is an addicting story of love, loss, stardom, family and friendship.
“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry
This book centers around college best friends, Poppy and Alex, who take a yearly summer vacation together. The novel takes us through the escapades from each of their vacations and the way in which their friendship flourishes into something deeper over time. The pair have very little in common, which makes them work so incredibly well together. Poppy is a free spirit with a distaste for routine while Alex is a khaki-loving, rule follower.
Their story is light-hearted and makes you yearn for a friends to lovers love story like theirs.
“The Score” by Elle Kennedy (of the “Off Campus” series)
The “Off Campus” series as a whole is incredible; however, the third book in the series, “The Score” is my personal favorite. Each book in the series focuses on a different couple in a friend group of hockey players at the fictional Ivy League school, Briar University.
Written from a dual point of view, this novel centers around a lady’s man, Dean DiLaurentis, and serial monogamist, Allie Hayes. Dean is used to getting what he wants, and Allie is the first person in a long time to not give it to him. Allie seems to be immune to his charms until they share a night together fueling their burning fires for one another. This is an incredibly vivacious and energetic read.
“The Hating Game” by Sally Thorne
This is the perfect read for those who love the enemies to lovers and workplace romance tropes. Joshua Templeman and Lucy Hutton share a small office, the same job and a burning hatred for one another. Their interactions are a consistent one-upmanship that reaches a whole level when a new promotion is up for the taking. However, with such intense feelings of hatred, feelings in opposition are bound to come to fruition.
Their banter is also incredibly entertaining. Told from her point of view, Lucy begins to wonder if she really hates Joshua Templeman and if she misjudged him from the start. This novel is fast-paced, refreshing and a must-read.
These books are the perfect jumping off point for a spiral back into the infinite fictional worlds that await between covers. No feeling quite compares to cozying up with a good book at the end of the day and I implore you to read these quintessential romance novels to light a spark for reading in your soul.