Top 8 novels for each romance trope


Photos used with permission from Penguin Books, Atlantic Books, Bloomsbury Publishing, St. Martin’s Griffin, Delacorte Books for Young Readers, and Modern Library

Almost every book in the Romance genre can be categorized into one of many common tropes. Enemies to lovers, forbidden love, and fake relationships are all examples of general storylines that can be greatly diversified depending on the characters, location, and time period.

Clara Martinez, Staff Writer

Whether your idea of romance includes a walk through Primrose Hill or logging onto a Facebook chat room with other “single and ready to mingles,” it never hurts to have a good book to get into a loving (or lonely) mood. From unrequited feelings to the predictable “‘til death do us part,” the following list has a book for every relationship status.

Clara Martinez

“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte

A true classic from the 19th century, “Jane Eyre” follows the gothic tale of an orphaned girl as she undergoes her move into adulthood. When Jane accepts a governess position at the household of Thornfield Hall, she knows nothing of the secrets that it hides and the relationship with Mr. Rochester that will develop along the way. An honest story of heartbreak and emotional persistence, “Jane Eyre” serves as a reminder that being “valued” is an essential part to being “loved.”

“Call Me By Your Name” by André Aciman

For anyone who wants to curl up under a blanket and cry, this book is a perfect choice. “Call Me By Your Name” tells the story of a summer in 1983 when a graduate student stayed in 17 year old Elio’s summer home for six weeks. They underwent a period of self discovery that can never be fully repressed again, all while creating a bond that seems to have formed over a lifetime. Be warned: this seemingly charming book about an innocent summer in Italy will leave you emotionally destroyed in a way I thought only “The Notebook” could achieve.

“The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller

Set in ancient Greece, Madeline Miller retells Achilles’ perspective of the Trojan War in this lyrical and enticing adaptation. The traditional story is told from Patroclus’ perspective, the exiled prince and friend of warrior Achilles. In “The Song of Achilles,” Patroclus and Achilles form a bond that reaches far beyond the superficial fame and prophecy destined to hold them back. This novel, albeit emotionally draining, is also a story of persistence and the strength of eternal devotion.

“Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes

Equally captivating and heart-wrenching, “Me Before You” chronicles Louisa Clark’s first-ever experience taking care of a paralyzed quadriplegic. Will Traynor formerly lived a life of successful business deals, athletics and travel before an accident left him unable to use his arms and legs. The first book in the “Me Before You” trilogy depicts a dance between two emotionally unavailable and misunderstood people as they explore the depth of their true feelings. If you’re looking for a book to fly through one weekend, the torturous mishaps and secrets revealed in every chapter will keep you hooked.

“Red, White and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston

Calling all the hopeless romantics: finally a book on this list that won’t leave you emotionally vacant for five to 10 business days! The forbidden love premise for “Red, White and Royal Blue” may seem generic at first, but the stakes are heightened when this secret love affair blooms between the First Son of the United States and the Prince of England. This novel is the perfect balance of politics, revolution and passion.

Whether your idea of romance includes a walk through Primrose Hill or logging onto a Facebook chat room with other “single and ready to mingles,” it never hurts to have a good book to get into a loving (or lonely) mood.”

“Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon

Strikingly similar to the current situation we find ourselves in, high school student Maddy is forced by her smothering mother to stay inside; even when a brunette who has both emotional baggage and an intellectual mind, moves next door. This novel may sound like the framework for every young adult fiction you read in middle school, but its shocking plot twist brings a level of sophistication far beyond the chick-lit genre.

“Swimming Lessons: Poems” by Lili Reinhart

This poetry book is here for all the readers that just die a little inside every time a couple walks by holding hands and swinging their arms. Lili Reinhart’s debut collection illustrates a journey from the “honeymoon” phase of love to its sometimes bitter, damaging end. It also deals with internal struggles involving mental health and contains compellingly metaphoric illustrations paired with almost every poem. “Swimming Lessons” undermines the idea that true love is eternal, and questions if the phrase “true love” is accurate at all.

“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the pioneer of the “enemies to lovers” trope. The constant shifting dynamic between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy shows love in its authenticity, mixed with comedic moments depicting someone being in love with a person who just can’t stand them. And, the film adaptation is currently available for viewing on Netflix, featuring the sophisticated stylings of Colin Firth and the occasional appearance of Keira Knightley.