Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and if you do have a partner for the fourteenth, I’m sure your plans are sorted already. But there are plenty of other things to do if you’re single: something with your friends, or something alone.
Romances are great, it’s true – but surely it would be better to read something that’s both empowering and cutesy? There are so many love stories which focus purely on the romance, but there are also many in which the character development is not based off of their relationship. And so I thought that today I would share just a few suggestions with you
Under Rose-Tainted Skies – this is the story of Nora, a girl confined to her house by her agoraphobia, and when new neighbour Luke moves in it completely disturbs her routine life. It was so important especially for this book that it did not show her mental health to be improving purely because of him. He did not ‘fix’ her. This is about her journey, and the romance is still a key theme without detracting from this!
What’s a Girl Gotta Do? – this is the third book in the Spinster Club trilogy by Holly Bourne. Whilst there is plenty of romance with the super-gorgeous love interest Will, it was not as romance-focused as the previous book How Hard Can Love Be?; instead, this book mainly focuses on the protagonist, Lottie’s, strong feminist beliefs and her project in which she calls out every sexist act she witnesses. I also reviewed this book here.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – I’ll be honest and say that this is very much a romance novel, however I think that Simon’s story of how he comes out the closet is it’s own aspect of the book altogether. I also adored the friendships in this book, they were beautifully written and really heartwarming!
Rebel of the Sands – this book covers an entirely different branch of YA: fantasy. The protagonist is a girl named Amani who, as well as having the slow-burn, mysterious romance that fits so nicely with this genre, is also really kick-ass and is on her own journey to escape from her deadbeat town and the later dangers she faces.
Girl Heart Girl – this is a book I haven’t read yet, and am very much looking forward to. Rather than a fiction, this is an autobiographical novel by Lucy Sutcliffe, which, as well as describing some of her romance(s), also touches on her sexuality and anxiety. I think this will perhaps be the most empowering book of all of these picks!
These are just a few picks which I personally think send a really positive, powerful message as well as providing some romance. I would love to here your thoughts on any of these books, or any other suggestions you may have for empowering romances! And I hope you have a good Valentine’s Day, whatever your relationship status!