It’s the holidays again! The time when we must admit to ourselves that we will absolutely sit and watch hours of very cheesy holiday movies. Anyone else record all Hallmark Channel movies leading up to Christmas … just me? Well then, who better to give you a list to pick your favorite holiday movie trope and get a book rec than me!
Books and reality TV have more in common than you might think! They both provide us with endless entertainment, drama we can enjoy from the outside looking in, and a little romance, too. If you find yourself unable to look away from these juicy reality TV shows, then we’ve got your next read!
Pick a Reality TV Show and Get a Book Rec
Need another book rec? Pick your fave reboot and we’ll give you a book to match!
Books aren’t just an alternate reality to escape into, they’re also the place where we become a little too attached to our favorite book boyfriends that will (sadly) never exist in real life. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite book boyfriends to give you all the romance, drama, and moments you’ll swoon over in your next read. Get ready for some classic friends-to-lovers goodness, and a few juicy love triangles that will force you to choose between two eligible bachelors… or Shadowhunters.
12 Book Boyfriends You’ll Want to Date
Peter Kavinsky and John Ambrose – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Lara Jean’s love life went through quite the roller coaster ride in this novel, and though her first relationship was a staged one, it definitely is one of my favorite she-gets-the-guy moments. Peter Kavinsky is the classic jock-turned-nice guy that we all know and love!
Now that’s not to say Peter K doesn’t still have his knave moment in this love story, but it just serves to show how gosh-darned SWEET Lara Jean’s ex-crush John Ambrose is. Sweet and charming, John Ambrose is the perfect book boyfriend on paper, if good guys are your thing. Will Lara Jean give him a fair shot? If you haven’t picked the book (and its sequels) up, what are you waiting for!
Will Herondale and Jem Carstairs – Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
As Tessa is forced to build an alliance with the self-proclaimed superior Shadowhunters to save her brother, these “alliances” prove to be much more complicated than she anticipated. Tessa is not only thrown into the shadow world, but she’s thrown right in the middle of a love triangle between two best friends!
Tessa is forced to make many choices throughout her journey but choosing between Will and Jem might just be impossible. On one hand, Jem completely understands her inside and out, and on the other, Will is a bad boy whose life could be saved through their undeniable bond. Are you team Jem or team Will? Once you’ve read Clockwork Angel, find the rest of Will, Jem, and Tessa’s story in Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess!
Jace Herondale – City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Clary Fray is taken for a wild ride in this gritty fantasy, and while she’s getting used to the magical realm, she finds herself pulled towards Jace’s magic at the same time. Jace is the kind of boy that makes us all want to run away at first, but we don’t because we see that there’s a really great guy under all of that drama (and trauma).
He’s hot, brave to a fault, and overly confident all because of his deep-rooted issues from his relationship with his father. And just when you thought Jace couldn’t get any more irresistible, he goes ahead and learns from his past and comes out stronger on the other side!
Selwyn Kane and Nick Davis – Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Rarely do we see a love triangle where all three people have some kind of love interest for each other, and these two leading men make it really hard to choose a favorite! They are both loyal, kind, and brave – the definition of heroes.
Bree and Sel’s relationship is definitely complicated, but there’s no denying their connection. Sel has shown Bree that he will put his life on the line for her no matter what, which ultimately has begun to win Bree over. Then we have Nick, whose firm morals and emotional availability make him a great catch, and he’s super attractive, which doesn’t hurt either! Are you team Bree and Sel, Sel and Nick, or Bree and Nick? Once you’ve read Legendborn, get ready for more of Bree, Nick, and Sel’s story in Bloodmarked, out this fall!
Harte Darrigan – The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Harte Darrigan is a trickster and he doesn’t make a great first impression, but we love him! Harte isn’t your typical catch, and throughout The Last Magician he fails to show that he can be trusted at all, even with his confusing feelings for leading lady Esta and the undeniable romantic tension they share.
Harte is an intriguing love interest and his loyalty to Esta will win you over. He’s a schemer, flirtatious, a little selfish, but proves to be selfless in the end. We’ll follow Harte and Esta to the ends of the earth in the rest of this series with The Devil’s Thief, The Serpent’s Curse, and The Shattered City.
Aristotle Mendoza and Dante Quintana – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Aristotle and Dante are constantly helping each other grow into a better version of themselves, and their friendship is as pure as their romance is sweet. This may very well be the best example of the friends-to-lovers trope EVER!
Dante uses his quiet and vulnerable personality to teach Ari how to communicate his emotions to those that he wants to grow closer with, and Ari helps Dante become confident in his own skin. While these two are teaching each other how to be strong individuals, they’re inevitably gaining the strength to confess their feelings for one another and be free. Find the conclusion to Ari and Dante’s story in the sequel to this classic, Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World!
Matt and Arek – So This is Ever After by F.T. Lukens
So This is Ever After is another amazing example of the friends-to-lovers trope, and it gives you friendship, humor, action, drama, and love! After becoming king against his better judgement, Arek is forced to find a spouse in just a few months, and how in the world can a good romance grow in such a short period of time? Arek tries his luck with those he’s the closest to but crosses friend after friend off of his list of potential partners.
Arek’s best friend, Matt, even pushes him towards other potential love interests, leading him to feel brutally friend-zoned. Still, somewhere along the way Arek’s sloppy attempts at romance and Matt’s attempts to help lead the two start to really enjoying the game they’re playing with one another, and true feelings start to reveal themselves.
Ready for more romance? Check out these classic romance tropes we can’t get enough of!
All of us have different relationships with our parents or parental figures. But one thing that is true for all of us is that there’s a period of our lives where we believe that they just don’t understand and never will. All the books in this list have characters with some seriously complicated relationships with their parents, something we can all relate to!
6 Books with Parents Who Are Just the Worst
1. Lawless Spaces by Corey Ann Haydu
Mimi is turning sixteen this year, arguably one of the most life changing years in an adolescent’s life. She’s dealing with the realities of growing into a woman, the pains of online bullying, and the new experience of having a boyfriend. During this time she needs her mother to be a shoulder to cry on, but instead her mother becomes withdrawn and secretive, spiraling from a horrifying sexual assault case being broadcasted all over the news. Like many teenage girls (myself included!), Mimi turns to journaling, but not coincidentally. Journaling not only serves as an outlet for her, but as a window into the lives of the women in her family – and most importantly, brings her closer to her mother!
2. Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch
Anyone else ever stand at their door and threaten to leave just to get a reaction from their parents? No… just me? Zara’s relationship with her father was so complicated that she ACTUALLY had to run from it. Now she has a new life, and everything feels like a fresh start until she’s forced to reawaken the resilient survivor that lives within her. When the United States electrical grids go down, cutting off the country’s power, Zara is forced to face the tragedy that drove her away from her father. Will she be able to face him and the home she left behind?
3. Trigger by N. Griffin
Didi has everyone beat for the most complicated relationship with a parent. Didi’s father keeps telling her that he’s grooming her for when the world comes to an end, and they must fight the rest of the world. As an over-achieving daughter Didi only wants his approval and to make him proud as can be. But after the many times she’s threatened with the Hurt Stick when she misbehaves, she’s left to question whether her dad does truly love her, even though he says he does. Should she just keep doing exactly as he says without question, or will she become her own person and demand a different form of love from her father?
4. Girl Unframed by Deb Caletti
In the middle of this thrilling mystery is a mother-daughter relationship that is so complicated that it causes loyalties to be called into question. Sydney Reilly has a famous mother, one who has always placed beauty and male attention above her own daughter. Sydney hesitates to go back home to San Fransisco because her mother has never made her feel welcomed in the way she wishes she would be. Will Sydney’s endless efforts to build a relationship with her mother be rewarded or will her gut feeling be right? Just how much will she regret not letting this relationship go?
5. Where Secrets Lie by Eva V. Gibson
When your parents keep family secrets from you it can be annoying, but let’s hope they’re not as insane as the secrets Teddy, Ben, and Amy’s families are keeping from them. Amy, Teddy and Ben are the three best friends that anyone can have… until Amy and Teddy’s sexual tension causes the friend group to implode. Amy dreads going back to River Run for the summer, afraid of what she’ll be forced to confront, but little does she know that the real tension will come from the dark truth that ties their families together. One summer changes their friendship forever, and the next summer will change their memories of their upbringing forever too.
6. Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao
Nothing is more frustrating than when your parents always have something to say about your love life. Attempting to keep them quiet can get you into messy situations like the one Chloe Wang has found herself in. Chloe is desperate to bring a worthy boyfriend home to impress her traditional parents, but in order to find one they’ll love she has to rent that boyfriend! Chloe is bringing a man she doesn’t know home to her tight-knit Asian American community, what could go wrong? Her extreme attempts to get her parents off of her back are obviously going to backfire, but how? Read the book to find out!
Ready for another great read? Check out these must-read books with complicated family dynamics!
From struggles with mental illness to coping with tragedy and complicated family dynamics, each of these books is profound and deeply moving. The lessons you’ll learn will linger with you long after you’ve turned the last page, and they will change your life forever!
Must-Read Books That Will Change Your Life Forever
The Other Talk by Brendan Kiely
By sharing his own upbringing, Brendan begins a very necessary conversation about racism and allyship with young adults. It’s very rare that you see direct conversations like this in literature, especially ones presented in such an honest and relatable way. This book will force you to confront your privilege; hopefully helping you start your journey to becoming an ally to all people of color.
Ain’t Burned all the Bright by Jason Reynolds; illustrated by Jason Griffin
This might be the shortest novel you’ve ever read, but it’s also one of the most impactful. 2020 changed the world and told us to sit down and pay attention to the inequality in the justice system, climate change, and our healthcare systems. With the COVID-19 pandemic robbing us of our daily distractions and giving us all the time in the world to watch what’s happening around us, readers are able to use this book to reflect on how 2020 changed our lives forever.
When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert
We’ve all had a friend (or group of friends) that became our identity as a young adult. During the all-important early years of our lives our friends can seem like the only safe space, one that we hope we’ll have forever – just like Beth in When We Were Infinite. Beth has been forced to navigate change in every relationship she has held dear for as long as she could remember. Will she be able to keep those same relationships forever, or is change an inevitable consequence of time?
Turning by Joy L. Smith
Have you ever experienced an event that felt completely life-shattering? Was it a big break up? Not getting into your dream college? Whatever it was, Genie is here to show you that life is truly all about what you make out of the challenges you face. Life has put this aspiring professional dancer on a track that she never expected, and it’s forced her to face life in a way she never planned to.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
In Long Way Down Will experiences a loss that will define how the rest of his life turns out: the death of his older brother, Shawn. Thanks to the pressure Will faces from his community after this live-changing tragedy, he’s forced to decide what kind of man he wants to be a lot sooner than he expected, and without the one person he thought would show him what to do. Shawn and Will’s relationship will change how you feel about your siblings forever.
Yolk by Mary H. K. Choi
While we’re talking about life changing sibling bonds, we have to visit the story of Jayne and June Baek. If you don’t have a sister, this book will make you wish you did, and if you do have a sister, you’ll want to run and hug her. Jayne and June’s relationship transforms throughout this book, going from family, to enemies, to strangers, and finally, to heroes. A lot of us may be stuck in the competitive stage with our siblings, or we might be indifferent towards one another, but this novel will absolutely have you looking at your sibling in a different light.
When Can We Go Back to America? by Susan H. Kamei
All of us are familiar with the happenings of World War II, but many of may not know that during those horrible times, the United States government forcibly removed more than 120,000 persons of Japanese descent from the Pacific Coast and kept them in detention camps until the end of World War II. Though these atrocities happened years ago, they changed how billions view America and its history, and there are still individuals who question their racial identity and struggle with what it means to be an immigrant in America. This book honors those individuals by offering a platform for the voices of more than 130 people who were unconstitutionally incarcerated.
Need another book recommendation? Take a look at these books that will help you start a conversation about social change.
Was it just me or did it seem like 2021 was full of new celebrity couples, engagements, and some high-profile breakups? From power couples to royal families, we’ve seen it all this year! If you’re a sucker for romance, both fictional and real, choose your favorite celebrity couple from this list and get a book rec!
Choose a Celebrity Couple and Get a Book Rec
Beyoncé and Jay-Z: Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare
Let’s start with our favorite power couple, Beyoncé and Jay-Z. There’s no denying that these two are living THE LIFE – something that the High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus Bane, was hoping to do with his powerful Shadowhunting boyfriend, Alec Lightwood. All they wanted to do was enjoy a lavish vacation in Europe; hoping to relax and probably shoot some pictures on a yacht like Queen B and Jay-Z. But Magnus’s couples retreat is cut short when he is told that a cult he founded many years ago is determined to cause chaos around the world – remind you of any other relentless cult, I mean hive, that miss Beyoncé Knowles founded many years ago? Now Will Magnus and Alec be able to stop the cult before they go too far?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov are the heirs of the two most powerful rival street gangs in Shanghai and now it’s up to them to assume their roles and keep their respective families in power and the streets in order. Not only does their rival go blood deep, but in case things weren’t hard enough, they’re also each other’s first love. This family feud between two powerful forces rings too close to the feud that was revealed between the Royal family and American Princess, Meghan Markle. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are hopelessly in love and have had to navigate their relationship through the turmoil and politics of Great Britain and their standards. The two heirs of Shanghai’s notorious street gangs must put their familial differences aside and work together. Will the family’s rivalry determine the fate of their city? Read to find out!
Tom Daley and Lance Black: In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens
In this novel we’re taken through a romance between a mysterious man who can survive under water and a magical prince that must hide his forbidden magic from everyone around him. Upon Prince Tal meeting Athlen, he feels like he had found love at first sight. But Prince Tal is heartbroken when Athlen goes overboard his ship and is convinced that he will never see this charmingly mysterious man again – until he does. To his surprise Athlen is walking on dry land, alive. Nothing comes easy for these two, as Prince Tal is kidnapped by pirates before they can get any closer; will Athlen go after this stranger to pursue something more? This love at first sight story is just too similar to Lance Black’s description of his first interaction with merman – I mean Olympic swimmer – Tom Daley!
Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson: Roxy by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
Isaac Ramey is an injured soccer player and Ivy Ramey is a student with ADHD. Their relationship with their prescriptions starts out healthy but quickly turns into a toxic and dependent relationship with Roxy (Oxycontin) and Addison (Adderall) – putting one of them in a body bag. A dark, but honest look at how quickly these prescribed drugs can go from legitimate necessity to abuse and addiction. Unfortunately, Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson’s relationship has had its fair share of toxicity. Once looked at as innocent, to a necessity to keep their family together for baby True Thompson, then quickly becoming toxic after Tristan’s many discretions. We can only hope that Khloe will stop the cycle, but will Ivy or Isaac be the one to stop their toxic relationship?
Tom Holland and Zendaya: For All Time by Shanna Miles
A love that transcends time and space! Tamar and Fayard have lived in many different worlds, but in each world their love for one another stays intact. Tom Holland and Zendaya are one extraordinary couple whose relationship transcends many universe’s, the Marvel Universe and ours! Even in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Long Way Home, they’re left to find each other and fall in love! Fortunately for the two celebrities, their cycle stops when they get off the screen. Tamar and Fayard aren’t so lucky. In each new life they never find out how their love story ends, but now they have might have the chance to. Will they be willing to make the sacrifice to end this vicious cycle?
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker: How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
Moon Fuentez and Kourtney Kardashian both have sisters who have reached total social media stardom, and as many Kim K. fans have said in the past, Kourtney’s fate would have once been believed to be – in Kim’s words – the least interesting sister. Moon Fuentez knows this feeling all too well, until one summer she decides to detach from her sister and take a job as the “merch girl” on an influencer tour bus. Once Moon steps out of her shell to chase her passions, she meets Santiago Phillips, the hottest bad boy she has ever seen. The new paths her life has taken her on leads her to realizing that she isn’t just the unnoticed wallflower. We know that this year led Kourtney Kardashian to a successful career apart from her sisters and to the love of her life, tatted drummer Travis Barker. Will Moon Fuentez’s summer be filled with the same luck?