By Emily Gaynier
(Feb. 14, 2018) — For Valentine’s Day, I thought I would recommend some stories with romance in them. None of these books are actual romance novels; there will be no heaving chests or clothes being ripped off. The romances in these books tend to be a side plot, something that doesn’t take away from the original story line. So if you can’t get into something super lovey dovey, look no further.
Contemporary – Two Teens and Their Thoughts on Their Culture!
When Dimple Met Rishi – by Sandhya Menon
Dimple and Rishi have very different ideas on what it means to be an Indian- American teenager. Dimple doesn’t care much for her culture and wants to focus on becoming a computer coder, while Rishi wants to be the perfect son for his parents. He is following in his father’s footsteps and he can’t wait to meet the girl his parents picked out for him to marry. Emily’s Thoughts – I loved this book when I read it. I enjoyed reading about a different culture and I identified with Dimple a lot. I love her drive to follow her dreams and do things her own way. I also really loved how Rishi saw his culture. It’s very different then how most Americans would see it and I am glad I got his take on it.
Fantasy – Pride and Prejudice and Dragons!
Heartstone – by Elle Katherine White
It’s honestly Pride and Prejudice with dragons and other mythical monsters! Emily’s Thoughts – I just read this book and I think I found a new favorite. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book and I love dragons and monsters. If you also love Jane Austen and mythical creatures, you would love this story. It has all the plot points that the classic story has, but uses them in a way that fits the story and makes something new.
Classic – One of the Most Famous Couples!
Pride and Prejudice – by Jane Austen
This is the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters as they dance at balls, walk to Meryton, and try to survive their mother’s marriage schemes. Enter Mr. Bingley and his good friend, the proud Mr. Darcy, two eligible bachelors. But when Darcy proves himself to be too proud, he insults the whole village with his lack of manners and Elizabeth personally. Emily’s Thoughts – This is the book that started my love for classics. I read this as a high school senior and I’ve never looked back. Any on Jane Austen’s novels would be a good choice for something light with romance, but Pride and Prejudice will always be my favorite.
Science Fiction – Can They Survive?
These Broken Stars – by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive the crash of the Icarus spaceship, but there’s two main problems. They hate each other and they are completely alone. Now they have to hike their way across an uninhabited planet towards the wreckage, in hopes that they can make it home. Emily’s Thoughts – I really enjoyed this book. The characters’ relationship with each other kept me wanting to read more. There was something that happened about halfway through the book that made me extremely mad. I kept reading because I wasn’t sure I would pick up the book again if I put it down. But I finished the book and the thing that made me mad was necessary to show how desperate the situation was on that planet. I recommend not letting the book make you too mad and keep reading.
About the reviewer: Emily Gaynier grew up in Higganum and splits her time between Block Island during the summer and Higganum. Emily is studying history and wants to get her Masters in Library Science. Maybe one day you’ll be able to see her behind the circulation desk at the Brainerd Library. Emily has loved books her whole life and that definitely affected her career and school choices. She spends most of her free time reading at restaurants which confuses the tourists on Block Island. Now Emily wants to help the readers of Haddam find good books to read during the colder months. Feel free to check out her book reviews on Goodreads.
Photos by Emily Gaynier.