10 Romantic Reads That Will Leave You Squealing For More + PRETTY BOOKISH PHOTOS



I know that Valentine's Day has gone and passed, but is it really over? I think the whole month of February does sort of celebrate this day of love, even if the 14th is no longer here. So, since I am a huge fan of Valentine's Day (chocolate, cards, pizza... what holiday gets better than that??) and I happen to devour romance books, I thought I'd give you all a few recommendations for when you're looking for that special read.

Okay, I'm not going to lie, this post is basically an excuse for me to ramble on and on about some books tHAT NEED MORE LOVE. I've been in a very bookish mood lately so please, indulge me.

Book recommendations that will probably destroy your soul but leave you squealing for more

I'm going to list these from most soul-wracking to this is the cutest book I have ever touched. Or at least try to...

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis 

"Maybe I'm not so ugly after all. Maybe no one is really ugly, and maybe no one has the right to call someone that or tell them that they are. Maybe the only real ugliness is what lives inside some people."

I'm putting this first because I'm still on the "book high" for it. I can't even properly form the words on how much I loved this book, so I'm just going to copy and paste my recent review of it because it SUMS UP MY FEELS PERFECTLY. 

Initial response: Too much of an emotional mess right now to write a review but allow me to say that EVAN AND HENRY ARE THE CUTEST DARN THINGS IN THE WORLD AND I AM MENTALLY CHUCKING MORE STARS AT THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT DESERVES THEM ALL.

More composed response: 

I flipping love this book with all my heart and soul. Okay? I haven't read a book like this since All The Bright Places, which was around this time of year THREE YEARS AGO. 

I absolutely fell in love with the characters right away. Evan is an adorable little cinnamon roll and deserves the world. You hear me? He. Deserves. The World. And don't even get me started on Henry. THAT BOY. *sobs over his level of perfection for years and years* 

Their relationship is so SO good. I don't know how to explain it, but their connection was built so perfectly... in a way that didn't make it seem like the book was just trying to have romance in it. You know? Henry and Evan have been life-long best friends and when Evan comes back from church camp, Henry is basically like:

"lol y did u leave me i road my bike passed your house everyday lol i think this girl likes you, ev. lol ev, i know she likes you. do you like her? say no, ev. tell me you like me because i like you. as a friend. (not really because i'm gay. for you. and only you.)"

And meanwhile, all Evan can think about is: 

"When did Henry get so hot?"

But that's not even the best/most important part of their relationship. Evan is in an abusive household and it's a really, really difficult situation to be in. Henry doesn't know that Evan's mother is abusive, but he slowly begins to piece it together. What I love is that Henry doesn't want to "save" Evan, he wants to help him. Because, realistically, Evan is really the only person who can save himself from this type of abuse and Henry is just... UGH. He is so supportive and caring and sweet and DID SOMEONE SAY THANKSGIVING? *sobs even more*

And what I love even more about this book was that the author, Angelo (I LOVE YOU), put so many personal emotions into this. Like, everything felt so real while I was reading it. I felt all the things Evan was feeling and that's something I really love when it comes to reading a book. It was just so raw and it discussed issues that nobody even talks about... And the fact that this was also based on Angelo's personal story made it even more beautiful.

So, yeah. I WANT TO WRAP THIS BOOK UP IN A FUZZY BLANKET AND TIE IT TO MY BACK AND NEVER LET GO. (aka: I LOVE THIS BOOK AND I NEED MORE FROM ANGELO. <3)


"My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations."

Yeah, you've heard of this book. And yeah, you've probably read it... But it is worth mentioning so imma just leave it right here. Okay? Okay. (See what I did there? *laughs turn into ugly sobs*)

It's my favorite John Green book aside from Turtles All The Way Down. I didn't enjoy Looking For Alaska or Paper Towns (not including the road trip part because that was MY FAVE) as much as some people. I used to think I was the only one but now I've been hearing similar opinions? Oh well, John Green is still a mastermind.


"You are all the colors in one at full brightness."

DON'T LET THE ADORABLE PASTEL COVER FOOL YOU! This book ripped apart my soul and threw it into the streets to be run over by a gigantic monster truck. Here, read it. *shoves tear-stained book at you*

I know a lot of people think that this book is "romanticizing" mental illness but I beg to differ. This book is about two teens, Violet and Finch, who meet at the top of their school's bell tower and eventually fall in love. Violet is suffering the loss of her sister at the time but Finch has something deeper going on that nobody really puts much thought into. So, I just want to say that this book is about two people who have mental illness and fall in love. They do not fall in love BECAUSE they have mental illness (which, to me, would be when the whole "romanticizing mental illness" comes into play). Also, if I may add, Finch was never properly diagnosed with his mental illness, so it's not like Violet knew of his disorder right away. 

Anywho. THESE ARE MY BABIES AND I WILL FIGHT YOU IF YOU HURT THEM. GRRR. (I'm just kidding. I respect everyone's opinions and I love hearing what you think. So please read this book. It is beautiful and sad and asdfghjkl. It wasn't until the author's note did I cry because words like "this was based on a story of a boy I knew and loved" reaLLY KNOW HOW TO KNOCK ME IN THE FEELS.)


"He made her feel like more than the sum of her parts."

I read this book in two sittings and such a long time ago... but it'll always be one of my all-time favorites. It takes place in the 80s which I THINK IS SO COOL. It's about two "misfits" who find liking in each other. Eleanor lives in a dysfunctional household and she's not really the noticeable person at school, but Park finds a liking in her and they end up exchanging comics and music and ASDFGHJKL- SUCH AN ADORABLE LOVE STORY. I cry for days.

I really need to read it again because It's been so long and my memory can only recall the moment when Park wore eyeliner.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes 

"You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible."

THIS! BOOK! Can we talk about how ethically thought-provoking it was? I honestly did not expect to love this book as much as I did.  The way it was written made me feel cozy, you know? I actually won it in a goodreads giveaway right around the time when the movie came out and LET ME TELL YOU, MISTER- IT WAS AMAZING. I'm fairly certain I cried? I can't remember because the emotional trauma was just too much. Oh! And the movie is just as amazing. You should definitely watch it. The actors are top notch. (Do I sound like an official Brit? Yes? No? Just lie to me, I want to be British.)

So, if you want a book that makes you laugh, cry, and think about life then this is the book for you.


"The universe stops and waits for us."

BRO. This book is so good. I honestly didn't think I was going to love it as much as I did? Which says a lot considering how much I adored Everything, Everything. Nonetheless, I feel as though this book deserves more recognition. I mean, I know it's in the works of becoming a movie (YES) but the way it was written... it was so creative. The story's events all take place in one day, which is something I don't typically enjoy but THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD, I DIDN'T MIND. 

The book centers around Natasha who is trying to help her family from getting deported back to Jamaica. During her day roaming around NYC she meets Daniel who comes from a strict Korean family. He dreams of becoming a poet and unlike Natasha, he is a hopeless romantic. 
Their relationship is so good, you guys. I know that it would be considered "insta-lovey" since the book takes place all in one day BUT IT DIDN'T FEEL THAT WAY. Plus, the book also shows the point of view of the people Daniel and Natasha encounter through their day. 

I don't know, I just feel like if you didn't enjoy Everything, Everything like I did, you will absolutely devour this one.


Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

"hehe. nice."

*giggles* Yes, of course I am going to put this book on the list... I can't help it! Nicola Yoon is now one of my favorite authors. <3-<3 Her creativity just captivates me! 

I won't say much about this book since you all have probably heard a lot about it BUT THIS BOOK IS THE CUTEST THING EVER AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It makes you believe in love and want to take risks. Y'all should have seen me while reading Olly and Maddy's IMs. I couldn't stop giggling and smiling. AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE MOVIE (perfection).


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

"Baz... Y-you're wearing jeans."
"I am. And you're wearing half the countryside."

If you know me or have briefly encountered my awkward presence on the internet, then you probably know I will never ever shut up about this book.

Let's break it down, shall we?

Gay Harry Potter Fanfic + Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell = Carry On

You know how when someone asks you "lol what's your favorite book?" and you just kinda black out because WHAT KIND OF EVIL QUESTION IS THAT?! Well, this is the book that always pops into my mind first. Don't get me wrong, I love alllllllll my babies... But there's something about this book that makes me want to jump off walls and cry from happiness.

Th sass in this book is so real. We have clueless Simon who is "The Chosen One" and is always thinking about scones, and then we have Baz who doesn't know how to deal with his feelings so he pushes Simon down the stairs. (They're such beans.)

It's a fantasy novel written by a contemporary author. NOTHING GETS BETTER THAN THAT. So, please, please, PLEASE READ THIS BOOK FOR ME. I am begging you here.


To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

"'Is this your feller?'
'No, not really,' I say, and Peter throws his arm around my shoulder and says, 
'Yes, sir. I'm her feller.'"

When I first started reading this book, I thought it was going to be childish... BUT BOY, WAS I WRONG. It says it's about a girl who writes love letters to all her past crushes and they accidentally get mailed out BUT THAT'S NOT EVEN THE START OF IT. She (Lara Jean) agrees to "pretend date" this boy (Peter Kavinsky) so that her current crush doesn't find out her true feelings...  *bursts into a fit of girly giggles* And it's just so good. Peter and Lara Jean's sarcastic banter is literally the best thing ever.

I will never ever get over this book.

It's actually a trilogy. I read the second book thinking it was the last one and I was soooo upset because of how everything was going, but then JENNY HAN CAME OUT WITH A THIRD AND YES. I cried like a baby reading the third book. #noshamehere

It's just one of those books that will leave you squealing forever and make you the happiest person in the world.


Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

"I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways... And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again."

I am sooo not smiling stupidly at my laptop as I think about this book. Why would I do that? It's not like this book plastered an everlasting grin on my face and now people mistake me for the joker.

But for real.

This book was like the king of "cutest books in the history of books". Simon is one of the most adorable characters I have ever read, and I just adored his whole mindset. Of course, the book centers around Simon who is dealing with the whole "coming out" situation. He doesn't really know how to go about it, but he discovers that another boy from his school is going through the same situation, so they start talking to each other under fake names. 

I am such a sucker for "we met online so we've never been in each other's physical presence before" type of romances. So, my favorite part was when we FINALLY got to figure out who Blue was.

So, if y'all wanna look like me (aka the joker) please read this book. I promise you won't regret it.


TALK TO ME!

Wow. This was a really long post... but I couldn't help it! Once I get started on talking about books there is no stopping me. Mwuhahahaha! SO, TELL ME; WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ROMANTIC READS? ANY THAT MAKE YOU SMILE STUPIDLY AND GIGGLE LIKE CRAZY?? Any that I forgot to add to this list? Lemme know, friend. 

xx Kenzie


P.S. If you click on some of the titles of the books, you'll see my aesthetic boards for them. ;)

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9 happy thoughts

  1. Ahhh, we have the same taste in John Green books. But I think you knew that already, lol. Ya. Everything, Everything was pretty cute. I have her other books on my list, now. :)

    Me Before You was such a surprising book. It was exactly - "ethically thought-provoking." And the writing was great, making you really feel for the characters. Me After You was good too, because it showed what living after something like that was like.

    I think I read too many "serious" books, because no romantic reads are coming to mind. ops.
    k.

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    1. EEEEP, YES WE DO. <3 and I think you would absolutely love The Sun is Also a Star. It's cute but it's also deeper than her other book (in my opinion) and just... Yeah. Really, really good. :)

      I KNOW RIGHT?! I was very surprised with it as well. I have not read the second book for certain reasons, but I did hear good things about it. :)

      Oh, girl, I think I read too many romantic books. XD There was a time when I would ONLY read books with romance in them. I was such a single minded person then. *sighs and shakes my head* I know the majority (a huge majority) of the books I read now do have romance in them but I am now completely open to reading *all* le books. XD

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Keira! I always look forward to hearing from you. <3

      xx Kenzie

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  2. ELEANOR AND PARK JUST GIVES ME ALL THE FEELS. I also still need to read The Sun is Also a Star-- I've been having library fee problems (one of the WORST kinds of problems, if you ask me) so checking out books from the library has been on hiatus until I either pay the twenty dollar fee or find all of my books for the school library which tally up to $100 total. >.<

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

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    1. I. KNOW. RIGHT. Still upset it's not going to be a movie anymore but I understand why Rainbow Rowell didn't push to go through with it. EEEEEPP, I HONESTLY THINK YOU WILL LOVE IT. <3 And ahhh, library fees are THE WORST. o-o Never rent out the two-day rentals because there is no way you'll get it back in time and then they charge you a dollar a day when it is late. It really catches up to you. XD

      I always fangirl whenever you comment on my posts. THANK YOU FOR READING! <3

      xx Kenzie

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  3. AAAAHHHHH EEEEEEHHHHHH OK BUT MARCH IS GONNA BE MY CONTEMPORARY READING MONTH so THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES FOR ALL THESE RECOMMENDATIONS!! I wanted to read Me Before You but wasn't totally sure cos NONE OF MY FRIENDS HAS REVIEWED IT (wot) so thanks for being the first <333 Most of the others sound great as well!! TBR HERE I COME!!!

    xx lisa @ inkwell

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    1. EEEEEEPPPP YOU ARE SO VERY WELCOME. I AM SO HAPPY YOU ENJOYED THE POST AND ARE TAKING CONSIDERATION IN THESE RECOMMENDATIONS. You won't regret it, I can promise you that. ;) YES! It is so, so good. Honestly, I did not except to love it as much as I did? And the movie is just as good.

      I absolutely adore contemporary book so LEMME KNOW HOW YOU LIKE THESE. <3 :)

      Thanks so much for reading!

      xx Kenzie

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  4. I LOVE ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES AND ELEANOR AND PARK!!!! SO GOOD!!!!

    This post is amazing.

    The other two I've read are Everything Everything and Carry On, neither of which I liked very much? Maybe that's just me though. Other then that I haven't read the rest, so I gotta look into those. Excellent post! <3

    -Vivian

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    1. Oh and I also have read Fault in Our Stars which I thought was ok. I think I'm really picky about romance novels haha.

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    2. YESSSSSSS. ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES AND ELEANOR AND PARK HIT ME RIGHT IN THE FEELS.

      Umm... YOU are amazing. <33

      I feel like you would enjoy The Sun is Also a Star. And if you liked All The Bright Places and Eleanor and Park, you will definitely devour The Dangerous Art of Blending In. It's kind of like their baby?

      Hehe, it's okay. You kind of have to be picky with romance novels because you never know when you'll run into a cliche story. o-o But as far as my favorite romance novels go... none of them have been like that. ^-^

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I hope you have a lovely day. <3

      xx Kenzie

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Thank you for taking the time to leave a message, it truly means a lot to me. I try my best to respond to each and every one of them, so come back and let's have a conversation.

xx Kenzie