If you resolved to read more in the new year, you might be looking at the best books of 2016 and thinking the list (though totes exciting!) is a bit daunting. Reading, say, 50 books in one year might sound like a crazy goal, but once you start spending time with characters you really care about, the chapters just fly by — and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better page-turner than a romantic read. Here are seven of our favorites to get your heart singing.
1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah ($28): This piece of historical fiction focuses on a pair of sisters who live in a Nazi-occupied French town during WWII. Even though they have different roles in their homes and country, love is the common thing they’re fighting for.
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen ($8): Jane Austen was the Nicholas Sparks of her day, and Pride and Prejudice might as well be the 19th-century The Notebook. This story set in early 19th-century England follows two unlikely lovers who experience what might be the happiest ending of all time.
3. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen ($10): The best thing about The Truth About Forever is the fact that it’s an extraordinarily told story about a relatively ordinary girl. Macy has just lost her dad and randomly gets a new job at the appropriately named Wish Catering company. As the story goes on, she proves that you can find love pretty much anywhere, as long as you’re willing to look.
4. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson ($11): This non-linear story has two first-person protagonists: Jude and Noah, a twin boy and girl who each have different perspectives on the way they grew up — as well as the way love fits into their lives and relationship with each other.
5. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles ($10): This selection from The New York Times Best Seller list stars a white uptown girl and Latino downtown boy. Through the seemingly innocent lens of high school, these two navigate and overcome societal and familial forces to create a unique relationship that gives us hope for more unexpected love.
6. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding ($16): The book that launched the blockbuster movie, Bridget Jones’s Diary is Bridget’s literal diary that details her love life, family drama and career escapades in a hilarious, relatable way.
7. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger ($16): Yes, the chemistry between Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana is timeless in the 2009 movie. But if you take the time to read the book, the details, backstories and magic of the plot come to life in a way that even our favorite actors can’t imitate.
What was the last romantic novel you just couldn’t put down? Let us know @BritandCo!
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(Featured photo via Getty)