The best Valentine’s Day date is a book

Fall in love with these romantic book recommendations. Photo courtesy of Forbes.


For some, love is in the air, but others will still be alone this Valentine’s Day. Who needs a date when there are books? Instead of crying and eating an entire heart-shaped box of chocolates, try reading one of these recommendations from Butler students. Live vicariously through these love stories instead of sitting in a deep hole of loneliness. So, grab a blanket, get cozy and fall in love with a good book.

The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood

This romantic comedy follows Stanford graduate biology student Olive Smith, who finds herself in a fake dating scenario with a faculty member. They each have their own reasons for keeping up the charade but eventually learn that their feelings for each other might be real. “The Love Hypothesis” is the epitome of the “grumpy–sunshine” trope, and this slow-burn romance will keep readers wanting more. 

Junior strategic communication major Genevieve Chandler loves romance books. She highly recommends “The Love Hypothesis” for anyone who needs a relationship to live vicariously through this Valentine’s Day season.

“They fake date and get to know each other, and, obviously, they fall in love,” Chandler said. “It’s got the forced-proximity fake dating trope, which is just amazing.” 

Love and Other Words” by Christina Lauren

Macy Sorensen is an overworked pediatric resident who keeps her feelings hidden as she plans a wedding with a man she does not want to marry. The seemingly perfect life she has created is halted when she runs into her long-lost love, Elliot. Told in alternating timelines between childhood and adulthood, readers can follow Elliot and Macy as they grow closer and figure out what tore them apart. Macy will struggle between following her head or her heart, and this sweet book is filled with twists and turns. 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab

Senior biology major Heidi Reuter enjoys the timeless love story of Schwab’s “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.”

“It’s about a girl [named Addie] who sold her soul to the devil [for immortality],” Reuter said. “[But the catch is] no one could remember her. She goes through decades and decades, and then there’s one guy who does remember her. They fall in love, and it’s just so cute.”

Schwab tells Addie’s life story through alternating chapters from the numerous centuries she lives in to present-day New York City. She can make connections with people, but as soon as she leaves, it is as if she never existed. However, Addie has found ways to cheat her curse. She lives a lonely life of no consequences until she meets someone who does remember her. Addie’s timeless life will keep readers hooked and wondering what will happen next.

Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

This book is an older one, but it remains a great love story still worth reading. “Pride and Prejudice” centers Elizabeth Bennet, an intelligent young woman in 1800s England, who is not as marriage-minded as many other women in that time period. She has four sisters, a checked-out father and a mother who wishes to marry them all off. When two wealthy bachelors come to town, every eligible woman is trying to secure a marriage proposal except Elizabeth. The charming Mr. Bingley seems infatuated with Elizabeth’s sister Jane, but Mr. Darcy seems disinterested in everyone. As Elizabeth navigates high society, her distaste for Mr. Darcy only grows, but there is a thin line between love and hate. This love story is definitely a slow burn, but it is timeless. If the book seems too long or too antiquated to read, try the 2005 movie adaptation, starring Keira Knightley, as it parallels the book as a masterpiece.

Set on You” by Amy Lea, book 1 of “The Influencer” series

Junior strategic communication major Kailey Murphey highly recommends this romantic series by author Amy Lea.

“[Crystal] is this mid-sized influencer who does gym social media work,” Murphey said. “She meets this guy at the gym, and he’s an *sshole. Then she goes to a family event, and he’s there. They begin a friendship, and it leads into romance.”

“Set on You” is a great read for those who like the enemies to lovers trope, and it is also a great commentary on the impact of social media on relationships. Get ready for lots of funny banter and a chaotic love story.

Red, White & Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston

“Red, White & Royal Blue” is McQuiston’s first book but was lauded by critics as a strong debut novel. The main characters are not only enemies but political rivals, which adds a new layer to the classic enemies to lovers trope.

Murphey also gave a synopsis for this LGBTQ+  romance novel by Casey McQuiston.

“[Alex] is the son of the first female Latina American president and is a little fruity, but he doesn’t know it,” Murphey said. “He has this little tête-à-tête with the Prince of England, named Henry. [Alex] has this known public disagreement with him, but they still have to be cordial for [media appearances]. Soon enough they develop a friendship. Alex then starts to understand where he lies on the spectrum of his sexuality.” 

There is no joy like the joy of reading a good book. Why waste money on a bad date when $15 can guarantee a happy ending? No date can do that. Any of these recommendations will fill the empty void any date-less person has this Valentine’s Day. Let someone else go through the ups and downs of a relationship from the comfort of home.


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