What you should read according to your favorite TV romance
As much as I love a good book romance, I’m also a sucker for a TV romance. Countless “will-they-won’t-they” storylines have kept me binging episode after episode because I’m just so invested in whether two characters will actually get together (to this day, I still stand by Rory and Jess from Gilmore Girls and no one can tell me otherwise).
There are countless TV and book romances out there these days, with some focusing solely on the relationships (ahem, The Bachelor) and others that deal with things that spiral from the romance. Well, here’s a list of books to read after you’re done binging the latest TV romance!
If you love Jane the Virgin,
read Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert
Jane’s entire life is thrown for a loop when she accidentally becomes pregnant, as she now has to grapple with issues surrounding her love, family, and work life. Yvonne’s problems are similar. Since she was seven years old, she has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school. Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her father, Yvonne meets a fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. When Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.
If you love Sex Education,
read A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai
Otis and Simi have many things in common. They both navigate high school drama, have helicopter parents, and set up businesses dealing with sex (in Otis’s case) or love (in Simi’s case). Simi comes from a long line of Indian vichole, or matchmakers. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the “gift.” But Simi is an artist, and she doesn’t want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama—until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah’s social status. Armed with her family’s ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service app. But when she connects a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys’ soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.
If you love Grey’s Anatomy
read Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray
Though not technically a medical drama, Instructions for a Secondhand Heart does have elements reminiscent of one. Jonny has spent every day in a hospital hooked up to machines to keep his heart ticking. When an organ donor is found for Jonny’s heart, the cruel irony of it all doesn’t escape him; for Jonny’s life to finally start, someone else’s had to end. That someone turns out to be Neve’s twin brother, Leo. When Leo was alive, all Neve wanted was for him (and all his overshadowing perfection) to leave. Now that Leo’s actually gone forever, Neve has no idea how to move forward. Then Jonny walks into her life looking for answers, her brother’s heart beating in his chest, and everything starts to change. Together, Neve and Jonny will have to face the future, no matter how frightening it is, while learning to heal their hearts, no matter how much it hurts.
If you love Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
read A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom
Though A Tragic Kind of Wonderful doesn’t have any musical numbers like the show, they both deal with mental illness, relationships, and growth. For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm's length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium. As the walls of Mel's compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst—that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she's been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?
If you love The Bachelor/The Bachelorette
read I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Whether it’s believable or not, the goal of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is to find the love of your life. And for Desi Lee, who has never had a boyfriend, she’s determined to find out whatever love is. Desi is a known disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet. When the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides it's time to tackle her flirting failures using her knowledge of romantic Korean dramas. With her list of “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos. All's fair in love and Korean dramas, right? But when the fun and games turn to feelings, Desi finds out that real-life love is about way more than just drama.
If you love Riverdale,
read Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
The eerie, small town atmosphere of Riverdale and Echo Ridge are one in the same, where romance is just a backdrop to something bigger. Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows. Before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago when the homecoming queen was murdered. Ellery knows all about secrets, and the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous—and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.
If you love On My Block, read Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera
Along with some romance, On My Block also features dynamic friendships and difficult choices that could mean life or death. For sixteen-year-old Nalah, she knows all about hard decisions. She leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. With the role comes violent throwdowns and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. But first, she must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search of the mysterious gang, the Ashé Riders. The closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone—she cares about. Nalah must choose whether or not she’s willing to do the unspeakable to get what she wants. Can she discover that home is not where you live but whom you chose to protect before she loses the family she’s created for good?