Books

14 books to read on Valentine's Day

Celebrate love — or getting over it — by reading one of these great books.

It's Valentine's Day! Celebrate love — or getting over it — by reading one of these great books.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue is a novel by Casey McQuiston. (St. Martin's Press, caseymcquiston.com)

Casey McQuiston's novel Red, White & Royal Blue imagines a romance between the son of the president of the United States and the Prince of Wales. Alex Claremont-Diaz is the son of the first female president of the United States. Prince Henry is the Prince of Wales. And they hate each other. When an altercation between the two of them makes the press, they must patch things up or risk hurting international relations between their countries. And what starts as a fake friendship evolves into something more.

Red, White & Royal Blue won The Goodreads Choice Award for Romance.

McQuiston is a writer from Louisiana, who now lives in New York. Red, White & Royal Blue is their first book. 

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

Amal El-Mohtar (right) and Max Gladstone (left) are the authors of This Is How You Lose the Time War. (@maxgladstone/Twitter.com, Gallery/Saga Press, @tithenai/Twitter.com)

This Is How You Lose the Time War is a debut fantasy novel co-written by Canadian Amal El-Mohtar and American Max Gladstone. When two time-travelling agents from warring factions begin a clandestine correspondence, they're each determined to make sure their side has the best hope for the future. But when they fall in love, their secret may have deadly consequences.

El-Mohtar's short story Seasons of Glass and Iron won Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. Gladstone is the author of the Hugo-nominated series Craft Sequence.

Kings, Queens and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens is a YA novel by Tanya Boteju. (Simon & Schuster, Jennifer Ivings)

Kings, Queens and In-Betweens is a YA novel that follows a high school student named Nima who is growing tired of sitting on the sidelines — both as the basketball team's equipment manager and in her unrequited crush for her best friend Ginny. When a carnival brings a cast of rowdy, colourful drag kings and queens to town, Nima begins to come out of her shell for the first time.

Kings, Queens and In-Betweens is Vancouver writer Tanya Boteju's first novel.

Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks

Comics Will Break Your Heart is a YA novel by Faith Erin Hicks. (Nathan Boone, Raincoast Books)

In the YA novel Comics Will Break Your HeartMiriam's grandfather co-created the iconic superhero series TomorrowMen, but doesn't get a dime for his work because he sold the rights for a pittance to his co-creator. Now the family's struggling to stay afloat and the future looks grim for Miriam. Things get complicated when heir to the TomorrowMen fortune moves to town — and, worse, he happens to be pretty cute. 

Comics Will Break Your Heart is for readers aged 12 and up.

Comics Will Break Your Heart is Faith Erin Hicks' first novel. She is also the author of the popular Nameless City graphic novel series.

A Delhi Obsession by M.G. Vassanji

A Delhi Obsession is a novel by M.G. Vassanji. (Doubleday Canada)

M.G. Vassanji's latest novel, A Delhi Obsessionis about an unexpected love affair. Munir Khan lives in Toronto and was born in Kenya, but his family was originally from Delhi. After becoming a widower, Munir decides to travel to India for the first time and ends up meeting a charismatic, married newspaper columnist. Their differences fuel a passionate affair, but the couple is being watched by a fanatical nationalist group.

M.G. Vassanji is a two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize winner. He is also the author of the novels NostalgiaThe Book of Secrets and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall.

Plummet by Sherwin Tjia

Plummet is a graphic novel by Sherwin Tjia. (Conundrum Press)

In the graphic novel PlummetAmelia "Mel" Eichenwald wakes up to discover that the Earth has disappeared and left her in an endless state of freefall. Surrounded by falling knick-knacks, homes and a few other humans — some friendly and some not — Mel must figure out a way to survive in this strange gravity-centric reality.

Sherwin Tjia is an illustrator from Montreal. Plummet is his 11th book. 

Autopsy of a Boring Wife by Marie-Renée Lavoie, translated by Arielle Aaronson

Autopsy of a Boring Wife is by author Marie-Renée Lavoie and translated by Arielle Aaronson. (Martine Doyon, House Of Anansi Press)

Autopsy of a Boring Wife by Marie-Renée Lavoie is an unexpectedly funny story about a woman named Diane whose husband of 25 years says she's too boring to stay with, so he leaves her for a younger woman. Diane dreams up ways to get her husband back, torture his new girlfriend and move on with the support of her best friend and three children. 

Autopsy of a Boring Wife was translated from French by Arielle Aaronson.

Lavoie is the author of three books, including Mister Roger and Me (La petite et le vieux in French), which won Radio-Canada's Les combat des livres in 2012. Lavoie lives in Montreal.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test is a novel by Helen Hoang. (Berkley, Adam Amengual)

In The Bride TestKhai Diep's mother is determined to find her son love. She goes to Vietnam and returns with Esme Tran, a girl determined to land an American husband so she doesn't have to return. But Khai is on the autism spectrum, which means he processes emotions differently. Esme feels like she's not connecting with Khai, which is a big problem: she's falling in love with him. 

Helen Hoang is an author based in San Diego. She is also the author of The Kiss Quotient. She has Autism Spectrum Disorder, which has inspired her books.

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

The Wedding Party is a novel by Jasmine Guillory. (Berkley, Penguin Random House)

The Wedding Party is about what happens when two enemies have to come together for the sake of their best friend's wedding. Maddie and Theo are Alexa's best friends. And now that Alexa is getting married, they have to spend a lot of time together. When one "mistake" turns into a way to burn off the stress and nervous energy of the upcoming big day, Maddie and Theo have to ask themselves: What's really going on here?

Jasmine Guillory is a bestselling romance novelist. Her previous books include The Wedding Date, The Proposal and Royal Holiday.

Reproduction by Ian Williams

Ian Williams is the author of Reproduction. (Sinisa Jolic, CBC)

When Felicia and her teenage son Army move into a basement apartment, they bond with the house's owner and his two children. But strange gifts from Army's wealthy, absent father begin to arrive at their doorstep, inviting new tensions into the makeshift family's lives. 

Reproduction is Ian Williams's debut novel, following his Griffin Poetry Prize-nominated poetry collection Personals and award-winning short fiction collection Not Anyone's Anything. It won the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was nominated for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award.

26 Knots by Bindu Suresh

26 Knots is a novel by Bindu Suresh. (Invisible Publishing)

26 Knots weaves a complicated love story: Araceli falls for a fellow journalist named Adrien, who is already in love with Pénélope, who can't decide between him and Gabriel, who is too traumatized by his father's abandonment to be a good partner. 

Bindu Suresh is a fiction writer and pediatrician based in Montreal. 26 Knots is her first book. CBC Books named Suresh a writer to watch in 2019

At the Mountain's Edge by Genevieve Graham

At the Mountain's Edge is a novel by Genevieve Graham. (genevievegraham.com, Simon & Schuster)

At the Mountain's Edge is a Canadian historial fiction romance. The Yukon gold rush of 1897 holds the promise of a fresh start for Constable Ben Turner, a haunted recruit from the North-West Mounted Police, and Liza Peterson, whose family plans to move their general store from Vancouver to Dawson City. But the journey north proves to be far more dangerous than either of them realizes. Together they face off against the natural elements, forming a deep bond along the way.

At the Mountain's Edge is Genevieve Graham's fourth novel. She writes Canadian historical fiction, including Tides of Honour, Promises to Keep and Come From Away.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me is a graphic novel written by Mariko Tamaki and drawn by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell. (House of Anansi Press, Shawnee Custalow)

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me is a YA graphic novel about a teenage girl named Freddy who can't seem to quit her girlfriend, the popular, enigmatic Laura Dean. Though they keep breaking up and getting back together, Freddy frets over whether to forgive Laura's many indiscretions — all the while taking her friendships for granted.

Mariko Tamaki is an award-winning Canadian comics writer, contributing to Marvel and DC Comics. She's based in California. Her other books include Skim(you) Set Me On Fire and This One Summer.

Valero-O'Connell is an American illustrator and cartoonist. 

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

Say You Still Love Me is a novel by K.A. Tucker. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Laura Tucker Photography)

Say You Still Love Me is about Piper Calloway, a young woman making it in the high-powered business world, thanks to a VP job at her dad's company. But she has to face a nasty ex and proving that she belongs in the world of business, beyond her last name. Her world is turned upside down when the new security guard is her crush from summer camp, and he doesn't remember her at all. Or does he?

K.A. Tucker is a bestselling thriller and romance writer based in Toronto. Her other books include He Will Be My RuinUntil It FadesKeep Her Safe, and The Simple Wild.

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