Swoon-worthy book recommendations to add to your TBR


Laura Heckenlaible

Here are a few of the books I have read or am currently reading.

Laura Heckenlaible, Staff Writer

Many people swear off books after having an unpleasant experience with excruciatingly long textbooks or sleep-inducing summer reading, but the reality is not all books have to be unfavorable; some books can actually become a source of excitement. 

Despite the various negative stereotypes behind reading, in the past few years as I’ve grown older I’ve also found that reading is one of my favorite pastimes. At the end of a long day, I look forward to kicking back and reading whatever new book I choose for the week. It is almost impossible not to get all wrapped up in a good book. When you find one and practically jump in the story yourself, the act of even stopping to get a drink of water sounds detrimental. After exploring the vast selection of genres of books, I found that my favorite is contemporary fiction and romance books. Call me cheesy but who isn’t a sucker for a good love story? So, if you’re practically a bookworm or if it’s the first book you’re willingly picking up since Dr. Seuss, here are some of my favorite romance books I’ve read that you can add to your to be read (TBR) list. Hopefully, you find a new book to fall in love with.


“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reed

Don’t even get me started about this book. “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” single-handedly brought me out of my reading slump, and ever since I have not been able to stop pondering the complex storyline. This book is not technically a romance; though it follows Evelyn and her multiple marriages, it also tells various characters’ individual stories and connects them together to make an enticing story with some thrill, mystery and of course a little romance. 

This novel follows a journalist named Monique as she lands a once-in-a-lifetime job interviewing the famous 1960’s star, Evelyn Hugo. Once they meet, Monique soon learns that Evelyn has a plan of her own. Switching between Evelyn’s perspective of her life long ago and Monique’s own personal life, readers find out that their stories may have some shocking similarities. 

Filled to the brim with surprises, this book is by far my favorite. It will leave you on your toes and unable to speak for days after.


“The Love Hypothesis” by Ali HazelWood

Initially, I steered away from the book because of the cover. With a picture of two drawn figures kissing, I felt embarrassed to be seen reading it. After I faced my fear, I quickly realized that I judged the book by its cover. This is your reminder to read the book no matter the cover or what others think.

Grad student and 3rd year Ph.D. candidate Olive Smith knows that her ex-boyfriend and her best friend are perfect for each other. The only problem is that her best friend doesn’t want to make Olive uncomfortable. Because Olive wants her best friend to be happy and show her that she has moved on, Olive does the only logical action, she kisses the first man she sees. And what do you know? That man just so happens to be the young, dreamy yet completely feared for his brooding personality Professor Adam Carlsen. When Adam hears of Olive’s predicament, he proposes they pretend to fake date each other. As they hang out more and more, Olive finds out that Adam may not be the scary guy people make him out to be. As their experiment becomes more real and their own personal lives begin to entangle and challenge their relationship, Adam and Olive must decide what they really want.

Along with the suspenseful romance between Olive and Adam is the difference it has between most other common romances. Olive is a woman in STEM. The book goes against the traditional damsel in distress storyline and portrays Olive as a more realistic woman, one who is brave, independent and intelligent with or without a man. 


“In Five Years”- Rebecca Serle

This book was recommended to me by my English teacher. At first, I was skeptical because I was unsure if a student, like me, could like the same book as a teacher. Now I know that that thought was just not true cause this book was nothing like I had read before. 

In the mind of Dannie Kohan the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” practically runs her life. Her life is perfectly planned, unlike her best friend, Bella, who lives life on the edge. On the outside Dannie’s life is perfect and seems to be going as planned; she just landed a job at the law firm she has always dreamed of working at and she just got engaged to her long-term boyfriend all in one day. That night she goes to bed at ease ready to continue planning. That is until she wakes up and she isn’t in her apartment nor is she next to the same man. For one hour she lives her life just five years into the future before she wakes up back in the present day in her “perfect” life. As she tries to continue like normal and is even forced to face a huge hardship, she is unable to stop thinking about that hour in her different life with the man who is not her fiance. Will Dannie be able to move on or was that one hour all she needed to make her realize she wants something and someone different?

This book was not what I was expecting. It threw a huge curveball, which only made reading it even more interesting. Despite my initial off-put, I ended up truly enjoying this book and all its quirks.

“November 9” by Colleen Hoover

If you know anything about books, you would recognize the author of “November 9.” Colleen Hoover is known for her romance books and their insane twists that leave readers quite literally sobbing, me included. Her books became widely known as avid readers raved about them on Tik Tok. 

When 18-year-old Fallon, a former child star, meets 18-year-old Ben, an aspiring author, right before her big move across the country, their immediate attraction compels them to plan to meet up on the same date each year. They will do so without any contact with each other throughout the year between. From that very first moment, Ben decides that Fallon is what he has been looking for for so long. She becomes not only someone he deeply admires but she also becomes the muse for his next novel.  As each year passes, despite only being together for a short period, their relationship goes through many ups and downs that come along with growing up. Still, after the single visit each year, they seem to still be completely head over heels for one another. Everything seems perfect until Fallon begins to question Ben and his honesty. Maybe their stories are more connected than anyone knows, including Fallon.

I put off reading this book for so long because I thought I would not like it due to the unique setup of the relationship, but when I finally gave in, I realized I had made a big mistake not picking it up and reading it sooner. No joke, I finished the book in one day. Here’s just another reminder to try something new when reading because you never know you may end up loving the book just like I did.