This genre of popular fiction is deservedly a lot of people’s least favourite. However, It must be said that the genre has elevated it’s quality in recent years. It has come far from the helpless seemingly plain but secretly sexy heroine with her large bosom heaving like a vibrating Nokia and the billionaire hero with his oiled up six pack and leaden dialogue.(Lets pretend Fifty Shades didn’t take us back a few steps). Nowadays romance novels are more intelligent, realistic and often explore pertinent societal issues. Yes, these are not books you’ll get to name-drop smugly at a dinner party or heaven forbid your doctoral interview. Nevertheless, we can agree to enjoy them for what they are. Without further ado, lets plunge right in.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
This book has been made into a film which stars actress Emilia Clark (Khaleesi!!! <3 ). The film is currently out in cinemas, however I urge you to read the book first/instead. It’s a story about Will Traynor, (an active young man who loses use of his limbs due to a motorcycle accident.) and Lou Clark (the girl who becomes his carer). They start falling in love however Will, struggling with life as a paraplegic has made the painful decision to employ the services of Swiss non profit- Dignitas. Will he go through with it? It is virtually impossible to read this through without weeping like a 2 year old abandoned in the forest.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
This is technically Young Adult Fiction however it does not feel remotely juvenile even though the hero and heroine are teenagers. Trust me, you will not be disappointed even if YA is not your thing. The teenagers who live in Omaha, meet on their high school bus .She’s the overweight redhead and he’s the only Asian kid in the school and they both love comic books. Both characters are also clever, witty and hilarious. Rowell uses the story of two social outcasts to explore racial stereotypes, domestic violence, body image issues etc in such a refreshing manner. It’s also another tear-jerker.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
This Australian novel is about Rosie Jarman, a carefree barmaid and Don Tillman a genetics professor with Aspergers Syndome(curiously identical to Sheldon from Big Bang Theory). The Professor has decided he would like to find a wife and begins the process the only way he knows how –by interviewing women based on a questionnaire he developed through analytics and mathematics, naturally. Don eventually decides to help Rosie find her biological father. It’s definitely a quirky, fun read with complex issues handled in an interesting manner.