This week we’re talking about comfort zones. I don’t really think I have a comfort zone because I like to read different genres. But if I had to choose, I would say that my comfort zone is high fantasy.
Now a genre that is really outside of my comfort zone is romance. It’s not that I don’t like romance stories, I do. Some of them are just so bad that when I realise a book has romance in it, I have to think twice about starting it. So this week I’ve decided to feature five of my favourite romance stories:
Sankarea: Undying Love by Mittsuru Hattori
Since he was little, Chihiro has felt an unusual emotional connection to zombie movies. It’s not that he feels bad for the survivors – instead he fantasizes about comforting the poor undead girls they slaughter! When his beloved pet passes away, he decides to brew up a resurrection potion in secret. But he’s discovered by popular girl and local heiress Sanka Rea, whose life isn’t as perfect as it seems… and Furuya suggests that she could serve as a test subject!
Why I love it: It’s your unconventional romance. True it’s still a boy-meets-girl type situation, but how often is it reworked to boy-meets-zombie? And it might give you a scare or two!
Yamada and the Seven Witches by Miki Yoshikawa
Class troublemaker Ryu Yamada is already having a bad day when he stumbles down a staircase along with star student Urara Shiraishi. When he wakes up, he realizes they have switched bodies—and that Ryu has the power to trade places with anyone just by kissing them! After figuring out the workings behind this new and amazing ability, Ryu and Urara take full advantage of the situation to improve their lives. But with such an oddly amazing power, just how long will Ryu and Urara be able to keep their secret under wraps?
Why I love it: Character development. Character development. Character development. Character development. This series has some of the best development of characters and romantic subplots I’ve ever seen. And I’m not the only one since the series was recently picked up by Kodansha to be distributed in North America.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make.
Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family.
Why I love it: Because tragic romances are my favourite.
The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.
Why I love it: This read exactly like a romcom movie. And there was a really well developed romance, great characters, interesting subplots, mental health issues, and LGBT representation. What else could you ask for?
A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.
Why I love it: Shatter my heart in two and just step all over the pieces. ATPOY was such a great book and I honestly wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did.
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