February has finally returned in full force, with the 14th of this month just around the corner. And we all know what this means – the world will once again be clothed with the pale hues of love. Many books have tried to capture the intensity of this emotion, but few have actually managed to do it. These are some of my recommendations that I wholeheartedly encourage you to read, for they will not fail to deliver.
I. CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber
“Caraval”, written by author Stephanie Garber, follows the enthralling story of a young woman navigating the mysterious ways of a magical game in hope that she would find her missing sister, all while trying to keep at bay the unknown feelings her companion arouses in her soul.
Scarlett Dragna, one of the trilogy’s protagonists, prepares herself for an arranged marriage that will help her and her sister Tella escape the clutches of her abusive father and realises that her dreams will only ever be illusions. Her impending wedding would prevent her from seeing Caraval, a mysterious performance where the audience participates in the show that she had grown up fantasizing about. Scarlett soon realises that her sibling had plans of her own, when Tella reveals her enchanting friend, Julian. The sailor whisks the two sisters away and brings them to the nation where the yearly event takes place. However, as soon as her feet touch the ground, Tella is kidnapped by the show’s organiser, leaving a distraught Scarlett behind. When Julian discloses the prize of winning the game, a wish, Miss Dragna decides that the time has to seize her destiny into her own hands and save her beloved sister by being the last one standing in the competition.
What she does not know though, is that everything she has ever heard about Caraval is a lie, and the elaborate game she has dreamed about soon becomes a mind-twisting puzzle entangled with love and heartbreak.
II. RED, WHITE AND ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston
The debut novel follows the development of the forbidden relationship between two of the world’s most prominent figures, who must keep their budding romance a secret while transversing a self-discovery journey for their real identity.
Alex Claremont-Diaz is the son of the first woman President of the USA, who is preparing for re-election. After an unusual incident with a cake, Alex must pretend that he is best friends with one of England’s royalty, Prince Henry. Their rivalry soon turns into something more, when the prince kisses Alex during the New Year’s celebrations. What follows is a mix of adventurous clandestine meetings – including breaking and entering in the Royal Palace, and romantic escapades. As the press eventually discovers their relationship, Alex is left reeling with a storm of emotions he cannot comprehend. Is his love for Henry real? Is everything he has believed about himself a lie?
“Red, white and royal blue” is the perfect rom-com for teenagers to read during the month of love, as it represents a whole category of books that many have been coveting for a long time.
III. STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor
Lazlo Strange is an orphan who dreams of Weep, a mysterious city whose real name was erased from both the mind of humanity and the pages of books. When the leader of the said city starts to recruit scientists for an unknown reason, Lazlo jumps at the opportunity of finally travelling to the place that has been engraved in his soul since his lonely childhood.
His illusions are shattered by the company’s arrival in Weep, a city that is not prospering and carefree but plagued by vicious secrets of the past – and a floating citadel shaped in the form of a seraph. As Lazlo and his friends try to restore the skies to Weep, they uncover clues that hint to a bloody history and otherworldly beings. The beautiful girl visiting his dreams also poses as a magical mystery, with her taking control of his every waking thought – and soon of his heart.
The plot is split between multiple narrators, each individual point of view culminating with a common peak, the truth behind the seraphim-shaped citadel floating above Weep. As the traumatic past of the city comes to light, Lazlo must make a final decision – follow the girl of his literal dreams or join the citizens in their quest for revenge.
Each one of these novels depicts a different shade of love, meant to make them realise that even though they have not yet found their happily ever after, they are still surrounded by the care of their family and friends and will never be alone.
Articol scris de Sîrbu Ana.
Articol editat de Minciu Ioana.