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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Maddie’s Library: Rom-coms for Valentine’s Day enthusiasts

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“Nora Goes Off Script” is a cozy read with a romance to root for. (Photo courtesy of Amazon)

With rumors of a co-star romance swirling around the set of Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell’s “Anyone But You,” I’m starting to hope we might be entering a golden era of rom-coms. The drama, the mystery, the intrigue!

Romances are great at any time of the year, but here are three of my favorite literary love stories I’ve read this year to put you in the mood for love this Valentine’s Day.

“Nora Goes Off Script” by Annabel Monaghan

When Nora’s husband takes off on her and their two children, she stops writing about happily ever afters and pens a dark screenplay about her reality. It’s mostly a therapeutic exercise for her, but what do you know, her producers love it. They want to make it into a movie, filmed at the woodsy oasis that is her home, starring international heartthrob Leo Vance.

Not only does the film shoot for a week at her house, but Leo wants to stay longer to detox from his life of fame. In a newly one-income household, Nora isn’t exactly in a position to turn down his offer of rent, and besides, what’s the worst that could happen? (Wink, wink, of course).

This book just made sense. Nora and her family are the perfect people to root for, and I felt like I was settling into the couch in their cozy house alongside them. The narrative moves a bit like a movie, and it’s one that I’d like to see.

Be warned: Nora and Leo are major perpetrators of the miscommunication trope, but I somehow found it understandable in their context. I don’t know. You can be the judge.

“The Seven-Year Slip” by Ashley Poston

Okay, let me see if I can explain this succinctly: After her beloved aunt’s death, publicist Clementine returns to her apartment one day to find an unexpected guest. He’s charming, he’s romantic and his cooking tastes like something she could only dream of. There’s a catch, though — he exists seven years in the past.

When Clementine wakes up after sharing a swoon-worthy kiss with Iwan, he has lived seven years since the night of romance. Clementine has always known there was something magical about her aunt’s apartment, but when the pair meets again in the same timeline, will that magic be enough to stretch across all that has changed for Iwan in seven years?

The story is charming if a bit saccharine, and Poston has a talent for intertwining heartwrenching grief and dreamy romance to create a couple that feels real and battle-tested — it’s a comfort to melt into a story about lovers looking for each other across the expanse of space and time. This doesn’t quite take the top spot from “Dead Romantics” on my Poston podium, but it’s a must-read for romance aficionados.

“Happy Place” by Emily Henry

The queen of rom-coms hit another home run with this one. The May release of “Happy Place” marked Henry’s fourth bestselling rom-com in a row, and she doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon: “Funny Story” comes out this May.

“Happy Place” tells the story of Harriet and Wyn, exes who are keeping their breakup a secret from their mutual group of friends until after their yearly trip together. To keep up the guise, they have to share a room, a bed … you get the rest.

Henry has long been a master of banter, but different facets of her expertise stand out in this one. She conjures a picture of a setting like no other, the Maine cottage that the six friends inhabit is so beautifully described that I almost booked my ticket.

Most impressive, though, is the friendship she crafts between Harriet, Sabrina and Cleo. Henry captures perfectly the scary feeling of knowing you’re about to enter a different stage of your life and that with it, your relationship with the people you love most in the world is going to change. Forget Harriet and Wyn, this story is about Harriet, Sabrina and Cleo.

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About the Contributor
Madeline Marriott, Editor-in-Chief
Maddie (she/her) is a senior English major with a Government & Law minor. As the Editor-in-Chief, a Mentor Writing Associate, a Senior Student Contributor for Lafayette Communications, a Communications Intern for the Office of Sustainability, co-founder and Vice President of English Club, and a Senior Interviewer for Lafayette Admissions, no writing happens on campus without her knowing about it. Her Google Calendar would make your head spin. She is a die-hard Swiftie and Phillies fan, a collector of tote bags, a builder of a Hay Day empire, and an avid Goodreads and Letterboxd user. She smokes cigars and uses an old-timey typewriter and notepad in the newsroom.

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