5 Fantastic Romantic Comedies To Read

Romantic comedies

Looking for something light, with sparkling dialogue to life the winter blahs? Why not try romantic comedies? Enjoy a fast read with a guaranteed happy ending.

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

My first romantic comedy pick is You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria. After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new ‘Leading Lady Plan’ should be easy enough to follow–until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.

Available as:

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

My next recommendation is The Marriage Game by Sara Desai. Layla Santos is the child of first-generation immigrants from India. Her parents run a Michelin-starred Indian restaurant in San Francisco and are very traditional in their ways, including a firm belief in the benefit of arranged marriages. Her father, thinking he knows best, signs Layla up for IndianGirlMatch.com and sets up a series of dates without telling her…

Sam Mehta is the self-made CEO of a corporate consultancy specializing in downsizing. Also the child of first-generation immigrants with traditional beliefs, his family treated him like a prince and saw him as a symbol of their social and economic strength. But his sister’s marital experience has taught him that parents don’t always know what’s best for their children, and arranged marriages don’t always end in a happily ever after.

When life throws Layla and Sam into close quarters, Sam finds himself unexpectedly chaperoning Layla on her dates. But neither can deny the chemistry building between them, and they wonder if perhaps they should make an arrangement of their own.

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Paris Is Always a Good Idea
by Jenn McKinlay

My next suggestion is Paris Is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay who also writes cozy mysteries. A thirty-year-old woman retraces her gap year through Ireland, France, and Italy to find love-and herself-in this hilarious and heartfelt novel. It’s been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong post-college European adventure.

Since then, she’s lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea’s thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker,Jason Knightley, her status as most talented fundraiser is unquestioned.

When her introverted mathematician father announces he’s getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her year abroad. Inspired to retrace her steps-to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy-Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago, can help her find it again. From the start of her journey, nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.

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Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

My final romantic comedy suggestion is Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade. Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. The world may know him as Aeneas, star of the biggest show on television, but fanfiction readers call him something else: Book!AeneasWouldNever. Marcus gets out his frustrations with the show through anonymous stories about the internet’s favorite couple, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone discovered his online persona, he’d be finished in Hollywood.

April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s long hidden her fanfic and cosplay hobbies from her “real life.” But not anymore. When she dares to post her latest costume creation on Twitter, her plus-size take goes viral. And when Marcus asks her out, truth officially becomes stranger than fanfiction. On their date, Marcus quickly realizes he wants more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. Then he discovers she’s Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend.

With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all? Or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely canceled?

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Written in the Stars
by Alexandria Bellefleur

My last suggested romantic comedy is Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur. After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love–and the inevitable heartbreak–is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success.

Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows that’s not Darcy… a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud.

When Darcy’s brother–and Elle’s new business partner–expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date’ Because… awkward. When Darcy begs Elle to play along, she agrees to pretend they’re dating to save face.

But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family during the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a fake relationship.

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In conclusion

Banish the winter blahs by reading a romantic comedy! They’re fast-paced and you’re guaranteed a happy ending.

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Scythe b Neal Shusterman

Instead of 1984 by George Orwell, try Scythe by Neal Shusterman.With the rise of The Hunger Games series, dystopian literature became commonplace in popular culture. At the same time, the internet and other technology have made the themes of mass surveillance and Big Brother government in Orwell’s 1984 even more relevant to today’s society.

Still, students may have a hard time relating to a 70-year-old novel featuring adult characters (including a terribly misogynistic lead male) and a bleak ending. Scythe contains similar ideas to 1984, being set in a future society that is run by artificial intelligence and where death is decided upon by workers called Scythes, and the story is presented in a forward-thinking manner with teen main characters.

Scythe is available as a:

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

Instead of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, try Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler. Shelley’s Frankenstein is just about as classic horror as you can get.

While Butler’s Fledgling isn’t about creation, it deals with much of the same themes, such as society, knowledge, and destruction. Butler also updates the vampire trope to include very human-like characteristics that set her characters apart from the terrifying blood-sucking monsters.

Fledgling is available:

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Instead of The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, try Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Although the themes of identity and growing up are essential questions to any teenager, Holden Caulfield’s outdated slang and lack of personal growth by the end of The Catcher in the Rye will probably ring “phony” to today’s teens.

The title characters of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe are both struggling with identity issues, like Holden, when they meet and become friends; the difference is that they both experience significant character growth, making theirs a true coming-of-age story. The latter novel also includes LGBTQ characters, lending diversity and relatability to the cast.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is available as a:

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Instead of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, try Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Gyasi’s work depicts characters from multiple generations of the same family and the consequences of past choices. Both works of historical fiction place great importance on setting, and both works explore the theme of circumstantial suffering at the hands of others. Choices made by, and forced upon, two sisters of Asante descent (part of an ethnic group native to the Ashanti Region of modern-day Ghana) impacts their families for generations to come.

Homegoing is available as a:

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

Instead of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, try The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis. Criticized for its use of racial slurs and stereotypical depictions of Black characters, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has long been a controversial classic.

The same themes of freedom and racial inequality are present in The Journey of Little Charlie, though this tale is set in the sharecropping post-Civil War era. Charlie’s journey alongside the dangerous and abusive Cap’n Buck is much like Huck’s travels down the river, giving readers the same flavor of an adventure story told in local vernacular, but one that is told in a manner that uplifts the Black community in language and portrayal.

The Journey of Little Charlie is available as a:

Additional resources

For further reading, explore this Google Doc that lists the classic book with its updated pairing.


We hope some, or all, of these updates to classic literature have sparked your interest. You can choose to read these specific titles, or use this idea as a springboard to find your own version of updated classics featuring BIPOC authors. It’s so important to explore new authors from different backgrounds and cultures as reading their works helps create a new perspective, broadening understanding and bringing awareness to other experiences.

High school students and young adults often only have time to read what they’re assigned, limiting their exposure to diverse titles and authors unless teachers strive to broaden their classics lists. Seeking out works by BIPOC authors builds empathy and curiosity, two things of which we can all stand to have a little more.

This list was generated by Cara Frank, cfrank@clermontlibrary.org, Youth Services Librarian at the Amelia Branch Library and Stacy Books, sbooks@clermontlibrary.org, Collection Development Librarian for the Clermont County Public Library system. We invite you to reach out to us for help with creating diverse book lists, classroom collections, and adding more titles to your To Be Read pile.

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