Battle of the Books – The Most Romantic Book Ever Written
Ah, Valentine’s Day. Supermarkets are awash with red balloons, rose-coloured confetti, sappy greeting cards and, you know, heart-shaped pizza. Everyone seems to have a table booked somewhere and TV is full of the same old, cheesy storylines.
If your inclination is to curl up with a box of chocs and a lovely romantic read this February 14th, you’re not alone. But which book should you go for?
Here, in this special Valentine’s Day Battle of the Books, some of our favourite book bloggers join members of Team Novelicious to argue for, what they think, is the best loved up literature ever written.
Do you agree? Feel free to join the conversation in the comments and let us know what YOU think the most romantic book of all time is.
1. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Steph blogs at The London Diaries and says: “My absolute, hands down favourite romantic book of all time is The Princess Bride. Honestly, it has something for everyone – swashbuckling pirates, good guys, bad guys, giants, laughs abound and, of course, true love. I've read it so many times I've lost count, and will read it many times more. It's the book I turn to when I need a little positive reaffirmation about life. It's the book that taught me (at a young age) what real love was. It's the one book I would choose to take with me to a deserted island, too. It really is, simply put, lovely.”
Carol of Dizzy C’s Little Book Blog had a hard time picking just one book, saying it was like choosing a favourite among her children. Eventually, she settled on One Day by David Nicholls with a rather familiar close second. “I read One Day by David Nicholls when it was first published in 2010, long before it went to the big screen. It was set in the late 80s when I was 19 years old and first finding romance myself. It’s such a beautiful story with a twist.” She continues: “I would also like to say that my favourite choice for Valentine's Day has to be Rosie Blake's How to Get a (Love) Life. I like my reads to be full of laughter as well as romance and this book really hit the spot. Nicola's quest to find love before Valentine's Day had me laughing out loud.”
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Emma Lou, who blogs at Emma Lou Author thinks The Great Gatsby is an excellent example of love in the classic sense. “This is one of the best classic literature books of all time. The narrative is endless, the plot is clever and most of all, the love is real. Jay Gatsby has been in love with Daisy Buchanan for quite some time, but he missed his chance. The reason I love this book so much is because of the fight that Gatsby goes through. Everything he does is for Daisy and that is classic love.”
4. The Pursuit of Happiness by Douglas Kennedy
Novelicious reviewer Susan explains: “Before I read this book I had shied away from historical epic romance, but right from the start I was swept away by the romance of a time gone by. A chance meeting between two strangers during a war leads to a lifetime of twists and turns, which kept me hooked. It is a heartbreaking look at one woman's life as she strives for happiness. The only thing that keeps her going is the memory of that one fateful night with her potential soulmate. What could have been a typical clichéd romance is actually a captivating and touching love story that is hard to put down. It is my favourite book of all time and I always recommend it to everyone!”
5. Kiss Chase by Fiona Walker
Charlotte Foreman from BestChickLit says Kiss Chase by Fiona Walker is by far her favourite romantic book. She declared: “It's rom-com gold! Felix Slyvian is the classic drop dead gorgeous bad boy who just needs the love of the right woman. With a sassy protagonist who, under emotional duress, is planning the ultimate honeytrap, a crazy childhood friend, an array of fantastic supporting characters and a few delightfully steamy scenes, it's a must-read over the Valentine’s season.”
6. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Melissa Amster runs popular chick lit loving website Chick Lit Central. “I've read many romantic stories over the years, but I chose this one because it was recent and still sticks out in my mind. It's all about the sacrifices we make for the ones we love and how we recognise true love. It parallels the relationships of a young couple with that of an older couple, where the wife has already passed away. It's just a beautifully written romantic story and I hope Nicholas Sparks' future novels follow along this path.”
7. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
Natalie of FlutterbyBooks reckons Twilight is about as romantic as it gets. “My favourite romance series is the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. Every time I read any of the Twilightbooks, I am swept away in the romance of Bella and Edward's love story. They love each other with such a strong passion, Bella is literally willing to die to be with Edward forever. Surely it doesn't get much more romantic than that? I love reading about the strength of their feelings and getting lost in the fantasy and total escapism of the vampire world. I'm Team Edward all the way!”
8. It Started With a Kiss by Miranda Dickinson
Named the Festival of Romantic Fiction’s Romance Blogger of the Year in 2013, Kirsty Maclennan of The Love of a Good Book knows a thing or two about love. Here, she explains her choice: “There's something incredibly beautiful about the idea of meeting someone and having such an intense connection that you can't get them out of your head. This is why I absolutely love It Started With A Kiss by Miranda Dickinson. When Romily meets a handsome stranger and shares a kiss with him, it sets off a year-long search for the man who ignited her passion and warmed her heart. There's something truly romantic to think, It Started With A Kiss!
9. Ralph's Party by Lisa Jewell
Laura blogs at Novel Kicks and thinks Ralph's Party by Lisa Jewell is one of the most romantic books of all time. She says: "My reason for loving this book is quite a personal one.Ralph's Party is about the residents of 31 Almanac Road. Ralph and Smith live in the basement flat and don't think they will find a suitable flatmate until Jem comes along. Smith and Jem quickly become an item. Ralph falls in love with her, but is too gentlemanly to do anything about it until it's almost too late. This book was my introduction to Lisa Jewell. I read it pretty much from cover to cover on a coach trip to visit my boyfriend (now my husband). We hadn't been together long, so this book will always remind me of the lovely day I spent with him and the excitement about what was to come in the future. The characters in the book were falling in love – as were my husband and I. Cheesy but true."
10. Sally by Freya North
Novelicious columnist Helen could relate to the romance in Freya North's Sally. She says: "Sally by Freya North is a romantic novel written just for me – I’m certain of it. I first read it when I too was a young career woman about (London) town. Sally’s circumstances were similar to mine when she met her future husband and experienced that heady and exciting, yet confusing, time while falling in love with The One. It felt like a romance that could happen to me. And, as it happened, it did. But that’s another story..."
11. PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
Fiction Dreams blogger Suzy Turner says: "I'm a sucker for a romantic tale that transcends time and space – anything that's a little supernatural does it for me. So one of my all time favourite romance books has got to be PS, I Love You. I mean, the love that this couple has for each other is so intense, it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It's so beautifully written too. That Cecelia Ahern is one awesome author! PS – The fact that the movie version has Gerard Butler certainly didn't sway me at all..."
12. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Leah blogs at Chick Lit Reviews and News and reckons Something Borrowed is the most romantic book ever. “My favourite romantic book of all time has got to be Something Borrowedby Emily Giffin. It's my favourite book, ever, so it stands to reason that it must be my favourite romantic book, because I read chick lit for that very reason! For the romance. Sure, Dex and Rachel don't have it exactly easy – they're both cheating on Rachel's best friend Darcy for starters, but it's those types of relationships that you know are built to last, despite the auspicious beginnings. (And you know, Darcy deserved it.) I hate cheating in chick lit (and in real life), but this is the only story where I've ever felt it was deserved, and Dex and Rachel's relationship is simply beautiful;. They’re truly soul mates – together forever.
Me, Bookshelf and I blogger, Melanie, loves Thirty Nothing by Lisa Jewell. “What do you get if you take a rough around the edges yet devilishly handsome man, his best friend who just happens to be a girl and in love with him, and his first ever girlfriend from school, who has just walked back into his life 12 years later? Why, a classic love triangle, of course! Laugh out loud funny, beautifully reminiscent and ever so romantic ... a brilliant reminder that sometimes you don't need to look any further than right in front of you."
14. The First Time I Said Goodbye by Claire Allan
Bleach House Library blogger Margaret’s pick is The First Time I Said Goodbye by Claire Allan: “An amazing story of first love and how, even years later, the feelings can still exist. Based on a true story, this was my favourite tale of true love in recent years. Sweet, warm and endearing, it stayed with me for weeks after I had finished it. For all of us that believe there is a soulmate out there for everyone.”
15. Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons
Finally, Novelicious writer Cressida raves about a little-known book by the author of Cold Comfort Farm. She says: "My mum urged me to read this relatively little known book. It's by Stella Gibbons of Cold Comfort Farm fame, and follows Viola, who is widowed at a young age and ends up living with her dead husband's family. Viola is miserable when she arrives, but she soon discovers that there's a handsome, eligible bachelor living in a manor house nearby, a young, ambitious chauffeur and a charity ball on the horizon. It is warm-hearted, hilarious and captivating, with two strong, unpredictable love stories, at least four heroines, smouldering heroes and shaded, mysterious Nightingale Wood at its centre. It made me cry with laughter and sob happy tears. Nightingale Wood is the most romantic book I have ever read. If you read it – and I think you should – I hope you fall in love with it as much as I did."
So, what do you think, book nerds? Is your favourite here? Time for you to weigh in and tell us what YOU think the most romantic book of all time is.