San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec




San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Column: Read it and weep! Check out more romance novels

A+number+of+romance+books+have+become+popular+on+TikTok%2C+including+Get+a+Life+Chloe+Brown.
Isabella Dallas
A number of romance books have become popular on TikTok, including “Get a Life Chloe Brown.”

Whether we like it or not, when February rolls around, so does a month of love and romance.  For most, Valentine’s Day is almost an excuse to splurge on whatever your heart desires. Maybe you decide to go on a fancy dinner date, spend all day with your significant other, or even buy a bunch of half-off chocolate to eat while watching a mediocre rom-com. While February is certainly not the only time of the year to celebrate romance novels, it does serve as an extremely valid excuse to do so. 

Yes, books can be boring. Those challenging, non-fiction, required school books have their time and place in the world, but who’s to say you can’t also have a little something extra on your shelf? 

We don’t get flowers and chocolates and gifts every day because everyday life is also boring. Why not brighten it up by reading about love? Romance is meant to be enjoyed in many different mediums. 

Many of these books give value to the rich and honest relationships, emotions, and values of women that are not often shown. These novels are often unapologetically dramatic and perfectly romantic. This genre, however, is not just limited to depicting women; you are able to read along as everyday people explore their independence, vulnerability and confidence. While these characters are romantically falling in love, they’re also falling in love with fully coming into themselves.

Now, that is not to say you won’t come across the occasional books that feed into romance’s bad reputation. But please keep in mind this genre goes past those cheesy book covers rooted in misogyny and lack of diversity. 

As reading has become a popular trend over the past year, more novels with beautiful storylines, exciting plot twists, and increasingly inclusive themes have been showcased. These love stories represent the diversity in the real world. Some of my favorites are Get a Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, “The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, and “The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

As remarkable as it might sound, TikTok has to be given some credit for this recent popularity of books. The hashtag #Booktok on TikTok currently has 36.6 billion views for videos about reading, recommending, and reviewing books all with an extreme emphasis on romance. The app has almost single-handedly made reading cool. (Not that it was ever uncool necessarily!) 

Kylie Jenner recently posted herself reading arguably one of the most popular romance books from TikTok, “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover, on her Instagram story. Celebrities, even THE KARDASHIANS, are reading books about love; give it a try!

As difficult as starting a book is, picking one out may seem just as overwhelming. But do not worry, the book community has made it fairly easy. With over a hundred different tropes and subgenres, you’re in for a guaranteed good time. 

Maybe you decided to read romance for humor and banter between the two leads. Or perhaps you’re trying to decide between an “enemies to lovers,”  “right person wrong time,” or “second chance” plot. My all-time romance must-reads include “Beach Read” by Emily Henry, “Daisy Jones and the Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood, and any/ every/all books by Colleen Hoover. It’s a possibility you might even discover the little bit of spice you didn’t know you needed. Or maybe you’re just reading romance for the guaranteed happily ever after. Never underestimate the power of predictable endings; romance books are a fun and entertaining way to get swept up without being swept away. Sometimes, you just need a story with a happy ending, and that’s okay too. 

Does being a book lover mean only reading books that involve a deadly headache or googling every other word to understand their meaning? Absolutely not. 

February is my chance to tell you how much you’re passing up by skipping over romance novels and why you might consider a change of heart. If that worked, drive down to Barnes and Noble, go straight to the “Book Tok” display (yes there is an actual display), and grab a romance book to distract from the dread that comes with Valentine’s Day. 

About the Contributor
Isabella Dallas
Isabella Dallas, '24-25 Arts & Culture Editor
Originally from San Jose, California, Isabella is currently in her third year at San Diego State University. She is pursuing a major in Journalism, with a minor in Creative Writing. While starting her third year at The Daily Aztec as a Senior Staff Writer, Isabella has discovered her love for covering cultural events and topics with artistic aspects and aesthetic influences. She writes for the Arts and Culture section, where her favorite pieces focus on live music, pop culture, fashion, and differing lifestyles. She can also be found writing about TV, books, and her many other obsessions. When Isabella isn’t sitting at a coffee shop writing articles or reading a new book, you’ll find her devouring the latest issues of Vogue and Rolling Stones. Her only life goal is to one day interview Harry Styles—any leads are gratefully welcomed.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Column: Read it and weep! Check out more romance novels