Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but we’re not giving up our romance reads yet! We sat down with Christine Hurley Deriso, author of All the Wrong Chords, Then I Met My Sister, Thirty Sunsets, and Tragedy Girl, to get one final roundup of favorites for the month of love. Here are some of her romance must-reads:
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
I’m originally from Atlanta, and I named my most recent protagonist Scarlett, so how could this novel not make the cut? But you needn’t hail from the Deep South to bask in the smoldering heat generated by one of the most passionate romances literature has ever produced. True, Sherman’s the one who set the city on fire, but Rhett and Scarlett’s veritable spontaneous combustion added plenty of sparks to the flame.
Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
The tension in this oh-so-charming young-adult novel by Becky Albertalli is deliciously palpable as the protagonist follows a trail of bread crumbs to young love. The fact that Simon’s secret admirer turns out to be such a sweetheart is a denouement of the warmest and fuzziest proportions.
Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
This 1987 classic compels the reader to take note of “lives as quiet as these” — those of Larry and Sally Morgan, whose decades-long marriage is built on an edifice of small moments, humble truths, deep respect and abiding trust. Larry and Sally remind me of my parents, and Stegner nails the nuances of a romance that stands the test of time.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
If Stegner’s “Crossing to Safety” is everything true love is supposed to be, “The Great Gatsby” is everything it isn’t: wild, frenetic, dangerous, unhinged—yet unabashedly exhilarating. Gatsby’s infatuation with Daisy leaves his life in wreckage, yet his destiny seems so eerily inevitable, we can’t help but pity him.
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Love is everything. This, to me, is the distillation of the Bard’s most enduring tragedy. Is it worth dying for? Duh, because it’s the only thing worth living for.
Christine Hurley Deriso is an award-winning author of YA novels, including All the Wrong Chords, Then I Met My Sister, Thirty Sunsets, and Tragedy Girl. She has also contributed to Ladies’ Home Journal, Parents, and other national magazines. She lives and writes in South Carolina. Visit her online at www.christinehurleyderiso.com.