As the year draws to a close, it's time to look at the romantic books that made an impact this year. From YA to Adult, historic to contemporary to LGBT, these titles stood out as the finest tales of love 2013 had to offer.
Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
The spiel: Spanning one year of high school, Eleanor and Park ("two misfits") find love together, bonding over their geekalicious nature. Together they transcend Eleanor's difficult life with a pure devotion that is rarely seen anymore.
Why you should read it: Besides winning nearly every YA award under the sun, this tale of first love is as timeless as it is perfectly executed. It will bring back memories of your own first love and make you believe in something greater than yourself.
Title: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
Author: Adelle Waldman
The spiel: Nate Piven is on the rise in Brooklyn's literary scene, but all is not perfect. His trials in love and sex are compounded by his incredible guilt and selfishness. For a sensitive man, he can be remarkably dense when it comes to women, and finds himself continually running.
Why you should read it: Waldman deftly dives into the question of whether or not romance is really dead in this modern age. Delve deep into Nate's mind as he tries to figure out a way to live and love.
Title: Everybody Has Everything
Author: Katrina Onstad
The spiel: When an accident leaves a childless couple the guardians of a toddler, they learn that not everyone is meant to be a parent, and that they might be on the list.
Why you should read it: Everybody Has Everything explores what it means to be a parent and love as one, and what it means to be a deeply flawed person in romantic and parental relationships.
Title: The Lowland
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
The spiel: Two brothers, born just fifteen months apart, are bound together by love and the fires of revolution. Subhash and Udayan's lives take them down radically different paths, but they remain in each other's hearts even beyond death.
Why you should read it: Lahiri's lyrical style and mastery of the written word have made her a legend already. The Lowland dives into the tangle of familial love and the scars that we leave behind when we are gone.
Title: The Signature of All Things
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
The spiel: This novel from the author of Eat, Pray Love tells the story of a young female botanist in the 1800s who falls in love with a man who lives in the realm of magic, even at the edge of the Age of Enlightenment.
Why you should read it: This lush novel is full of Gilbert's signature style. With a stunning cast of characters and a fascinating love story, this is a novel not to be missed.
Author: Alice McDermott
The spiel: The tale of an ordinary woman, made extraordinary by the everyday influences that shape us, Someone reveals the life of Marie and her family, moving back and forth between Marie as an old woman and a young woman.
Why you should read it: This story of heartbreak and love, marriage, faith and family will entrance you from the very first page. As ordinary as we all are, this novel will make you feel like someone.
Title: Two Boys Kissing
Author: David Levithan
The spiel: Seventeen-year-olds Harry and Craig, a former couple, set out to create the world record for kissing, aiming for 32 hours. Narrated by a Greek chorus of the men lost to AIDS, the boys are lit by an internal fire to set a record and a new standard for other young men in love.
Why you should read it: This story of young love and the LGBT community is a must for, well, everyone. The voices of the men will haunt you long after you finish.
Title: My Next Door Life
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
The spiel: Another tale of first love, My Next Door Life highlights the dichotomy of two very different families, and the price that we pay for loving the "wrong" person. Or are they just what we need?
Why you should read it: You will fall in love with Jase and Samantha, as the story of their love charms the lock off your pessimistic heart.
Title: The Rosie Project
Author: Graeme Simsion
The spiel: This hilarious offering revolves around a socially awkward geneticist who sets out to use science to find his perfect mate. Then along comes Rosie, who is on a quest of her own, and his world is turned upside down.
Why you should read it: Adorable, charming and hilarious, you will absolutely fall in love with Don and Rosie (but especially Don!).
Title: All That Is
Author: James Salter
The spiel: In the years following World War II, Philip Bowman returns from Okinawa to find that he fits perfectly into the publishing world. What he lacks is love. One marriage fails, another doesn't take place at all. Then he meets the woman who changes everything.
Why you should read it: This haunting tale of love and ambition spans decades and will suck you in from the very beginning.
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