15 Books To Read Instead Of Going Out For Valentine's Day

Whether you're unpartnered this year, or just want to save some money on your minor holiday celebrations, I've got the perfect solution to your problem: books. For the list below, I've picked out 15 books to read instead of going out for Valentine's Day, and you can enjoy them to the fullest, with or without a significant other.

There are a lot of myths about Valentine's Day, but perhaps one of the most prominent is the idea that you have to celebrate it, either with your significant other or a date you've secured for the evening. I'm here to tell you that that's an absolute crock. It's OK to be single on Valentine's Day. It's OK to stay home with your partner to share a pizza and beer, or a bottle of wine. And it's OK to do nothing at all. It's your holiday, so you should be the one calling the shots.

Most of the titles on the list below are romance novels, but there are also plenty of stories about young women blazing their own trails, and those two categories are not mutually exclusive. Whether you're in the mood for a lighthearted romance or a high-stakes adventure novel, I've got you covered.

'Unmarriageable' by Soniah Kamal

In this contemporary Pride & Prejudice retelling, Alys Binat, a young Pakistani literature instructor who has sworn off marriage, finds herself falling in love with Mr. Darsee.

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'How to Date Men When You Hate Men' by Blythe Roberson

This comedic book of philosophical essays on love will fill your Valentine's Day with laughter as you read Onion contributor Blythe Roberson's hot takes on successful flirting and 1990s rom-coms.

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'Adèle' by Leila Slimani

This novel by The Perfect Nanny author Leila Slimani centers on a Parisian journalist who risks the stability of her little family in order to pursue lovers and sate her sexual appetites.

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'You Know You Want This' by Kristen Roupenian

Kristen Roupenian made a splash when she published her nightmare-date-themed short story, "Cat Person," in The New Yorker in December 2017. Now, the young writer has a collection of short fiction, titled You Know You Want This, and it's definitely worth your time this Valentine's Day.

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'The Wedding Date' by Jasmine Guillory

After attending his ex's wedding as a sham couple, Drew and Alexa can't stop thinking that they'd like to spend more time together, even though their lives are inextricably tied to two distant cities in California.

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'The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy' by Mackenzi Lee

The sequel to her LGBTQIAP+ YA novel, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Mackenzi Lee's The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy centers on ace/aro heroine Felicity Montague, who falls into the pirate life on her journey to become a physician.

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'Song of a Captive Bird' by Jasmin Darznik

Based on the true story of Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, Jasmin Darznik's Song of a Captive Bird follows Forugh as she grows up rebellious and leaves and unhappy marriage to pursue her dreams.

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'When Katie Met Cassidy' by Camille Perri

After she's dumped by her fiancé, Kentucky-born New Yorker Katie finds herself sitting across the negotiation table from androgynous NYC native Cassidy, who captivates her in a way no woman ever has before.

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'Love War Stories' by Ivelisse Rodriguez

The stories in this collection of short fiction from Ivelisse Rodriguez weave their way in and out of the lives of Puerto Rican women and girls, bringing complex characters to life in the hearts and minds of readers.

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'The Gown' by Jennifer Robson

Set in London in the aftermath of World War II, The Gown focuses on Ann and Miriam — two embroiderers who land the job of a lifetime when they're tasked with helping to create the future queen's wedding gown.

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'On the Come Up' by Angie Thomas

The follow-up to The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas' On the Come Up centers on a 16-year-old girl named Bri, who wants to follow in her late father's footsteps by joining the underground hip-hop scene.

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'Stray City' by Chelsey Johnson

Ten years after her one night stand with a man left Andrea, a member of Portland's lesbian community, pregnant, her daughter Lucia begins asking questions about her parentage.

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'An American Marriage' by Tayari Jones

When Roy goes to prison for a crime he didn't commit, it shakes the foundations of his relationship with his newlywed wife, Celestial, who turns to her husband's best friend, Andre, for comfort. Years later, Roy is released unexpectedly, and the three adults must reckon with the messiness of their relationships.

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'The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror' by Daniel Ortberg

Retelling fairy tales with a horror bent and a feminist slant, Daniel Ortberg's The Merry Spinster is perfect for anyone who likes their fantasy stories with a little more bite.

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'Convenience Store Woman' by Sayaka Murata

When the title character in this short novel begins to draw criticism for her dead-end job — which makes her happy — and her lack of a life partner, she enters into a sham marriage with a co-worker to get her family off of her case.

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