If '13 Going On 30' Is Still Your Favorite Rom-Com, You Need To Read These 13 Books
If you can believe it, the 2000s rom-com 13 Going on 30 is 15 years old today. Yes, it was all the way back in 2004 that actress Jennifer Garner first lit up the big screen as Jenna Rink, the 13-year-old girl who was so desperate to escape her pre-teen life to be "30, flirty, and thriving" that she, by sheer force of will and some glitter dust, magicked herself right into her adult life. A heartwarming and hilarious journey of self-discovery ensues — one that includes magazine publishing drama, back-stabbing best frenemies, one slumber party set to the tune of Pat Benatar's "Love is a Battlefield," and Mark Ruffalo as Matt Flamhaff, one of the most adorable love interests the rom-com has ever seen.
If you're anything like me, all of this anniversary talk has you planning to queue up the film after work this week, or maybe even plan a screening with your pals this weekend. But after you've revisited your love for Jenna and Matty, you might want to dive into a few more stories that will give you major 13 Going on 30 vibes. Below I've assembled a few love stories that have some of the same themes: some second-chance romance, a little friends-to-lovers, and more butterflies-inducing sweetness than you'll know what to do with:
'Meet Cute' by Helena Hunting
Kailyn and Daxton's friendship was ended by a shocking betrayal. Now, years later, Dax is back and he needs Kailyn's help — and Kailyn must decide if their connection can overcome the mistakes of the past.
'Top Ten' by Katie Cotugno
Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. But as they stare down their forthcoming high school graduation, they begin to realize that friendship might not be enough.
'Love, Rosie' by Cecelia Ahern
Childhood best friends Rosie and Alex seemed destined for it each other, but a relationship just never blossomed. But, as readers will find out, they can't beat destiny forever.
'This Is Kind Of An Epic Love Story' by Kheryn Callender
When his childhood best friend Oliver returns to town, Nathan finally has the chance to tell him the truth about his feelings. But first, they'll have to overcome a painful mix-up from their past.
'Maybe In Another Life' by Taylor Jenkins Reid
When Hannah Martin is unexpectedly reunited with her high school boyfriend, Ethan, at a party, she has two options: leave with him, or don't. In alternating chapters, Taylor Jenkins Reid takes readers down both paths.
'Lola and the Boy Next Door' by Stephanie Perkins
When Cricket Bell and his twin sister Calliope move back to town, Lola Nolan must reconcile her complicated history with the Bells, and her undeniable feelings for the boy next door.
'I Owe You One' by Sophie Kinsella
When Fixie and Sebastian meet at a coffee shop, their friendly connection follows them through family struggles, relationships with other people, and tons of career drama — all of which they must face as their feelings for each other grow.
'Everything Leads to You' by Nina LaCour
When Emi meets Ava, they bond over their shared connection with a mysterious silver screen legend. As they spend more time together, their feelings for each other change everything.
'You Had Me At Hello' by Mhairi McFarlane
Rachel and Ben were once best of friends, but it has been a decade since they last spoke. When Rachel bumps into Ben, all of her affection is reignited — but the feelings of heartbreak come rushing back, too.
'Starry Eyes' by Jenn Bennett
Zorie and Lennon were once best friends, but now they can barely even look at each other. But when they're thrown together on a camping trip, old feelings resurface.
'Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating' by Christina Lauren
Josh and Hazel knew each other in college, but they were always, uh, incompatible. But 10 years later, they reconnect and begin to reconsider the possibility of romance.
'Tell Me How You Really Feel' by Aminah Mae Safi (June 11)
A misunderstanding turns Sana and Rachel from would-be-friends to enemies. But when they're thrown together for a film project, they discover a connection that will change everything.
'The Right Swipe' by Alisha Rai (July 2)
When Rhiannon and Samson connect over a dating app, she catches feelings... and he disappears. Now, unexpectedly reunited, Rhiannon has to decide if Samson is worth a second chance.