If 'Always Be My Maybe' Is Your New Favorite Rom-Com, Read These 11 Books

by Kerri Jarema
Ed Araquel/Netflix

If you're in need of the perfect rom-com to start off your summer, look no further than Netflix's Always Be My Maybe. Starring Ali Wong as celeb chef Sasha and Randall Park as her childhood best friend Marcus, the story follows these one-time flings as they find themselves unexpectedly reunited after 15 years. With their lives in totally different places (Sasha is wealthy, independent and engaged; Marcus is still living at home, working for his father's business and headlining a mostly unsuccessful band) neither is sure how to navigate old feelings and new entaglements — making for one hilariously modern take on old rom-com tropes.

Whether you're looking for some reads to add to your beach bag this summer, or you just want more of the same vibes as Always Be My Maybe to keep you occupied between re-watches, the 11 books below are all romances whose themes you'll love. Here we have characters whose lives are heavily influenced by food and family legacy; second-chance romances; finding true connection after grief; and figuring out who you really are, both in the glare of the spotlight and in the shadows. Whatever romance you're looking for, these reads will make this a summer rom-com season to remember:

'The Way You Make Me Feel' by Maurene Goo

When Clara Shin is forced to work the summer on her dad's Korean food truck with her uptight classmate, Rose, she discovers her true feelings about family, food, and love.

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'Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune' by Roselle Lim

When Natalie returns to her San Francisco neighborhood after her mother's death, she turns to her neighbors — and a new love interest — to help her get her grandmother's old restaurant re-opened.

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'Don't Date Rosa Santos' by Nina Moreno

Rosa loves her town, her friends, her abuela, and her mother (even though their relationship is... complicated) but when she reconnects with an old classmate and sparks fly, she begins to reexamine who she really is, and what she wants her legacy to be.

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'Meet Cute' by Helena Hunting

On her first day of law school, Kailyn meets the actor she crushed on as a teenager, Daxton Hughes, and the two become fast friends. But a betrayal ruins everything — until they meet again eight years later.

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'The Coincidence of Coconut Cake' by Amy E. Reichert

When Lou's restaurant receives a terrible review, she heads a a pub to drown her sorrows. While there, she meets Al, the man who wrote the review. But neither knows the other's true identity. Will their connection be enough to overlook the past?

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'Luck on the Line' by Zoraida Córdova

When Lucky Pierce's celebrity chef mother challenges her to finish something, Lucky agrees to help her launch Boston’s next hot restaurant, The Star. But that means working with the infuriating-yet-undeniably sexy head chef.

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'Fake It Till You Break It' by Jenn P. Nguyen

Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives, and although their mothers are convinced they'd make the perfect couple, they'd rather date almost anyone else. But when the two start spending more time together, they realize they might have deeper feelings.

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'Love, Rosie' by Cecelia Ahern

Best friends since childhood, Rosie and Alex seemed destined to be together. But a breakup and a pregnancy shatter their dreams. Now adults, the two unexpectedly meet again, with a chance to change everything.

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'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' by Jenny Han

Lara Jean has protected her heart ever since her mom died, but after her secret love letters get sent out, she has to decide whether she's content to keep daydreaming about romance or if she's ready to live it.

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'Say You Still Love Me' by K.A. Tucker (Aug. 6)

Piper Calloway is a 29-year-old V.P. living the single life in a swanky penthouse. But when she runs into Kyle Miller — the handsome new security guard and her first love — things get much more complicated.

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'The Right Swipe' by Alisha Rai (Aug. 6)

After a steamy night together, Rhiannon never hears from Samson again. Until he shows up as the same social media conference, now in league with her biggest competitor. He says he won't mess up a second chance — but can Rhiannon be sure?

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