If You Loved Rachel & Ross's On-Again Off-Again Vibes, Read These 11 Rom-Coms

by Kerri Jarema
Originally Published: 

Are there any fictional ships that inspire more fan competition than those on television? Honestly, if you haven't argued with your friends at least once about which of Rory Gilmore's three boyfriends on Gilmore Girls is the best (ahem, it's Jess), or whether Joey should have picked Dawson or Pacey in the Dawson's Creek finale (definitely, Pacey), are you really a TV fan? But while dueling ships tend to inspire the most passionate debate, there is one couple who will go down in TV history among the most controversial: Ross and Rachel from Friends.

Were Ross and Rachel actually on a break? Were Rachel and Joey a better match? Should Rachel have stayed on the plane and focused on her career in Paris? And, really, wasn't Ross kind of the worst? But whether you love Ross and Rachel together (or love to hate them), it's undeniable that their romance is one of the most talked about in TV history, even 25 years later. And if you totally ship this on-again-off-again duo, you'll love these 11 books that have the same vibes as their relationship: friends to lovers, secret crushes that lead to love, break-ups and make-ups and, of course, duos that will have you screaming "He's her lobster!" into the pages:

'Someday, Someday, Maybe' by Lauren Graham

Not falling in love with the person right in front of you is a definite theme for Ross and Rachel. In Someday, Someday, Maybe the same is true for Franny Banks, an actress struggling to make it in New York City and dating all the wrong guys — her best friend from college, Dan, definitely not included.

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'If I'm Being Honest' by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Rachel was a bit of a "mean girl" in high school, so fans will love If I'm Being Honest, which turns that trope on its head. When Cameron Bright resolves to “tame” herself to land her crush, she’ll have to make amends with Brendan, the guy she gave an unfortunate nickname in the sixth grade. But she soon wonders if she’s compromising who she is for the guy she doesn’t even want.

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'One Day in December' by Josie Silver

Ross and Rachel often hid their true feelings from each other throughout the series, especially when one or the other was in a relationship with someone else. One Day in December follows three friends over the course of 10 years, as Laurie hides her true feelings for Jack from his girlfriend — and her best friend — Sarah.

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'Tell Me How You Really Feel' by Aminah Mae Safi

In Friends, a misunderstanding keeps Rachel from finding out Ross's true feelings for her for decades (who can forget that iconic prom video?) And although the miscommunication in Tell Me How You Really Feel leads Sana and Rachel to tons of animosity, they also learn the truth about each other in the end... leading to an equally sweet love story.

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'Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating' by Christina Lauren

10 years after college, Josh and Hazel reunite. Josh's girlfriend has just cheated on him, and seeing Hazel again is a breath of fresh air. Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Much like Ross and Rachel, Josh and Hazel reconnect as adults and learn new things about each other that lead to life-changing romance.

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'The Summer I Turned Pretty' by Jenny Han

One of the most endearing qualities of Ross and Rachel's relationship is Ross's decades-long affection for Rachel. In The Summer I Turned Pretty, Belly has also been nursing an intense crush on Conrad, who she has known her whole life and sees every summer at their families' shared beach house. But this year, everything is about to change.

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'You Had Me At Hello' by Mhairi McFarlane

It’s been a decade since childhood best friends Rachel and Ben last spoke, but when they bump into each other one rainy day, the years melt away. Ben is married. Rachel is definitely not. Now Rachel isn't sure if their meeting will lead to new affection, or old heartbreak. This one's a clear ringer for Ross and Rachel's complicated dynamics.

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'Top Ten' by Katie Cotugno

If you're looking for up-and-down, on-and-off, friends to lovers to enemies and back again, Ross and Rachel definitely deliver. The same is true for Ryan and Gabby in Top Ten, unconventional best friends who fight and make-up, become each other's touchstones and each other's heartbreak and have to figure out what it all means as they move on.

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'Evvie Drake Starts Over' by Linda Holmes

When Ross and Rachel reunite, both are going through some serious life upheaval. The same is true for Evvie, who is a recent widow, and Dean, a disgraced MLB player. When Dean moves in to Evvie's spare apartment, the two help each other heal, first as friends, then as something more.

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'Love, Rosie' by Cecelia Ahern

It often felt like Ross and Rachel just could not get their timing right when it came to their relationship, and that's definitely the case for Rosie and Alex. Though the childhood best friends seem destined for each other, life pulls them apart. But when they reunite as adults, they find out fate might have other plans.

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

So much of Ross and Rachel's dynamic is the result of their first big break-up — Were they on a break? The world may never know — and their attempts to relearn trust in each other. For Rhiannon and Samson, the same is true. After he ghosts her following a one-night stand, Rhiannon has to decide whether he's worth a second chance.

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