Ranking Romance Novels from Sappy to Satisfying


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From books by Jane Austen to John Green, the literary world in terms of romance and romantic tragedy remains prominent in our day-to-day lives. As the U.S and other countries proceed with covid restrictions and many remain under self-quarantine, they find themselves looking for alternative forms of entertainment to pass the time. With books such as the amazing Romeo and Juliet to modern romantic comedies like The Notebook, reading during quarantine will help ease the burden making light of dark circumstances.

Hannah Luck, Archives Editor

From John Green’s bestseller, The Fault in our Stars to the classic feminist tale Pride and Prejudice, the world of romance novels continues to evolve. As people remain socially isolated at home, reading and watching beloved romantic comedies can help to cope with current conditions. To help aid in one’s entertainment experiences, The Chant created a list ranking the top 4 best romance novels from sappy to satisfying.

1. Sappiest- John Green’s The Fault in our Stars 

As any 21st-century writer knows, combining both tragedy and romance ultimately makes for an incredible tale. Author John Green displays this concept with his 2012 novel The Fault in our Stars. It tells the story of 17-year-old Hazel Grace Lancaster, a young girl living with stage 4 thyroid cancer, who meets August Waters at a cancer support group for teens. The two quickly become obsessed with one another and develop their relationship throughout the book. 

After a spontaneous trip to Amsterdam to meet Hazel’s favorite author, the two fall deeply in love, showcasing Hazel’s second chance at a happy life. The story however does not stop there. Augustus, a cancer survivor in the beginning, falls ill to osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, causing amputation of his left leg.  As the story goes on, Hazel gains a deeper understanding of the power of love and the depth of how one person can change another.

 2. Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

The 2014 bestselling novel and 2018 film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before tells the story of Lara Jean Covey (LJ), a young introverted high schooler dealing with an intense crush on her sister’s boyfriend, Josh. Covey writes a total of five passionate letters, putting to pen and paper her feelings and hidden emotions. Kitty, Lara’s younger sister, secretly sends out the five letters, leaving both Josh and, former crush, Peter Kavinisky shocked. Peter, the boyfriend of Genevieve, LJ’s mortal enemy, receives the letter and gives LJ an ultimatum. To win back Gen and to stop Josh from asking questions, the two begin a fake relationship, pretending to date to appease the crowd. 

As the relationship goes on, both LJ and Peter discover their similarities and their own romantic feelings toward one another all while feeling the pressures of Gen and Josh. After going back and forth and facing an untimely scandal instigated by Gen, the couple ultimately ends up together, relying on trust to save the day.

3. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

The classic romantic novel Pride and Prejudice debuted in 1813, and quickly became a literary phenomenon. The story takes place in 19th-century England wherein the Village of Netherfield, the arrival of  Mr. Darcy stirs up chaos with the families with single daughters. As Mrs. Bennet aggressively tries to pair off her girls, Elizabeth crosses swords with the imperious Darcy. Darcy, filled with pride, and Elizabeth, filled with prejudice and anger, both quickly become infatuated with one another while remaining hasty.

At the beginning of winter, the Bingleys, a prominent family in Netherfield, and Darcy leave and return to London. More shocking news arrives with Mr. Collins becoming engaged to Charlotte Lucas, Elizabeth’s best friend and the poor daughter of a local knight. The year goes on with marriage prospects continually underway. Soon after, Darcy sends a letter to Elizabeth causing her to reevaluate her feelings. By the end of the novel, Elizabeth accepts Darcy’s second attempt at a proposal, showcasing how regardless of anguish and disagreement, love will always prevail in the end.

 4. Satisfying- Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet 

Shakespeare’s tragic love story, Romeo and Juliet, became a beloved tale used in the majority of modern-day classrooms and theatres. The story tells the tale of two young teenagers, Romeo and Juliet, who fall in love while in the midst of an ongoing conflict between each other’s families. Romeo deals with anger towards the Capulets, and kills Tybalt (Juliet’s cousin), resulting in his banishment.

Meanwhile, Juliet faces hardship when her family pressures her to marry Paris instead of her true love, Romeo. In retaliation Juliet fakes her death, lying down as if she is unconscious. Romeo, thinking Juliet is currently dead, decides to drink a potion to kill himself as well. In a matter of minutes, Juilet awakes to see Romeo’s corpse. She then drinks the same potion, dying along with him. The story reiterates the impact of timing and unfortunate misunderstandings and how without communication issues inevitably follow.

Overall, the world in terms of its literary achievements continues to make progress even in current times. From 19th century classics to modern everyday romantic comedies, literature will remain ever-changing. Until conditions in the world improve, literature and reading one’s favorite book will continue to act as a source of comfort.