1) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (I have the biggest, most embarrassing girl crush on her) is totally one of the greatest love stories ever. I jumped on that bandwagon, yeah. I reread it recently, actually, and I still adore it. It's always on my night stand. If you have resisted reading it thus far and somehow haven't heard of it yet, it's about Henry and Clare as they struggle through the travails of life. It is pretty much a conventional marriage, except for the fact that Henry time travels involuntarily. So the first time Clare meets him, she is six. The first time he meets her, he is twenty-eight. It's the ultimate hipster, indie book full of hipster, indie references, but I don't care. It's epic. The ending is one of the greatest things I've ever read. Alternative story-telling at its best. Plus, I've bought this book twice. I lost my first copy somehow, so I purchased another one this semester because I wanted to reread it that badly.
2) Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin is one of the most creative concepts ever executed. Fifteen-year-old Liz dies at the opening, and she finds herself in a curious place called Elsewhere. It's the afterlife, which is very much like normal life, except that everyone ages backwards. When you become a newborn, you are sent back to Earth to be reborn. YES it is as amazing as it sounds. Her love interest, Owen, died in his thirties, but of course, by the time they meet, he is seventeen. God, this concept is so cool I can't even get over it. It's one of those ideas where you're like, why didn't I think of that and write it? It's written as though it were directed toward children, but it really isn't. I mean, it has sex and cursing and all these deep, philosophical things in it, so maybe not for anyone younger than twelve, but it's great for adults as long as you don't get turned off by the simplistic narration.
3) Stay With Me by Garret Freymann-Weyr is not really a romance. It's a story about a girl trying to understand her half-sister's suicide, and yet somehow manages to be an amazingly uplifting story. It's about suicide, but it's not about suicide. The inside flap says, "Stay With Me is a story about how impossible and important love is." And that's exactly what this novel is about. The unconventional part is that seventeen-year-old Leila gets into a relationship with thirty-one-year-old Eamon. Yet, it is incredibly sweet and mature, not at all creepy. The way it's written so normally is phenomenal and really says a lot about how great of a writer Freymann-Weyr is. I think this is all-around a fantastic story about love and about being comfortable with yourself and your sexuality. As well as being devastatingly romantic. One of my all-time favorite books.
Speaking of age differences, anybody notice all of the headlines about GYLLENSWIFT? Yes, that is apparently the new couple name for Jake Gyllenhaal (29) and Taylor Swift (20). Nine-year age difference. Not huge, I think, but a lot of people are squicked out because Taylor's only 20. If one of them was 40 and the other was 49, it wouldn't be a big deal at all. But I am all for it. If it's successful, they'll put some super pretty babies into the world and if it's unsuccessful, Taylor will have another Number 1 hit. I'm predicting the song title to be Screw You, Jake (seeing as Hey, Stephen and Dear John have already been taken). It's gonna be a great song. So best wishes to you, Gyllenswift, but I kind of hope you break up just so the world can be gifted with another musical fuck-you from TSwift. I live for those.