It’s February – the month of supposed romance (as if other months should be unromantic). The month where flower prices and dining prices are jacked up for the deep pockets of lovers. I’m not falling for that. Given my morbid personality, I have chosen this month to introduce some books for the heartbroken, because reading is therapy, and therapy is needed most in this month where everything out there is splashed with pink and fat little boys with bows and arrows.

For the purpose of this post, romance novels refer to love stories, not prose from the Romanticism movement. What exactly are romance novels then? Pamela Regis defines it as such – “A romance novel is a work of prose fiction that tells the story of the courtship and betrothal of one or more heroines.” In this respect, the romance novel has a desired happy ending, resulting in some form of betrothal. That is also why some regard the romance novel to be fantastical – real life is nothing like this. Hence this book list is decidedly filled with un-Romance fiction; the common Romance genre has no room for heartbreaks and un-happily-ever-after. Examples of un-Romance are tales like The Phantom of the Opera, and Romeo and Juliet. Some other books bring about a profound sense of loneliness; such as The Bell JarGiven my taste in books and outlook in life, these seem right up my alley, and so are those in the list below.

Warning: These books may bring on uncontrolled tearing, hysteria, and loss of faith in human relationships.

The fault in our stars

John Green

One day
David Nicholls

A home at the end of the world
Michael Cunningham

Before I die
Jenny Downham


The marriage plot

Jeffrey Eugenides

A single man
Christopher Isherwood


Ellen Hopkins

Will you be there?
Guillaume Musso

Myra Breckinridge & Myron
Gore Vidal

Essays in love
Alain de Botton


Eleven kinds of loneliness
Richard Yates


With that I wish a very happy early (un)Valentine’s Day to everyone! 

Contributed by Lo Wan Ni