Last month our Selective Collective book was Sarah Ockler’s latest novel “#scandal.” Ockler explores the idea of unrequited love. Lucy has a crush on Cole, but she can’t do anything about it, because he’s her best friend Ellie’s boyfriend. When you have a deep and abiding crush on your BFF’s guy, all you can do is endure being the third wheel and watching them be happy together. So when Ellie, too sick to attend prom, talks Lucy into going to prom with Cole, it’s awkward to say the least. Then things happen and Lucy discovers that maybe Cole just might have feelings for her too. Can she really act on her feelings? Below we discuss five other books with prominent unrequited love stories. You’ll have to read them to find out what happens, of course.
1. “The Unwritten Rule” by Elizabeth Scott – The title says it all, it’s an “unwritten rule” that you’re not supposed to like your best friend’s boyfriend. Sarah and Brianna have been best friends forever. Sarah’s used to guys approaching her just so they can get close to Brianna. So when she meets Ryan and he ends up with Brianna, she’s not surprised. The problem is that she had a crush on him that has only gotten worse the more time they spend together. So one night when they’re alone together she’s shocked when something happens that shows Sarah that Ryan might also feel the same way. –Diana
2. “Looking for Alaska” by John Green – Miles “Pudge” Halter has always been content with his life. He doesn’t really have any friends, but he’s fine with that. He’s obsessed with famous last words (you know, what notable people said right before they died) and “The Great Perhaps.” All of that changes when he begins attending Culver Creek Boarding School and down the hall he meets beautiful, sexy, smart, and funny Alaska Young. Alaska steals his heart, but she doesn’t really seem to return those feelings. –Diana
3.”To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han – Lara Jean has had several crushes over the years but nothing has ever come of any of them. Whenever Lara Jean has a crush, she writes a long letter to the guy in question, puts it in an envelope, seals it and then forgets about it. Once she’s written her feelings out, she’s able to get over the object of her crush. Somehow those letters get mailed out, forcing Lara Jean to deal with her past unrequited loves. It’s especially difficult because she once had a crush on her sister’s boyfriend and now he knows how she felt about him. –Diana
4. “Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List” by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan – Naomi and Ely aren’t just best friends, they’re also across-the-hall neighbors in their East Village apartment building. The hip and beautiful Manhattanites have each dated loads of people, but their hearts sort of belong to each other. Problem is, Naomi doesn’t seem to internalize the fact that Ely is gay. So although she might seem oh-so-experienced, Naomi (a first year in college) is still a virgin, because in her heart of hearts she keeps hoping that Ely will miraculously stop being gay for her. So is Ely gay except when it comes to Naomi, or is Naomi in for a world of pain? Read it and find out. –Sandie
5. “Getting Over Garrett Delaney” by Abby McDonald – As the title makes clear, this is a novel about a girl (Sadie) who has been head over heels for her best friend, Garrett Delaney, for years until she realizes (finally, finally) that he is just not into her that way. Sadie has spent so much time being Garrett’s groupie that she isn’t completely sure what she believes and loves and what felt compelled to pretend she was into for his sake. Even as she admits she is in an unrequited love story, she can’t seem to get out of it… without a little help from new friends.
So that’s just a sampling of the very, very many books (several by some of the authors we mentioned) about unrequited love. What are some of your best examples of that most universally and angst-ridden theme?
Make sure to check out everyone else in the Selective Collective’s features, especially the Author profile and giveaway if you want a chance to win a copy of the book!