[#RapplerReads] Are these popular books worth the love?

Jaco Joves

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[#RapplerReads] Are these popular books worth the love?
Jet and Mariana, hosts of ‘Fiction Friends’ podcast, weigh in on these bestsellers

Editor’s note: #RapplerReads is a project by the BrandRap team. We earn a commission every time you shop through the affiliate links below.

Being a bibliophile is both a blessing and a curse. Thousands of words are enough for us to conjure picturesque scenarios in our own heads, but, in the process, fill us up to the brim with so many emotions that can be overwhelming at times.

Friends Jet Luga and Mariana Varela decided to let some of those feelings out into the world by gabbing about all things books on their podcast Fiction Friends, which they consider as a “book review and explainer” show.

“It’s for the kind of reader who, after reading a book, looks for other readers to have deep and immense conversations with for an added sense of closure surrounding the completion of a book,” said Jet.

The two aren’t strangers to the arts; by trade, Jet is an all-around writer, while Mariana is a social media manager and a painter. And when they mulled the idea of dabbling into content creation, they found it fitting to collaborate over something they’re both passionate about – literature.

FICTION FRIENDS. Jet and Mariana gear up for another recording session.

As of writing, they’re wrapping up their show’s second season, with a third one planned later this year. Jet and Mariana are also eyeing more creators, storytellers, and bookworms to collaborate with in the future (#RapplerReads crew guesting, maybe?). But first, they’ll spend Valentine’s quietly with their significant others, and perhaps, “immerse in a quiet readathon.”

Are you thinking of a couple’s read-treat too? Or simply hoping to get into the mood by yourself? Jet weighs on these bestsellers, which display different forms of love, complete with reviews:

The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller

The Song of Achilles shines in terms of its prose and immense character development. While there have been numerous tellings and reimaginings of the classic Greek myths throughout history, Miller took a more vulnerable approach when telling the story of the mighty Achilles. The novel was told from the perspective of Patroclus and the relationship that he shared with the leader of the Myrmidons as they prepared for the impending doom that awaited them in the Trojan War.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

The Tattooist of Auschwitz was largely inspired by the real-life love story of two people who found themselves fighting for their lives in the middle of one of the darkest moments of human history. The novel is a testament to the act of finding, pursuing, and preserving love in the midst of great tragedy and despair.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing isn’t just a love story; it’s so much more than that. It’s a coming-of-age novel that has healthy doses of murder mystery, racial identity, and young love all wrapped up in a beautifully woven story arc. More than anything, it imparts to readers that love doesn’t always have to be adorned with fancy clothing and grand gestures. There is beauty in a love that’s rooted in pure simplicity and innocence.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

There’s a reason why The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo constantly makes rounds on “bookstagram” and “booktok. It’s a story that spans seven decades as it follows the life of young Hollywood starlet Evelyn Hugo, and the journey that she takes towards becoming one of the biggest celebrities in the world. The book is an ode to old Hollywood and all the glitz and glamour that’s associated with celebrity life. At the same time, it did a great job at weaving complex relationships between even more complex characters who are driven by their own personal issues and ambitions.

At the heart of it all, it’s a story about the struggles of staying true to oneself while finding love in the form of the people around you.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

One of the biggest misconceptions that most people have about love is that only the romantic type qualifies as such. The House in the Cerulean Sea is the perfect rebuttal to that sentiment. The story’s protagonist, Linus Baker, is tasked by his bosses at work with inspecting an orphanage that houses some peculiar and potentially dangerous children. Over the course of his stay, Linus comes to discover a few truths about himself and the feelings that he has for the people in the orphanage.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

When it comes to classic love stories, who can ever forget about that of the dashing Mr. Darcy and the enchanting Elizabeth Bennet? To this day, Pride and Prejudice remains a go-to novel, especially for lovers of classic lit. With a beautifully rendered romance told against the backdrop of 18th century England, there’s a certain charm that makes it such a hit across generations of readers.

Got other love-related books to suggest? Let us know! – Rappler.com

Listen to Fiction Friends on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and other major podcast platforms.

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Jaco Joves

Jaco was a senior content producer for Rappler's BrandRap team.