16 Books With Plots And Feelings That Perfectly Encapsulate Olivia Rodrigo's "Good 4 U"
Love the song? Then you'll love these books.
Olivia Rodrigo's #1 Billboard-charting song "Good 4 U" released this past May and ever since then, the world has been obsessed with this catchy hit — inspired by pop-punk — that takes a magnifying glass to a pretty universal experience: watching your ex move on while you're still reeling from the breakup. It's a familiar feeling: the vulnerability and anguish of being burned by a former lover. And her lyrics drive home a very specific internal thought process. If you're on the hunt for books that tap right into this song's vibe, look no further. I've curated a list that'll fill that void.
by Holly Black
Black's YA fantasy is brimming with angst and feelings, considering Jude and her sisters were brought against their will to the High Court of Faerie after the murder of their parents. And no, she is not okay. Thanks for asking. Jude is tired of being torn down by the fae, most especially by Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. But Jude wants to escape this world and unlike her sisters, she knows playing by the rules won't help. So in order to earn place at the Court, she must defy the wicked prince — and face the consequences.
by Chloe Gong
In this Romeo and Juliet retelling, set in 1920s Shanghai, we follow Roma Montagov and Juliette Cai, both leaders of rival gangs who must work together to save their city from a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River. Juliette won't let her romantic past with Roma get in the way of what she wants, even if it means working together. Which definitely won't be a problem – right? Told in multiple POVs, this YA fantasy will sweep you away into a rich, luscious, and gritty world, and Rodrigo's lyrics truly capture the moody feelings in both of our heroes.
by Elena Armas
In the mood for some romance with big "I hate you" but also "I might love you?" vibes? We got you. In this enemies-to-lovers, fake-dating romantic comedy, we find Catalina Martín in a bit of dilemma. She doesn't have a date to her sister's wedding. Enter Aaron Blackford: annoying, arrogant, and a colleague of Catalina's who has offered to be her date. Set within the chaos of a wedding with two characters who definitely aren't attracted to each other, you're just going to have to see what unfolds.
by Sarah Hogle
This hijinks-filled, enemies-to-lovers story burns through lots of emotions, angst, and general shenanigans when Naomi Westfield, unhappy with her perfect fiancé Nicholas Rose, knows she needs to end it. The problem? Whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. And that isn't something she can afford. In order to drive Nick away, she begins showing her true colors. When the two find their resolve slipping, they realize they're finally being themselves. But could that be enough to save the mess they've made?
by Alisha Rai
In The Right Swipe, we're introduced to Rhiannon Hunter, a cynical dating app creator with walls around her heart. Enter: Samson Lima. Just when Rhiannon thinks she might change her mind about giving people chances, Samson ghosts her. But he turns up months later...as her business rival. Ever been in a situation where you watch your enemy succeed and feel pretty bitter about it? Happens to the best of us. It also captures the essence of this lyric perfectly — and you'll have to read on to find out what happens to Rhiannon and Samson.
by Kristina Grish
Sometimes all you need is a good poetry collection that will allow you to feel your feelings, especially if you're going through a breakup. That's that Grish did with this collection. When her marriage ended, she began writing passionate haikus to get through it and work out her emotions. This book contains over 100 haikus containing those universal feelings of heartbreak, rage, and the search for a way back to yourself through the healing process.
by K.Y. Robinson
The Chaos of Longing is an intimate collection of poems that touch on heartbreak, rejection, and all the vulnerable feelings that come with them. It reminds readers they are not alone in experiencing turbulent times and that there is good on the other side. Content warning: suicide, sexual assault, abuse.
by Yung Pueblo
Pueblo's short but insightful poems examine what it means to heal, transform, and let go. These poems speak to those going through hardship and heartbreak, reminding readers there is hope on the other side.
by Cameron Lund
"Crying on the floor of my bathroom?" More like waking up on your boyfriend's front lawn after a night of messy mistakes involving her best friend's boyfriend Kai. Freshly dumped — and now seeing her ex together with her BFF — Penny decides fake-dating Kai will certainly make her ex come back. Despite her frenemyship (Is that a word? Let's go with it.) with Kai, Penny begins to question whether she's truly faking it with him or if real feelings are involved.
by Tessa Bailey
Piper Bellinger is a diva socialite who, after getting dumped from her longest relationship (three weeks), decides to break into a hotel pool and throw a rager. But when that makes headlines, jeopardizing her stepdad's career, she and her sister Hannah are sent to a small fishing town called Westport as punishment. Piper's miserable and made even more miserable after meeting the grumpy, set-in-his-ways fisherman named Brendan. But the longer Piper stays, the more she begins to get to know Brendan...as well as the small town her father frequented when he was alive.
by Kate Stayman-London
Bea Schumacher is plus-size fashion blogger recently nursing a broken heart and broken ego. But when she gets a call to join her favorite reality TV show Main Squeeze, she's more than aware that the body diversity is lacking. She decides to join under one condition: She won't fall in love. Instead, she'll do this to supercharge her career and inspire others. But when the cameras start rolling, Bea must decide whether she can trust these men — and herself.
by Kelsea Ballerini
Feel Your Way Through is written by award-winning country artist Kelsea Ballerini. In her debut collection (which isn't out until November 2021!), she taps into deeply personal and honest feelings about relationships, body image, and self-love. Her words are a reminder that whatever heartbreaking experience you're going through — and whatever negative feelings that come with it — won't hang around forever.
by Mhairi McFarlane
Just Last Night is a contemporary novel that follows four friends — Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed — who have been close since they were teenagers. Eve had feelings for Ed a while ago but now in their 30s, she's not sure if they ever went away. But unexpectedly, things change overnight. Secrets are revealed and Eve begins to wonder if she was as close to these people as she once thought. It's a gorgeous, layered story that will hit you directly in your feelings.
by Alexis Daria
Jasmine Lin Rodriguez is an actor but after a messy public breakup, the soap opera star finds her face splashed across the tabloids. It's not how anyone wants to mourn an end to a relationship but there's little she can control in the public eye. She returns to New York to fill the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy alongside Ashton Suárez, who fears his career is close to dead. In order to revive it, he's determined to prove he has onscreen chemistry with Jasmine — but a terrible first impression leaves him feeling hopeless.
by Mikaella Clements and Onjuli Datta
Famous A-list actor Whitman Tagore and playboy Leo Milanowski drum up drama and Twitter trends with their on-again, off-again relationship. But it's all a lie. Win is a woman of color who knows Hollywood can turn against her at the snap of a finger so she controls her public persona. If she's nearing a scandal, Leo comes to her aid for a staged date. And each public display shifts the headlines back in Win's favor. But when a shocking secret of Leo's unearths, Win's personal and professional life is put on the line.
by Sabrina Benaim
Though this collection isn't out until next month, it reflects on a relationship's end and the grief that comes with it. Written by slam poet Sabrina Benaim, this vulnerable collection focuses on the little, specific moments of sadness of missing someone; the isolation so many felt throughout 2020; and a raw, deep reminder that we cannot have joy without sorrow.