It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which means it’s the perfect time for tropey romance – love triangles, enemies to lovers, secret royalty and of course, fake dating! If you need a break from your favorite fake dating Webtoon, try one of these novels.
The Tech sisters weren’t allowed to date in high school until Winnie’s college-aged siblings threw their parents a curveball: they refuse to marry until they have more dating experience. Dating Makes Perfect follows Winnie as she is trapped in a new scheme: she has to “practice” date her childhood best-friend-turned-enemy, Mat Songsomboon.
Gloria Chao once again focuses on the tension between Taiwanese-American teens and their parents in Rent a Boyfriend. Chloe’s parents desperately want her to marry their business partner’s rude and disrespectful son, so she rents a perfect but fake boyfriend through the app Rent for Your ‘Rents. Drew never lets emotions interfere with his work, but both are caught off guard when they catch feelings.
Frank Li's parents won’t approve of his white girlfriend, so he strikes a deal with childhood friend Joy Song. They’ll pretend to date to please their Korean parents while actually dating their respective non-Korean partners. Of course, love turns their plans topsy-turvy, but Frankly in Love also digs into Frank’s struggles to confront his parents’ racism, the fraught middle-space of being bicultural, and so much more.
In Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating, Hani and Ishu are the only Bangladeshi teens at their Irish high school, but they’re not friends. Hani fits in – well, mostly – with her white friend group, but they’ve alienated Ishu, who refuses to let racism fly under the radar. When Hani’s friends try to erase her bisexuality and Ishu becomes obsessed with becoming head girl, their motivations draw them into a fake relationship.
Pinky Kumar is always looking for a new cause to champion but her parents disapprove of her lack of focus – and her string of sketchy exes. To change her image, Pinky recruits future-lawyer Samir Jha to be her fake boyfriend. Samir is eager to intern with Pinky’s corporate lawyer mother; he just has to set aside his list of “10 Things I Hate About Pinky.” Neither of them expect sparks to fly.
What's your favorite book, comic or fanfic about fake dating?