Hate to Love Trope Recommendations // come for the angst and leave w tears

I actually started working on this post at the beginning of Feb and was going to post it randomly but then realized that I might as well post it on Valentine’s Day because let’s be honest, this is the extent of my excitement for the day

But hey, you know some people I do love? my OTPs.

I’ll stop being pathetic one day, but today is not that day.

And you know one trope I love more than myself? Hate to love.

i love vicariously living through fiction

So here are a bunch of my favorite hate to love plot books in a variety of different genres,,,, you’re welcome.


The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic ❁

Young Adult, M/M

I am unapologetic. HEAR ME OUT, THERE IS SLOW BURN GAY ROMANCE AND FOUND FAMILY AND AN ADDICTIVE PLOT AND JAPANESE MAFIA AND TRAGIC PASTS. People get hurt and there’s lots of angst and the heartbrEAKING DIALOGUE. According to a modern study, it’s not possible to not emerge as Top Quality Trash after reading these books, I’m soz I can’t disagree with Science.

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett ❁

Young Adult

This is your classic Childhood Best-friends turned Enemies are stranded in the middle of nowhere w lots of emotional baggage summer contemporary that you didn’t know you needed.

you’re welcome.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata ❁


This is 0% Angst and 100% Comfort Reading material. I promise you, this entire book is FILLED WITH WHOLESOME CONTENT that’s going make you feel completely at peace. And it’s that comforting content + the drama of hate to love AND fake relationship so,,, y’all. Do I even need to be more convincing??

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne ❁

The Hating Game is straight up of my faves and honestly,,, a legend in this genre bc to this date, you can still find me rereading this gem. It’s partially office romance + so cute & intense and also VERY comforting.

hilarious banter + highly entertaining plot + hate to love arc v well done + sizzling chemistry & romance = me, a very happy reader


Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat ❁

Adult, m/m, tw: highly graphic content

enemies to lovers, more like enemies to reluctant allies to even more reluctant confidants to hopeless lovers to husbands don’t touch me

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski ❁

Young Adult

Same vibes as Captive Prince w court politics, enemy slaves and reluctant allies except more whimsical and slow burn and it will torture you but also has such a good wrap up, I’m dying.

also petition for Marie Rutkoski to write more books, i’m thirsty

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black ❁

100% slytherin book + mc is a sword wielding ambitious character w intense shades of grey + every character is scheming something and no one is innocent + excellent court politics + plot twists that will BLOW YOUR MIND + the bloody romance, oh my (esp the sequel, I’m still recovering from that)

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell ❁

Okay, there are those intense fantasy books and then there’s Carry On. This book is for those of you crazy Drarry shippers who just needed this in their lives. Simon and Baz need to be protected and I shall not consent to anything but wholesome content. This book is a fantasy that reads like a contemporary so it’s somehow even better.

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo ❁

do I even need to pitch this book anymore

Nina and Matthias’s arc in this book is Hardcore Enemies to Reluctant Allies to Tentative Friends to Even More Hate Fuelled Distrustful Enemies to Finally Lovers and listen, I am here for that

also can we talk about that collector’s edition cover, i bought it and i cannot stop LOOKING at it goddammit

Dystopian / Post Apocalyptic

Angelfall by Susan Ee ❁

It makes me SO MAD that these books are so underrated. If I can convince people to read ONE book recommended by me, it would be this book (and trilogy). I don’t think anyone can dislike these books. It’s not even allowed.

there’s some beautiful chemistry between Penryn, my fave, and Raffe, my everything, and it’s gritty and dark and yes, it’s an Angel- Human romance and if you’re rolling your eyes right now, don’t because it’s nothing like you expect.

there’s hilarious, snarky banter + slow burn enemies to lovers forbidden romance + soft siblings rep that breaks my heart + it’s dark and so gritty, it FEELS like the end of the world + ACTION PACKED BECAUSE MY GIRL PENRYN CAN KICK ASS

Evenfall by Sonny & Ais ❁

I didn’t know I needed Evenfall in my life until I read it.

Sin is a trained assassin, painted as a psycho killing machine (which he is but,,, it’s complicated) and Boyd is a civilian who’s so sad and tired that he’s disconnected himself from his own emotions; and he’s been assigned to become Sin’s partner in a bunch of deadly missions. They… hate each other but they’re perfect partners and it gets really angsty, y’all.

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole ❁

It’s been a long time since I read this book and I can’t remember exactly what I thought of it except the plot is crazy interesting. I think it has an Apocalypse + mythology + tarot card intermix which I thought was really intriguing. From what I remember, the mc is the proper “princess” kinda character and the love interest is a rough n tough street gang guy.

Honourable Mentions

or the I Couldn’t Fit These In One Genre mentions

Starflight by Melissa Landers

I read this a long time ago but I still remember how much fun I had reading this book. It’s a standalone Sci-Fi, set in Space and has an amazing crew of rebels and thieves who are running from jackass authorities.
It follows Solara, an outcast of sorts, who is planning on escaping Earth but needs a spaceship to carry her. She reluctantly agrees to be the maid of Doran Spaulding, her childhood nemesis, if he gives her passage on his shuttle. 

it’s got banter + space pirates + found family of miscreants + did I mention space pirates

Sanctum by Sarah Fine

Granted this is a very short lived enemies to lovers, but it’s a great book and I want everyone to read it.

Sanctum is a paranormal fantasy of sorts about a girl named Lela who goes into the Suicide land, one of the sects of Hell, to rescue her best friend and forms an alliance with Malachi- one of the Shadowhunters- to help find her friend.

it’s unlike your typical YA paranormal fantasy; it’s really dark and gritty and doesn’t flinch from getting depressing (but not in a heavy way).

Nevermore by Kelly Kreagh

You think you’ve had enough of the “blonde cheerleader gets paired up w the goth outcast for a project and they fall in love” trope? well. Think again, because trust me, this book is nothing like it.

I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like Nevermore. You think you know where the plot is heading and then suddenly it’s just a blast of lyrical poetry and ghosts and dreams. Reading this book is like experiencing a lucid dream.

I feel like I’ve been working on this post forever and oh god it’s finally complete, where is my reward pizza.

happy valentine’s, folks

29 thoughts on “Hate to Love Trope Recommendations // come for the angst and leave w tears”

  1. Hate to love tropes are..*chef’s kiss* straight up delicious. These are some amazing recordations! Not to sound crazy but I will throw myself in front of a bus for Penryn and Raffe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. AHHH I love this post SO much, thank you for putting these recommendations together! I’m a little mad that I don’t have a copy of Starry Eyes RIGHT THIS SECOND because damn, that description, I NEED this now, it sounds like the kind of book I would fall in love with. I NEED IT ahhh. I also really want to read The Hating Game, I’ve heard so many great things about this book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg marie, i love the fact that you love this post 😭
      oh god, if you love hate to love arcs, you’re going to DEVOUR Starry Eyes. there’s banter and romance and friendship and a lots of trekking through hills and caves. lemme know what you think of it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ahhh this post makes me SO HAPPY. This has got to be one my top tropes too, and ajfdkslad I’m rereading The Foxhole Court right now and Andrew/Neil will forever make me perish. It’s one of the best slowburns too because like it takes 3 freaking books for them to BE. I love it so muchhh. And I adore Matthias/Nina too and The Cruel Prince is like a Slytherin MASTERMIND GAME that totally wrecks me at the end of every book. I need so so many answers omg.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg i’m ALWAYS rereading TFC. i can be found in my room, smiling stupidly as i read through my favorite parts so i feel ya.
      “slytherin mind game” is EXACTLY how i would explain the cruel prince, you’re so right.


  4. “living vicariously through fiction” ==== this is my daily routine 10000000%

    + i had no idea i needed to read Starry Eyes???? but best friends – enemies – lovers HELL YES, we are getting a sample of all the good stuff

    also, The Winner’s Curse!!!!! i need to read this also, you said it’s like the Captive Prince concept, that’s all i truly need

    Matthias and Nina were so cute, they are my second favorite romance in that series, AND IT DESTROYED MY SOUL SO SAVAGELY. +++ i have the world’s most unpopular opinion w Six of Crows, not about the series itself but about Inej and Kaz???? I felt like, Kaz was super scared of being touched ,but he still had a super emotional bond w INej. And Inej kind of pressures him to be physical and lowkey says “either we kiss and stuff or bye”
    and i feel like maybe I misinterpreted, bc no one else feels that way about their relationship???? but in the moment, it felt so cringey and i wanted to tell Kaz I ADORE HIM SM
    bUt ANyWaY

    I’M SO HAPPY YOU LOVED EVENFALL!!!! It’s been so long since I read it, and i’m always scared to rec it bc the last books are kind of weird???????? ((((v weird but it’s okay bc Hsin is so precious to me, i would do anything for himmmm)))))) HSIN IS SO LONELY, he just needs a friend. ❤ he just loves his Boyd

    +NEVERMORE!!!!!! That was my obsession for so long,,,,,,,,,,,,,that scene when they’re in the cafeteria, and she wants to eat w him??? And he’s weird about it bc she’s supposed to be “”””cool”””””” but actually she wants to be his best friend????? It’s okay i didn't need feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ok but look at you picking up on the most relatable quotes, it’s not like i needed confirmation that we aren’t already twins

      hell yes, you definitely need to read Starry Eyes, you’ll enjoy it so much and it’s cute and soft and also atmospheric? wild

      ok but you defs 100% need to add The Winner’s Curse to your tbr and read it immediately bc arin + kestrel = enemies to lovers done 100% well. the first book is literally just burning hate + sizzling chemistry + reluctant affections + me wanting MORE if it. there’s this scene in which kestrel goes on a duel with her worst enemy to protect arin and cover for him and even tho he “hates” her at this point, he goes all soft and protective and I might just end up rereading this again

      ok but for real, mals, I AGREE. I can’t believe we BOTH had weird feelings about that scene sjsjsjs. i don’t even know if leigh intended it that way? maybe she meant kaz’s emotional expression rather than touching but also I don’t think so. that scene hurt because kaz finally admitted something so huge to himself and inej and ask her to stay and she said, “I’ll have you w/o armour or not at all” and just. no? like, maybe this isn’t a big deal but both of us have read aftg and we know how my babes Andrew and Neil handled this (🖤) but anyway it’s not like I need feelinfs

      I’M SO GLAD YOU RECOMMENDED EVENFALL!!! and I understand the weirdness, like, it’s not a book you can freely recommend to people w/o content warnings, ig? also I still haven’t read the second book what am i doing

      mals why are we LITERAL TWINS when it comes to our book taste, you’re literally my fave omg ilysm. that scene was so awkward and cute and soft and both of them were being such teenagers™,,, bless them

      anyway, I love you, bye

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sdlfkj i need something cute and soft and atmospheric, i haven’t really felt it since “In Other Lands” and even that was TREMENDOUSLY lowkey angsty.

        +If I don’t read “The Winner’s Curse” which features reluctant affection and protectiveness, and love it, then I do nOt deserve to call myself hate-love trash ((((+ i’m so selective about hate-love, like sometimes i cannot stand the slow-burn conflicting feelings. HOWEVER i think this one checks all the boxes for things i love about enemies to lvoers, because they sound like they ///////deeply//////hate one another. And usually it’s just ?? mild dislike ?? but not this timmmmmmmmme

        +THAT IS SO TRUE, we probably felt the Kaz afraid-to-be-touched thing within our very souls, because of our pride and joy Andrew.

        +I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE WHAT U THINK OF THE REST OF EVENFALL, things go to absolute shit in the next books, but then Hsin and Boyd slowly mature ((((and Boyd lives his life as an absolute jerk for awhile but he improves after a painfully long time))))
        And Hsin continues to be too precious and wonderful and misunderstood for words

        Liked by 1 person

      2. // let’s pretend i’m not replying to this after 10 years //

        OK BUT WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT HATE TO LOVE USUALLY BEING “MILD DISLIKE”??? mals, you’re my bookish twin, you keep proving it to me again and again. that’s always something that’s bugged me about this- EVEN THO IM STILL TRASH FOR IT- bc it’s always that the characters hate each other because they secretly like each other and listen, i’m here for that angst, but i also want some real, intense hate to love, ya know? anyway, TWC is totally that, you should give it a try.


  5. “I’ll stop being pathetic one day, but today is not that day.” <- sometimes i feel like you live in my head

    can i just SCREAM about how perfect this post is bc ENEMIES TO LOVERS IS THE GREATEST ROMANCE TROPE BY FAR AND YOU LISTED SOME OF MY FAVS omg this is why i love you forever.
    seriously i dont even want to talk about the foxhole court, i binged the trilogy and basically it cut my entire heart in half and im still mourning over it so

    i feel like im SO IN NEED of a reread for the winner's curse like i just LOVED it with all my heart but i read it back in 2016 and its been too long and I REMEMBER NOTHING SOMEONE HELP ME
    all i do know is that kestrel and arin = my parents goodbye

    thanks for blessing valentines day for us pathetic single people who happen to love and are more invested in fictional characters than humans wink emoji wink emoji (okay yes im commenting WAYYYYYY after valentines day but it doesnt matter)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i do live in your head and it’s so quirky and interesting and bookish, i’m having a great time here, send some tea, thanks ✌️

      well, we can SCREAM ABOUT THIS TROPE AND THESE BOOKS together because great romances call for great discussions and isn’t discussions on love what Valentine’s day is truly about? (Just nod your head and say yes)

      the foxhole court straight up took away my heart and gave it to andrew & neil so i really can’t do anything about this, it’s just how it is even if i have to spend the rest of time crying over these books

      it’s always a good time to read the winner’s curse, may. the second book just hurts me but first book, esp the first half, is all sizzling chemistry and burning hate and reluctant affection omg i might just reread it too

      thanks for blessing me with this comment and i’m always on the #teamfictionalcharacters with or without Valentine’s day so you’re right on time


  6. I keep hearing more and more good things about The Winner’s Curse (I also bought it a while ago), I really do need to get it soon! Seems like a book I would most definitely enjoy. And now I’m super curious about Angelfall, I shall add it to the TBR for the future 😀

    Liked by 1 person


    *only a slight exaggeration, saddly*

    And OMG I just realized I never finished the third book of The Winner’s Curse trilogy, what am I waiting for? :O (I know what I’m reading tomorrow at work, mouahaha.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same. It’s not even an exaggeration for me at this point. I mean, I LIVE for that drama and the slow burn of it xD.

      YOU’RE GOIJF TO LOVE IT PLEASE READ IT SOON. after all that slow burn and hurt, things FINALLY resolve in the last book and it’s so satisfying to read. I hope you love it 💛 (AND I WANNA SEE SNAPS OF YOU READING IT W YOUR THOUGHTS BC I LIVE FOR THOSE)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. i literally NEED to get to starry eyes as soon as I possibly can!! it sounds like it fits my mood right now like a glove and i need something that warms my heart and just makes me sigh and smile every few minutes because it’s perfectly matched to my personality and preferences of romance! i WILL place it higher on my priority list from now. i will, pinky promise. thank you for that! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it makes me so happy that people are excited to read Starry Eyes now, i love y’all so much. and i mean, i totally feel you, the vibes and the general mood of the book is SO addictive and summer romcom-ish. i’m trash for it👌💛

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I cannot thank you enough for the recommendations, Nimika. I CANNOT!
    I’ve been digging the internet upside fricking down to get hate to love trope to kill myself with. You just saved a laptop crash, buddy.
    Sending a bucket-full of serious hugs!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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