8 charming books like ‘Romantic Comedy’ by Curtis Sittenfeld

8 charming books like ‘Romantic Comedy’ by Curtis Sittenfeld

In Reading Lists by Cate Willis

8 charming books like ‘Romantic Comedy’ by Curtis Sittenfeld

I ditched my TBR list recently when it was announced that Curtis Sittenfeld’s Romantic Comedy was being adapted to film by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. As an avid the-book-was-better-than-the-movie believer, I knew this was one I would want to read prior to any film spoilers. 

The novel had been on radar as I read and loved Sittenfeld’s Eligible, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, back in 2016. Like with Romantic Comedy, it left me wanting another modern love story sure to keep my interest from the start. 

If you’re looking for books similar to Romantic Comedy (or just looking to get out of a reading slump), here are the best ones I found that fit the bill. In these read-alikes, you’ll find witty main characters, sweet and surprising romances, and even a tell-all into four decades of Saturday Night Live to satisfy your late-night show curiosities. 

1. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

What happens when an entire wedding party gets food poisoning and a Hawaiian honeymoon is up for grabs? In the case of Olive in The Unhoneymooners, you take it — even if it’s with your long-time nemesis. 

Our favorite writing duo Christina Lauren takes readers on a hilarious and touching enemies-to-lovers journey, with a bit of twist. Playing the role of madly-in-love newlyweds isn’t for the faint of heart, but Olive and Ethan can handle it (probably). 

Just like with Romantic Comedy, The Unhoneymooners encourages those of us who feel unlucky in life to still take a chance on love. 

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2. Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

Dolan’s debut tells the story of Ava, an Irish expat working as an English teacher for rich children in Hong Kong. She quickly finds herself entangled in a love triangle with wealthy banker Julian and dynamic attorney Edith (who Ava both wants to be like and be with).

Exciting Times explores modern love in its many facets: the ups, downs, and too-good-to-be-true moments. If Sittenfeld’s Romantic Comedy left you wondering about Sally’s other romantic options, this novel is sure to satisfy. 

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3. The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

If you enjoyed the fictional peek-behind-the-curtain into the life of a late-night writer in Romantic Comedy, you will love Cochrun’s novel. 

Meet Dev, a producer for the long-running reality dating show Ever After; he’s always scripting the ideal love story for the show’s star. Then enters this year’s contestant, Charlie Winshaw, an awkward tech genius who quickly discovers he has more chemistry with Dev than any of the women vying for his heart on-screen. 

This will hit the spot if you also enjoyed Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston.

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4. The Best American Short Stories 2020 edited by Curtis Sittenfeld and Heidi Pitlor 

Now that I’ve read two of Sittenfeld’s novels, I’m on the hunt to consume more. It also has me wondering: What does Sittenfeld herself read? 

In 2020, she and Heidi Pitlor selected the stories for the year’s Best American Short Stories. From tales of raunchy grandparents to mystical godmothers to awkward college students, the collection includes something for everyone. 

The Romantic Comedy author describes the stories as “windows into emotions I had and hadn’t had, into other settings and circumstances and observations and relationships.”


5. Live from New York by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales

Reading Romantic Comedy only further piqued my interest in the daily lives of comedy writers. Thankfully, Sittenfeld cites her sources of research and inspiration, one of which was Live From New York.

Investigative journalists Miller and Shales return to Studio 8H to recount stories from four decades of the iconic late-night show Saturday Night Live, as told by the people who worked on all parts of the show’s production. A look at what it’s really like to create short bits that last may just inspire you, too.

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6. Writers & Lovers by Lily King

What more fitting way to follow up a love story between a writer and her lover than with King’s Writers & Lovers

Sittenfeld told the London Evening Standard that she was immediately taken with King’s novel: “I loved this book not just from the first chapter or the first page but from the first paragraph, which is about how Casey needs to avoid thinking about both money and sex to get any writing done. The voice is just so honest and riveting and insightful about creativity and life.” 


7. The People We Keep by Allison Larkin

A more subtle theme I enjoy in Romantic Comedy centers around familial connection rather than romance. Despite being in the middle of her own whirlwind love story, Sally is still able to step outside of herself when a family emergency calls her home. 

In similar fashion, Larkin explores the link between tragedy and connection in this novel. 

April Sawicki flees her dead-end town and neglectful parents in search of a new life and family, but she soon realizes having a place to call home requires courage and trust. April’s vulnerability as a character and the authentic personalities she meets along the way draw you into this emotional story.


8. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Need another binge-worthy book to read before its film release this year? It Ends With Us, from BookTok favorite CoHo, is set to hit the big screen in the summer of 2024 starring Blake Lively, Justin Baldoni, and Brandon Sklenar.

In many ways, this seems like a stereotypical romance novel: Protagonist Lily Bloom must choose between a hot doctor named Ryle and her first love that unexpectedly reappears in her life, Atlas. 

But the story shines above the rest for its real and poignant portrayal of the cyclic nature of abuse. For this reason and more, It Ends With Us consistently tops the bestseller lists as well as “best of” lists for Hoover’s novels. 


About the Author: Cate Willis

Cate is a designer, art director, and sometimes writer living in Brooklyn, New York. In her spare time, she enjoys strolling art museums, trying new recipes, and rearranging her furniture for the 100th time.