Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links throughout, as well as an ARC (advanced reader copy) which is clearly marked.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my lovely ones!
I stopped creating Valentine’s Day content a long time ago, but I’m still a sucker for love, so I thought I’d try and find a happy medium this year in the form of a themed, bookish post. There was certainly a term where I revelled in reading love stories, particular YA ones, and I think novels centred around such a human connection are almost always bound to please. That being said, as I read more and more and expand my own literary horizons, I find new ways of exploring the theme of love and authors that do it so excellently. Without further ado, here are some mini reviews on books about love…
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
How could I not include Aziz Ansari’s non-fiction book in this round-up?! I first read this when a group of friends and I were going through more boy troubles than you could shake a stick at. Modern Romance is a sociological deep-dive into modern love and all of its facets. The online dating, the unspoken rules about who should message first, when to message and how many minutes should be left in between. How we’re programmed to respond in different ways to different acts of love. It’s been years since I last read this and I definitely want to revisit it again soon, but I remember finding it to be a great source of comfort during my mid-twenties. It’s a crowd-pleaser and great all-rounder; even my brother borrowed this from me (after loving Ansari’s Master of None series) and he ended up purchasing a copy for himself!
The Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley
I’ve spoken about Lucy Foley’s beautiful The Book of Lost and Found numerous times on this blog, so I won’t say too much again here. The novel alternates between two timelines and joins Kate Darling on her journey to learn more about her family. It’s a captivating love story through and through, but not in the typical boy-meets-girl way. I found it to be beautifully mesmerising, perfectly written without being too ‘much’ or over-wrought, and a great companion to a quiet weekend or holiday.
Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen
Disclaimer: I was kindly gifted an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book by Simon and Schuster to review; this doesn’t affect my honest review.
Like many other PoC, I was thoroughly excited to read Loveboat, Taipei and so you can only imagine my excitement when I was offered an ARC to read and review. I’ll be sharing a more in-depth review in my February round-up, but I wanted to include it here because it’s a fun and relaxed take on love. In short, Asian-American Ever Wong is sent to a summer school programme in Taipei against her wishes. There, she realises the programme isn’t the stuffy school setup that she thought it’d be. Rather it’s a fun-filled steamy camp where boys and girls sneak out after hours and make it their summer.
The story is very content-heavy in that it packs lots of themes in, but I felt it didn’t explore many, if any, in any great depth. Nonetheless, the insights into life as an immigrant kid, a truly captivating love triangle, new takes on friendship and the gossip-fuelled summer camp made for a fun read. Definitely one to dig into if you’re just getting started with reading more.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
An American Marriage was one of my favourite novels in 2019 because it was unexpectedly raw and heart-rendering. It follows the story of newlyweds Celestial and Roy, whose lives are suddenly ripped apart by circumstances beyond their control. What ensues is an incredibly powerful and moving tale driven by love and injustice. You get to dive deep into a hard reality that hundreds, if not thousands, of black Americans experience daily, all told through first-person narratives from the main characters. I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you yet to read this, but all that remains to be said is: Go and get a copy of this now.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
I pondered long and hard over which book to include as my fifth and final novel in this post, but in the end I settled on Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams which is one of the best books I’ve ever read. That’s a big statement to make, I know, but I can’t remember the last time I gobbled a novel up in just a day! Queenie is a twenty-something Jamaican-British young professional who is struggling. (Aren’t we all?!) Not only is she constantly pitting herself against her white middle-class counterparts at work, she’s also about to break up from her long-term white boyfriend. Queenie follows her through heartbreak and from one questionable decision to another, and is truly a laugh-out-loud honest look into modern-day love and womanhood. I can’t wait to read this one again.
What are some of your favourite love stories? Share some with me (and the rest of the Daisybutter community) in the comments.