Movies have always taught us what love is and how love stories are supposed to go. Girl meets the boy. They fall in love. Something bad happens that disrupts their love. They fix it. And live happily ever after!…
But movies aren’t real life and it is never how we expect it, leaving us questioning what is love?
Here is a list of books that will give you different perspectives of love and really expose what real life love is all about.
EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE – DOLLY ALDERTON
This book has no airs or graces about it and for that it is rejuvenating. Before reading this, I had no idea that love was so awful sometimes and that we don’t need it to be happy. Sure we’ll have boyfriends or girlfriends at some point in our lives, but you can be just as happy or even happier living your life as a single pringle.
This book normalises so many things in our love lives. One night stands, flings and realising you’re more in love with your friend platonically than you ever have been with a sexual partner. Even being single past 30 is okay in this book. And it should be. So well done to Dolly for being the first author I ever read to normalise normal life and normal love.
WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON – DAVID LEVITHAN AND JOHN GREEN
More than ever, this book really captures the essence of love is love and that is all that matters. Gay, straight, fat, thin, short-lived, long-lived, platonic, romantic. None of it matters.
Love is love at the end of the day – or novel – and it will find its way to us on its own. It also tells us that love is forever no matter what the circumstances, and even if it doesn’t work out the way you hoped or expected, the ones who are decent people will always look out for you.
IT ONLY HAPPENS IN THE MOVIES – HOLLY BOURNE
Never before had I read a book that had me rooting for a cheating boyfriend. But that’s another story in itself. Without giving away anything though, this book does exactly what it says on the tin and exposes love and relationships for what they are. A disaster – well sometimes.
Holly Bourne successfully summarises the thoughts that I have had about movie love my entire life and confirms that, in fact, your shouldn’t let a partner treat your like garbage even though they do in films and get away with it and that even though gestures of love to win you back are cute on-screen, in real life a) they don’t ever happen, and b) you shouldn’t fall for it because it is manipulation!!
ANIMAL – SARA PASCOE
While this autobiography primarily, and hilariously, gives an account of the female body, Animal explores the feminist account of the female body. Split into three sections, love, body and consent, Sara gradually gets to how feelings are only really about pair bonding after all rather than true love and soul mates.
This is far from what the likes of any rom-com has ever presented to us on our screens and offers us a biological innate thinking different to anything before. And like I said, this book is hilarious, so maybe just read it for this reason at least.
NORMAL PEOPLE – SALLY ROONEY
Like the title says, Normal People is all about normal people, and explores one couple that normal people love. There is no smooth sailing, there are other relationships, other people, there is miscommunication and denial, tears and laughter.
This book makes you realise that the experiences you have had in love are perfectly normal and that you are trying your best to make sense of your feelings just like everyone else.
Words By Shannon Mountford