Love Stories We Love
It's Valentine's Day, which none of here really care about. What we do care about is books and discount candy. So, really, February 15th is a way bigger deal in our world. However, in the spirit of Valentine's Day, here are our favorite love stories.
First up, Ryanne's picks:
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
I adore every Rainbow Rowell book, but E & P is my favorite. It's set in the '80s so they're really cute with their mixed tapes and whatnot. Eleanor and Park are both sixteen-years-old and come from drastically different backgrounds. Despite this, and despite a lot of reluctance from Eleanor, they hit it off. And they are adorable. I don't want to go into too many details because you really should just read it. It does contain one of my all time favorite passages:
"She never looked nice.
She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice,
it was supposed to make you feel something."
*sigh*. That Park. What a sweet kid.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
This is another star crossed story. I like those; I can't help it. While this book has an Eleanor & Park vibe, it tackles a couple of complicated issues; namely, prejudices and deportation. So, it's also timely, I guess. Natasha's family is a few hours away from being deported when she meets Daniel. There are a few heart-wrenching moments, but Nicola was kind enough to throw a little hope and optimism our way, too. I hate spoilers so I'm not going into details on this one either.
I will say both of my choices have open endings; the authors have left it up to the readers to decide what happens to these people we're rooting for and have grown to care about.
I just remembered, I have to give an honorable mention to All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
This isn't a stand alone book, but I love the story line between Snape and Lily in Harry Potter. Everything Snape does is a direct result of his love for Lily Potter. I took a Harry Potter class a few semesters ago and, during the course, we delved pretty deep into Snape's background and discussed how that moment of weakness where he betrayed Lily shaped his life until the very end. It's easy to hate Snape. He killed Dumbledore. He was a bully. He was generally unpleasant all the time. But, if you take a step back and look at the story from his perspective, you just might see that he is, in fact, one of the bravest characters in the book and he does it all for love. Love is definitely a theme in the entire series. Harry survived because his mother loved him, he continues to survive because people protect and sacrifice for him, and, in the forest, he is once again saved by a mother's love. Not for him, but for her own son, Draco. So, I'd have to say, Harry Potter is my favorite love story. It embraces the different ways in which we are capable of loving.
Growing up, I devoured books like Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights. I can imagine Ryanne's eyes rolling as I type this. While I have gotten away from these classics over the years, they still hold a special place in my heart. Maybe it's the drama of it all? Both books are basically Victorian soap operas. And I do love a good soap opera.