Great Love Stories of All Kinds for Valentine’s Day by Carlene Moore
According to Wikipedia, lovers armed with flowers and greeting cards have celebrated Valentine’s Day since the 18-century. Whether you buy into the hype, reject it as a “Hallmark Holiday”, or something in between, it would only seem right to read a few love stories in the month of February to celebrate!
The thing about love stories is that there are all kinds – self-love, romantic love, risky love, doomed love, destined love, the list goes on. Whatever you fancy, I’ve got a suggestion for you based on ten different kinds of love.
© Other Worldly Love: Take a break from vampires and delve into time travel. For an excellent love story about risking everything, and facing unavoidable heartbreak, to be with the one you love, open one of my all-time favorite books – The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. This very real love story within an unreal circumstance will have you furiously flipping pages. It also will make you very grateful to have a partner who only lives in one continuum.
© Forbidden Love: If you want something a bit more tumultuous this Valentine’s Day, pry open The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and/or Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Both books keep you on the edge of suspense with secret looks and touches between forbidden lovers. Regardless of how you feel about monogamy and/or cheating, you’ll find yourself salaciously hoping that the characters just do it already!
© Pet Love: If the one who holds your heart is a four-legged creature with big brown eyes and a wet nose, venture into the world of The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. For anyone who has ever loved a pup, you won’t be disappointed. It’s written from the dog’s perspective and brings a unique angle to the age-old dog/(wo)man relationship.
© Tragic Love: Some love stories don’t work out. The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes are some of those stories. They both also happen to be excellent reads. Some of the most famous love stories – Bonnie and Clyde, Romeo and Juliet, Rose and Jack (yes, I’m talking Titanic) – are rooted in tragedy so don’t miss out on these!
© Family Love: If Valentine’s Day is all about love, then we should include our families in it as well! For a novel that focuses more on the love – and obstacles to that love – within a family unit, check out My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. Both explore how sibling relationships affect the bigger picture.
© Lost Love: Sometimes we love and we lose. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss is one such story. The main character, Leo Gursky, has lost his book, his son and the love of his life. A teenager in another world has also lost quite a bit, and is connected to Leo in the strangest way. Read this novel for a look at lost love and how it affects every day post-loss.
© Love for Humankind: Another one of my all-time favorite novels, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, demonstrates how love can be stronger than social norms, peer pressure and history. It can make monumental changes in the world. Read this novel for an inspiring and uplifting look at the true power of love.
© Self-love: If you’re looking to focus on yourself this Valentine’s Day, pick up Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Charge by Brendon Burchard or The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. All of these novels are very different so I recommend doing some research about which ones fits you best. They’re all great reads though and satisfy the hunger of inward love.
© Friendship Love: My short answer to this is easy – pick up your copy of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and re-read it. It’s the ultimate book if you’re looking for the selfless love that exists between friends. If you want something a little longer though, try the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells and Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts. Both novels highlight the friends that love us and can put us back on our feet when we feel we’ve lost everything.
© Happy Love Story: It’s harder to come by a happy love story than you may think. Jemima J by Jane Green though hits the nail on the head. It’s about transformation, self-love and finding the love of your life at every size. And most importantly, it has a happy ending that will leave you smiling.
Whatever your love life may look like this year, send yourself a valentine in the form of a great love story. Above are a few that won’t disappoint. What are your other favorite love stories?
Wantrepreneur, wife, adventurer, blogger, wine drinker, avid traveler…in no particular order. Carlene Moore is a Midwestern brain with a California soul. Follow her on Twitter@EverMooreMilest and read her blog here.
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