Hi bookish friends, how are you? I hope you had a wonderful week! I know, I know, today’s the 14th, so I guess…happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you have an actual special someone to celebrate this commercial day with, or not…well, no worries. Books are always there to make you feel special. And YOU ARE.
Since today is Valentine’s Day, I thought I could come up with something light, fluffy and cute for a bookish discussion. And here I am, with a title that seems like a philosophical assignment. To be honest, while thinking about Valentine’s Day, I thought about book boyfriends, girlfriends, book crushes in general. And, I have to say, as bookworm, we sometimes live in another world. Spending so many times between pages, I sometimes have a hard time remembering where I am, and what the world actually is like (spoiler alert: it sucks. I’d rather live in my book). So, when we finally wander outside, eyes sore from reading and thoughts in a confused mess, and look around…well…we do have expectations. On how the world’s supposed to be, on how things can/should/might go if it were just like in the books.
The most obvious problem to talk about here, is book boyfriends. Or girlfriends. Or crush, whether they’re boys or girls. As you know, I’m a big lover of contemporaries, and I guess that sometimes rhymes with romance. And cute boys/girls, that seem perfect, and even if they mess-up sometimes, well it all ends well with the perfect kiss at the top of Notre Dame (If you have read the book I’m talking about, then you will know. If not, I won’t spoil you, so, NO TITLE HERE. I am cruel like that). There are cute sentences that will stay in our brains forever, no matter what we do to let them go.
“If I were to live a thousand years, I would belong to you for all of them. If we were to live a thousand lives, I would want to make you mine in each one.” (The Evolution of Mara Dyer, Michelle Hodkin)
“I don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I…” – her voice nearly disappeared – “think I live for you.” (Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell)
“I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend. The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body. “ (Unravel Me, Tahereh Mafi)
But once we close the book, where is that boy/girl who will tell you this kind of thing? WHERE?! I don’t know about you, but I’m still waiting for these sentences to be pronounced to me, and I will wait, even if I know that I’m just setting myself up for disappointment. Happy endings are cruel, because we read them with a smile on our face, then realize that sometimes, well, life just isn’t that way. The sweet princesses stories we used to read when we were little (don’t look at me like that, I know YOU did), where they all get their happy endings and lived happily ever after… well, what if, in real life, we can’t see the end of that foggy road?
You know what: I feel like I’m getting kind of depressing here, aren’t I? Books aren’t always giving us false hopes, and setting us up for disappointment. Otherwise, WHY WOULD WE READ BOOKS ANYWAY? Despite some of those being way too swoony and making us hope for our own Noah Shaw or whoever your book crush is, some others are just plain realistic. Take The Spectacular Now, for instance. The ending got me feeling…well, whatever, I won’t spoil you if you haven’t read it, yet. But it’s REALISTIC. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is, too. More recently, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens agenda is SO REAL. The Rest of Us Just Live Here is one of those books where I feel like I AM every character, because they feel so real. And don’t make me start on I’ll Give You The Sun. Even in non-contemporary books, like The Hunger Games. Everything might not be perfect, but, in the end, at the last page, you see hope for a better world. And sometimes that’s all we need to feel happy after closing the book.