Books and expectations: a bad combinaison?

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.

books happy
After all, books are here to get away. I don’t think we need to rest of the world to live happily ever after. We always can find that happiness between the pages of a great book.

Do YOU think books make you expect more of life, and relationships, or not? 💬

Which books can you think of that seem REALISTIC to you, in the characters, in the story, in everything that you just feel like you could HUG THE CHARACTERS AND LIVE IN THE STORY FOREVER?! Let’s chat in comments! 💬

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

35 thoughts on “Books and expectations: a bad combinaison?

  1. I think everything I read as a teenager gave me a false impression of what relationships were meant to be like. I pretty much based my expectations on Wuthering Heights so when boys stood outside and shouted in a manic way I thought that was quite normal. It was only as an adult that I realised relationships were more about whose family to spend Christmas with and whose turn it is to take the bins out. Weird how nobody writes great works of fiction about that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, you’re so, so right about this. I think, especially when you start reading at a young age, you’re kind of wondering why relationships aren’t like in books, haha. YES now that would be interesting, the actual struggles about growing up while being in love, career choices, distance, christmas and actual stuff that can happen to a relationship. That would be nice! 🙂
      Thank you so much for stopping by 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm … I do love what happens in books and I sometimes wish it would occur in real life, but quite honestly I don’t expect it to. As long as one knows the difference, I don’t think it’s bad to have that romantic notion of life like it is in the books, but you still need to face reality. It might be sad, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great stories in our world as well. Think of Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs! Did you see their wedding photos? That was something right out of a hipster fairy tale book, just that magical!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i don’t expect it to happen, either, haha, no worries! It just, makes us dreamy about some things, then we can be a bit disappointed. OH YES, you’re so right about this, there can be wonderful things happening too, wonderful relationships and everything, even if they’re not like in the books. OH YES, their relationship is GOALS. I love them so much !! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does make us dreamy. I think a little optimism and the courage to dream is something good though. You have to set your goals high to achieve something more than others thought was even possible 😉
        They are goals in every possible way!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally get where you’re coming from. I used to allow books set expectations for me about life and relationships, but that was years ago. I’ve long sings learned to separate both worlds. I had to do so out of necessity due to the disappointment and heartbreak that ensued!

    I mean, that Rainbow Rowell quote is beautiful and I love to read stuff like that in books. But I would probably never say that to anyone. Nor do I expect anyone to say it to me. I believe that we should all love ourselves and live for ourselves first. Cliche as that may be 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely understand that. I’ve been reading since forever, so I guess when I was younger, I kind of expected things to happen, and well, they just, didn’t, haha. Yes, that Rainbow Rowell quote is gorgeous, and it’s SO good to read that, but I don’t think anyone would say so in real life, either 🙂
      You’re so, so right about this. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I always find that there’s some realism in most books, whether it be contemporary or fantasy. But the ones that have stuck with me for a long time for how honest they were about real relationships and life will have to be The Truth About Forever, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light, and, more recently, A Little Life. I think each possess the perfect balance of some darkness and sadness with happiness and hope. And for that reason I really think they’re true depictions of real life. As for whether books have impacted the way I felt about relationships, I think they may have when I was a preteen and was in my Twilight/The Mortal Instruments/The Hunger Games phase. But as I grew older I was sort of disillusioned with finding the perfect guy as fictional stories suggested. And though fictional characters are cool in theory I don’t think I’d actually like to date my book boyfriend in real life, haha.

    Anyway, awesome post, Marie! And happy Valentine’s day! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read any of those books, but now that you say it, I’m going to add them to my TBR. As much as I love to escape with my books, I love reading stories that are showing, really, how relationships can be.
      It was the same for me, too! I was kind of dreaming of the perfect boyfriend or something, when reading these kind of books, when I was younger. Now the illusion is gone, ahah, and I know how real life can be 🙂
      Thank you so, so much, Summer! ❤ Happy Valentine's Day to you, too, hope you had a great day! (and baked those cookies, haha :p)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think books set you up to expect more out of life and the people you surround yourself with! I also don’t think this is a bad thing! We are all heroines in our own stories and we deserve our prince charmings & happily ever afters! Our at least happily-for-a-decent-while-afters! Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agreed with everything here. I’m still waiting for someone to come make elaborate proclamations of their love for me, but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. Sure, I can read the books and pretend I’m the one being kissed at Notre Dam but that’s not going to change anything haha 😉 So I think we should continue reading and accepting that though the possibilities of stuff like that happening is slim, we can still hope and be happy that they portray a nicer world we can aspire to one day live in!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Books definitely increase my expectations of life! I’ve found so many things to be different to how they are portrayed in books (probably because different cultures??) but the core messages don’t change between books and life for me. For example, some books show love as all-consuming – and from my own experiences, I found that true 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, you’re so right about this! Even if sometimes books are different from real life -obviously, with imagination we can do ANYTHING, that’s incredible! , you’re right about the messages. They remain the same, and still give us some things to think about! 😀
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this, Geraldine! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Honestly, I read books to escape real life so if it was realistic, it would be a pretty boring book XD I feel like they do need a bit of realisticness to tether it to this world though, even in fantasy. We like to have something familiar in a better way!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope you had a happy Valentine’s day, Marie! 🙂 I totally understand the expectations books often inspire on us, especially when it comes to love and relationships. I went through that phase myself when I aspired to have something similar to what the characters have, but I guess we just need to remember the distinction between reality and fantasy. I don’t mind that my books are a touch unrealistic, it makes them interesting and different! If everything started sounding like real life, I think we are all gonna be bored quickly XD Great post by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Joan, I did! I hope you did, too! ❤ I think when we are younger, sometimes we want our lives to be like in the books, and then as we grow up, maybe reality catch up with us, haha :p You're so right, I really love when books are taking some inspiration from our reality, too, but then completely twist it around. It's crazy, but so great! 😀
      Thank you so, so much for stopping by, loved reading your comment 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. haha I can be very pessimistic too, but I still don’t fancy doing things in half measures. Haha maybe I was indoctrinated at an early age by books or something. I guess I also like to follow my instincts a lot and don’t do things that don’t feel right. And honestly a lot of the time I just have no patience for things that aren’t good enough, so I give up on them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, I think that’s such a great way of thinking! Especially about giving up. Sometimes it’s had to give up on some things, because they mattered to you, a lot, but when they are disappointing, well, we shouldn’t keep on bothering with that. I’m having trouble doing that, a lot, haha! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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