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In celebration of the day of lurrrrrve, I thought I would give you my 5 favourite books which explore the theme of romance in some shape or form. In the list is a little something for everyone as not all the books explore the most positive sides of cupids arrow – Valentines haters there is a little something for you too!
1. A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams
One of my favourite books, A Streetcar Named Desire is a play that illustrates the stark difference between the romantic ideal of life and love through the eyes of Blanche Dubois and the stark reality of 1940’s America – as illustrated most notably through Blanche’s thuggish brother in law Stanley. The play is not the most uplifting portrayal of romance for Valentines with failed relationships left, right and centre but it effectively shows the way in which love and desire can get lost in the pressures of reality.
2. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
If you haven’t read my review for this book, you can check it out here. The story portrays the tale of two young people who are faced with much bigger problems than is offered by the typical teenage romance. John Green so accurately illustrates the struggle you can face when matters outside of your control lead to heartbreak and the result is a very inspiring and beautiful read.
3. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare
Arguably Shakespeare’s most famous ‘Romance’ play, A Midsummer Nights Dream opens up a world which explores the many sides of love. It portrays how love can be magical and transforming but also controlling, dangerous and conflicting as well as getting you into a whole lot of trouble! The play ends with order seemingly restored and everyone settled in what seems like the perfect happy ending, but with one of the characters still under a spell it seems very likely that maybe good old Will was trying to show that love will never be quite that balanced!
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling
If you are a regular reader of A much prettier puzzle it will not surprise you that a Harry Potter book has made the cut, but this has earned it’s place through the portrayal of one of my favourite literary couples, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Despite the fact that JK Rowling has recently announced she thinks Hermione and Harry might have been a more suited pair (let’s pretend you didn’t say that JK) the development of the relationship between Harry’s two best friends is one that was loved by Potter fans all around the world. In the last instalment of the series, we get to see the moment we had all been waiting 7 GOD DAMN books for when they get together and share their first kiss over a basilisk fang – the perfect first kiss location!
5. PS I love you, Celia Ahern
I thought the list wouldn’t be complete without one completely soppy romance book to really embrace the hearts and flowers valentines tradition, and you would struggle to find a sweeter account of love than that found in Celia Ahern’s PS I Love You. If you haven’t come across the story either by page or on screen through the dreamy eyes of Gerard Butler then you should spend February 14th sobbing your heart out at the tale of Holly and Gerry. You can thank me later.
Although it is a little bit cheesy and definitely over commercialised I am a big fan of Valentines Day, but I am also a big believer that it shouldn’t just be used to celebrate romantic relationships. Use it as an opportunity to give a little bit of appreciation to everyone in your life you love whether it’s your little sister, your best friend or your new Mulberry handbag…