Hello February… the month of love! I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day… it just seems a bit forced and cheesy to me. I mean has anyone walked into a Walgreens during February and been blinded by all the Valentine’s Day candies and decorations? Yup, no thanks. However, I am a huge fan of love. What can I say… I just love love and all the cheesy, dramatic, unfiltered moments that come with it – the meet-cutes, the romantic gestures, the over-the-top breakups and makeups. I’m a sucker for an epic love story, in fiction and in real life. A bit ironic? Maybe. To celebrate the month of love, here are 5 books I’m head over heels for right now:
For anyone who knows me, you know my two true loves are Paris and the 1920s. So when I saw this novel on a “Must-Read” list, I knew I had to pick up a copy. First-time novelist Whitney Scharer tells the life story of Lee Miller, an American fashion model turned photographer turned war correspondent. After she moves to Paris, she falls in love with Surrealist artist Man Ray, quickly finding herself in the center of Paris’s creative and bustling bohemian society. Through her artistic experiences in the City of Light, Lee discovers more about herself and the world around her as she deals with heartbreak and hedonistic excess. A beautifully written novel spanning from the 1920s to World World II about a woman who transforms from an artist’s muse to a strong, independent artist of her own.
February is the month of love… but that doesn’t mean it needs to be about loving someone else. For me, this month is all about loving myself and going after what I want. So why not read a book with similar messages? I Owe You One focuses on Fixie Farr, a woman who has spent her life trying to take care of everyone else but herself. When a stranger in a coffee shop asks Fixie to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees, but also ends up saving the laptop from a complete disaster. To thank her, the stranger – an investment manger named Sebastian – writes down an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie would never claim an IOU from a stranger, would she? However, when her childhood crush Ryan comes back into her life, his lack of profession pushes Fixie to ask Sebastian for a favor after all…When Sebastian agrees to give Ryan a job, a series of IOUs ensues between Sebastian and Fixie – from small favors to life changing moments. However, Fixie soon learns she must finally take a stand for herself and decide what she really wants in life , finally putting herself first.
I am always a sucker for a page-turning psychological thriller. Yes, I see how this book doesn’t really fit into the “month of love” theme, but an addicting, thrilling read is a good distraction from all the over-the-top Valentine’s Day themes. Desperate for some extra cash, Jessica Farris agrees to be a test subject in a psychological study about ethics and morality. However, as the study moves from the exam room to the real world, what’s real and what’s just another one of Dr. Shield’s experiments begins to blur. Jessica finds herself in real trouble – stuck in a web of deceit, jealousy, and obsession. As Jessica realizes Dr. Shield not only knows what she’s thinking but also hiding, she begins to fear that she’s not just being tested, but also controlled and manipulated. This psychological thriller ends with a twist you would never expect.
Calm the F*ck Down: How to Control What You Can and Accept What You Can’t So Can Stop Freaking Out and Get On With Your Life by Sarah Knight
What a title, am I right? Blunt, honest and right to the point – all reasons for why I absolutely love Sarah Knight’s writing style and her No Fucks Given Guides. It’s the kind of self-help I need – someone to just tell me exactly how it is, with a few (or a lot) of fucks thrown in. For anyone who deals with anxiety (raises my hand very high) this is a great book to well, help you calm the fuck down. For me, it’s really hard to accept things I can’t control, and this leads me to freak out, constantly asking what if, what if, what if and then obsessing over the possible outcomes of those what if’s even though they haven’t even happened yet (and probably won’t even happen). On a day where I was extremely anxious and upset, my cousin Lauren saw this book at the bookstore, picked it up, and said you need to read this. Wow was she right. The first line reads This book is about anxiety. Yup. This was going to be a match made in heaven. Sarah Knight talks about how to let go of all those what if’s and unnecessary anxious worrying and provides you with real-life steps to stop freaking out and accept things you can and can’t control. It really helped me with my anxious mindset and gave me a more logical, calmer way of thinking about situations and life. Fuck yes.
If you haven’t read author Jill Santopolo’s first novel The Light We Lost, I highly recommend it! Santopolo’s second novel is another epic love story about a girl dealing with the death of her father and stuck between the love of two men. Nina Gregory grew up in a traditional lifestyle – with a father who taught her that family, reputation, and legacy were what mattered most. However, after her father dies, Nina finds a secret he left behind that makes Nina doubt everything she’s ever believed in. As the world around her becomes unknown, Nina begins to see the men in her life – her father, her boyfriend, and her boss – in a brand new light. As Nina tries to piece together answers to her father’s secret, she finds herself caught between the world she loves, and an unfamiliar feeling of passion that could change everything she’s ever known.
Happy reading! And don’t forget to love yourself first xx.