Regardless of your feelings on 50 Shades, I am here to tell you there are better love stories out there people. Sweet, gut wrenching, tender, heart warming love stories. No whips, no chains, no cliche conversations, just dang good tales of two crazy people finally working it all out. All three of these picks are a bit off the beaten path, have creative plots, and well written characters. Like 50 Shades wants us all to do, branch out and try something new.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
A character driven novel is one in which the character would say and do the same things regardless of the time or circumstances the author places them in. The Rosie Project is the most charming and heartwarming novel of this kind that I have stumbled across in recent months. Don Tillman is successful in his job and many endeavors, however love and relationships is not one of them. Don has autism and does not grasp human relationships or social interactions in the slightest. He concludes that it is time to find a romantic relationship; but decides leaving to chance meeting someone compatible randomly is unlikely and inefficient. He comes up with a compatibility measurement test to approach the quest from a logical and scientific angle. Of course, we all know there is no science to love, so Don’s world gets turned upside down and back again. The author captures the mind of an autistic person with precision, compassion, and humor. This love story is quirky and wonderful; I am praying they do not turn it into a movie.
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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Gabrielle Zevin writes a story of true and sacrificial love. She shows us that blood is not always thicker than water, and love can shake you free from a painful stupor gone on too long. The main character A.J. is suffocating under grief and hardship. He runs a bookstore on an island (yes, it is as charming as it seems) and is struggling in modern day book selling in the midst of e-readers and online shopping. He drowns his sorrows in wine in the evening, and his world turns upside down when his prize possession, a rare Edgar Allen Poe original, is stolen from his home. As quickly as the book is taken from him, a mysterious baby is left in his care with a note explaining her parents are not up for raising a child. The rest I will leave to you to read for yourself. The characters are all quirky and lovable, flawed,and oh so human. I truly believe there should be a special genre of books only written about people that adore books. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry would shine in such a genre. Many more events unravel in this story, I felt like I had moved onto the Island and gotten to know all the characters. When the book was over, I was sure I would miss all of them. It is not all happy, but it is sweet, and real, and worth your time.
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If you have not yet discovered the delightful Rainbow Rowell, you are in for a treat. This is a novel told primarily through company emails. Rowell is a master at quick, smart dialogue. The lives of a night internet security worker, and daytime employees connect through secret email reading without meeting face to face. Lincoln, the main character is hired at night to ensure the employees are following standard procedures. He reads through emails and checks on employees computer activity. Situations get awkward when Lincoln starts to fall for a woman through her email prose. The voices in the novel are witty, crass, and unbelievably awesome. You will adore the banter between the characters and the odd love story that unfolds. I wish there were more books like hers. Wonderful, wonderful read.
To purchase this book on Amazon, click here: Attachments: A Novel