I feel as though I should be an expert on this topic by now. I’ve thought about what actually constitutes a breakup book and when posed with the question, I have found that different people have given me different answers. Therefore, I’ve concluded that this blogpost is a petition to every bookshop to incorporate a shelf entitled ‘Breakup Fiction’.
Personally, I find that if a book is either empowering or calming then it works for me. If a book can enlighten you into a new perspective, or if it were philosophical and romantic then I’d say a breakup is the ideal time to pick it up. Of course there are self-help books, and books so obviously titled that they are undoubtedly specific to battling a breakup. This includes The Breakup Bible, It’s Not Me, It’s You and It’s Called a Breakup because it’s Broken.
Nevertheless, a breakup is the time in our lives where we need to be reminded that new adventures with new people can be just as or even better than the ones we’ve had before. I feel like being equipped for a breakup is a necessity and I would much rather read something fictional compared to some wishy-washy chick lit style guide to getting over your boyfriend (I find them a little patronising) so I’ve compiled a list of my favourite breakup fiction – enjoy!
Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler
This story tells the tale of a previous relationship and why it became to be so awful. Throughout the book there are reminders of this person but instead of seeing them through rose-tinted glasses like before, the narrator begins to see everything in a different light. This book is light-hearted and witty. It helped me to realise the importance of hindsight.
The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan
For each word, a different story of a lover is told, some romantic and beautiful, some destructive. It is an authentic depiction of the complexity and ambience of relationships told through segments of anecdotes.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han
Lara Jean is afraid to reveal how she truly feels about the people she once loved so she has a box of letters. Each of these letters are written to someone she had previously been in love with. I don’t want to say any spoilers so all I’ll say is that this book taught me that things don’t always go as we planned but that’s okay, there is always another path to take.
The Way We Were – Elizabeth Noble
This book broke my heart the first time I read it. If you’re someone who cries easily, be prepared to cry. This book was my catharsis. Again, I don’t want to spoil this book for you therefore all I’m going to say is if you enjoy a heart-breaking, tear-jerking story about a depressed middle-aged woman then you’ll love this!
Am I Normal Yet? – Holly Bourne
If you’re a feminist with a super strong group of feminist friends then you have everything in common with the characters in this book. The main premise revolves around mental health relapse and recovery but it is a super empowering book that focuses on a beautiful platonic love between best friends.