This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish has a Valentine’s theme, which is problematic for me because I hate Valentine’s Day. So I have opted to create a list for likeminded souls for whom romance is a dirty word. Here are my top ten picks for books which are completely unromantic. You’re welcome.
10.The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
I read this book because it is a favourite of someone whose opinion I previously respected and will never, ever listen to again. I have no idea what was going on; there was a talking cat and a woman who basically spent the whole time naked. It was far too weird and confusing to ever be considered romantic.
9.The Rosie Project by Graeme Samson
Although this book is technically a romance, the main character has no idea whatsoever how to do anything vaguely romantic and would be a (mainly) terrible Valentine. Although he is good at cooking and making cocktails. He just doesn’t understand feelings. Wait, is he actually the perfect man?
8.Villette by Charlotte Brontë
Considering how much I love the Brontes, I found Villette to be intolerably boring, with Lucy Snow, the main character, a huge part of this. Considering the iconic status the romances of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, these is surprisingly little romance here, culminating in one of the most anticlimactic endings of all time.
7.Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
If I hadn’t already read and been petrified with this book, I would consider it a perfect anti-Valentine’s read. For one thing, it sends out a very clear message that no good comes of getting involved with boys. For another, it is completely terrifying.
6.Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Although there is technically some sort of love shape going on in Red Queen, it is very unromantic. Even when Mare seems to like one of the boys involved, she doesn’t seem overly committed and, aside from this, he is obviously the wrong choice.
5.Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Firstly, this book is really quite boring, and thus highly unromantic. Secondly, even though it has ‘love’ in the title, it also has ‘cholera’ in there, and waterborne diseases are not romantic. It is also written almost entirely in incredibly long paragraphs and the first paragraph is all about almonds. Although these are commonly given as wedding favours, I see them as very unromantic, because there is nothing appealing about breaking your teeth.
4.Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Greg, the narrator of this BRILLIANT book, makes it quite clear from the beginning that this is not a love story. There aren’t even any love straight-lines here, let alone triangles. Unlike some of the other books I’ve mentioned here, it is a wonderful read; it is just not a romantic one. I recovered my composure enough to write this review.
3.The November Criminals by Sam Munson
There is a relationship in this book but it is a very unromantic one between two people who are usually too stoned to notice each other’s existence (this is definitely true for one of them, anyway). In fact, the non-romance of this relationship is emphasised throughout The November Criminals, which actually makes it more interesting than most of the cheesy romance in books. I reviewed it here.
2.We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Another book to put you off relationships altogether. We Need to Talk About Kevin made me scared of having children for a really long time and Kevin himself is terrifying enough to make you scared of all humans, probably curing you of any romantic impulses which may be afflicting you.
1.American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
I have a weird amount of admiration for this book; even though it is undoubtedly horrible and graphic, it is also clever and satirical and involves a lengthy discussion of Huey Lewis and the News. The murderous descriptions are sometimes impossible to read due to their intense horror, which makes American Psycho my ultimate cure for Valentine’s-inspired soppiness.
Have I missed any particularly harrowing reads which would be ideal for an anti-Valentine’s readathon? Do you agree with me that Valentine’s is just a very silly concept? Go on, populate the comments with your cynical words.