Whew, has it been a week already? Thank you so much for all the love and support I have been getting this past week! We have officially reached 12 countries over 5 continents, AND we now have double digit followers. I am so incredibly grateful and humbled by all the people who want to know my thoughts on books. Okay, Academy Award speech over, let’s start talking!
I have written this post before and genuinely hated it. I have quite a few ideas of things that I want to say, but I can’t seem to link all my thoughts in my head. So if this seems a little disjointed to you, that’s probably why.
In the English language, we use the word love for pretty much everything. We “love” that movie. I say “I love you” to all my friends and family. And obviously we use the word love to describe the feeling of “falling in love”. Because I am writing this in America, where love is completely ambiguous, I am going to be talking about the latter two examples, and how they relate to books.
So let’s talk family first, because that is my area of expertise. My family has always played a role in my life, and despite the fact that I am 2 years out from being in charge of my own medical insurance, I still go to my dad for everything. Losing my mom played a large role in that feeling, and while I wish my mom was still here, I am grateful for the relationship I have with my father now.
When it comes to books, family seems to fall into 2 categories: the ones that are understanding and inclusive, or the ones that are absentee. But the best example of family love is from a movie. In Disney’s Frozen, Anna puts herself in the way of Hans as he tries to kill Elsa. When Elsa realizes that Anna is then frozen because Elsa froze her heart, she begins to cry and the love and despair she feels is enough to unfreeze Anna’s heart. As soon as Elsa realizes Anna is unfrozen, she asks Anna “You would sacrifice yourself for me?” and Anna’s simple reply is “Well, I love you”.
To me, love is about being willing to sacrifice yourself for another person. And love is also not having to make all the sacrifices. Love is about give and take. Parents give all the time, but they also take. They take memories, they take artwork that never should have seen the light of day, they take giggles, and more importantly, they take “I love you”s.
When it comes to books, I think familial love is all about acceptance. Finding the people who would let you be yourself. So all those families in books that are inclusive, many of those characters have a great relationship with their families because they feel safe there. For all those families that are absentee, that familial love is given to their friends. Because what are friends but family we choose for ourselves?
As for the whole “falling in love” thing. I’m completely speculating at this point (#single4life), but if I have learned anything from books, it is that you need to figure out what is healthy for you. While some fights are normal, constant bickering is not. Using words or affection (or actual weapons) as a weapon is not okay. And trust should not be so easy to break. I have always found health in a relationship to be THE THING that irritates me the most when reading, and you’ll see it in my reviews often.
Falling in love is clichéd in many ways, but I still read books that surprise me nonetheless. I especially appreciate the types of stories that fall in love slowly, and then all at once. To me, those stories capture my attention as I try to unravel when that moment will hit, and once it does, I find myself blubbering like a baby in the parking lot at my work. Not speaking from experience, of course.
As a reader, I think the biggest disservice you can do for an author is to limit your viewpoint of the world. When you take a step back and appreciate all the colors of the world, you begin to see that love is an incredibly unique but universal idea, and that books can encompass all those thoughts and feelings.
If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!