Books to Read when You’re Heartbroken

Every time February comes around, all the red, pink, and white Valentine’s Day gifts are thrown into the front lines, promise love and romance, and we, the heartbroken and lonely, can only turn our heads, wipe away the tear that falls unexpectedly, and hope no one notices our dire state.

There’s hope, however, for in the midst of all candy hearts and monogrammed sweets, there are books, countless books, that will have our backs. Here are just some options that might soothe the aching heart and warm the soul:

1. Escapism:

The books that take you away and make you laugh.

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams You will never leave home without a towel after reading this book. The end of the world has come, and it’s time to start a ridiculous and strange space adventure or go down with it. The only tears this book brings are ones of laughter.
  • Meddling Kids by Edgar CanteroThis unique combination of Scooby Doo and H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu will have you laughing around every bend. A group of teenagers and a dog investigated a monster in Sleepy Lake in the town of Blyton Hills in 1977, catching an old man they thought to be the culprit. They are haunted by the memories, and when said culprit makes parole, they confirm that they got the wrong guy. And so they are thrown once more into the strange world they thought they would never return to.
  • Year Zero by Rob Reid- By some bizarre chance, humans end up being the only species in the universe that can produce genuine music. The tunes of the 1970s are spread throughout the universe by the Refined League, and when they return to Earth to get more information, copyright law comes into play. The humans want to charge $150,000 per song illegally obtained, resulting in a debt of some three trillion yottadollars. Will the Refined League attempt to pay the debt or remove the humans from existence all together?

2. Historical Romance

Who doesn’t love a happy ending?

  • The Duke and I by Julia Quinn- This first book in the Bridgerton series is simply a delight for any reader. Daphne Bridgerton needs to find a husband, one that can take her sharp wit, and Simon Basset wants reprieve from the “ambitious mamas” of the England peerage throwing their daughters at him. Such begins a ‘fake’ courtship between the two, but while they dance away in each other’s arms, will they be able to keep their hearts at arms length? 
  • Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas- Lisa Kleypas writes beautifully and knowledgeably, creating strong characters that will stay in your heart long after you read the final page. Cold-Hearted Rake is the first in The Ravenels series. When Devon Ravenel inherits an earldom, he not only gets all the property and possessions of the late Earl of Trenear, but also his widow and her three sisters. Lady Kathleen shuns Devon when he voices his decision to sell the estate, but neither can end up ignoring the true passion that starts to grow just under the surface.
  • Falling Into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath- ​​Lorraine Heath is a wonderful author to read around this time of year. She pulls you in from the first page. In this volume, Miss Minerva Dodger decides against marriage, voluntarily choosing spinsterhood. That doesn’t mean she must live a life without passion, though, through the Nightingale Club. Donning a mask, she finds herself choosing the Duke of Ashbury for a lover, but one night isn’t enough and soon the affair turns complicated with genuine emotion settles in.

3. Personal Growth

Turn your thoughts inward and focus on strengthening yourself.

  • You are a Badass by Jen Sincero- Sincero will have you laughing and feeling inspired from the first chapter. Not only will you remember how amazing you are, but this book gives you permission to go after your true potential. Forget about the heartache and pain others have caused you. Trust in yourself and go after your dreams.
  • The Subtle A of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson- This is no ordinary self help book. In fact, Manson criticizes the ‘self help’ genre in this loud and direct guide to a happier life. Skipping the affirmations and soothing techniques other books might take up, this book goes directly to the heart of the matter-changing your definition of success/failure and what you value. Though out of the ordinary, this is sure to have you taking a good hard look at yourself in ways you would never have otherwise.
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo- You’ve probably heard of this one and maybe have watched the television series already. Kondo emphasizes that it’s not about having a clean house or less items, but ensuring that the possessions you do have are ones that you love and enjoy. Let go of those items that have become meaningless or even downright invasive to let those things you love and in turn you shine.

Let these books shield you from the incoming hearts and love affirmations. By the time you get to the last page, it will be February 15th, all the chocolate will be on sale, and you can laugh at the Valentine’s Day Retail Gods who thought they could best you.

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