Snuggle up with these Valentine’s Day reads
Valentine’s Day is upon us, and it seems like everybody is up to their ears in heart-shaped chocolates, lovey-dovey cards and all the accoutrements that come along with it.
In the world of literary fiction though, love rears its head in many different ways. From finding true love in the most unexpected places to living with unrequited love to dealing with jerks, these stories encapsulate every emotion we feel when we think of love.
And you know what’s the best thing about fictional boyfriends and girlfriends? They’re always there when you need them; and at the end of the night, you can just put them in your dresser drawer until next time.
ANNABELLE THONG. Yes, we’re talking about Imran Hashim’s perky novel about a Singaporean teacher who goes to Paris, the city of love, to get, well, a Master’s degree … and also find a rich, handsome and charming French boyfriend. Once there, she meets the suave Professor Dudoigt but finds that he is the one temptation she must resist. Annabelle’s belief system is challenged on all fronts — but then again, isn’t it true that opposites attract?
WHO SHOULD READ THIS: The romantic (but who has no love life)
DATE KING: SINGAPORE DATING & MATING SEASON. These two books follow Ah King, a Singaporean guy desperate for love, in the search for his dream girl. The problem: He’s armed with an average personality as well as a clueless, straight-talking attitude; and he has to go head-to-head with rival-in-dating Buaya King. Will he emerge victorious in his (con)quest for love?
WHO SHOULD READ THIS: Apart from lovers of graphic novels (and not in that way), this is for that single who’s ready-to-mingle.
REGRETTABLE THINGS THAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY. In “Never Have I Ever”, one of the short stories in this collection, a 19-year-old has a brush with fate. In this case, fate is a good-looking guy called “Sam”, who literally takes her breath away, because he owns a cat and she’s allergic to them. But can she resist his charms? And how many inhalers should she pack on her date?
WHO SHOULD READ THIS: Those who think that love will always conquer all.
MINISTRY OF MORAL PANIC. What happens when the apple of your eye happens to be the fried bee hoon seller? In the short story, “Pawn”, Delia from Singapore meets Lei from Harbin, and what happens isn’t love at first sight, but an intricate game of love that sees the pair vying for first place in their relationship. Well, who said love was easy?
WHO SHOULD READ THIS: Those who love a twist in their tale.
JERKS WON’T GIVE YOU FLOWERS. No, he won’t, as Moderna de Pueblo shows in this guidebook of sorts. Here, you’ll find the different jerks you’ll meet who won’t do a thing for you when Valentine’s Day comes: From the Classic Jerk (the guy that makes you wonder why you ever went out with him) to the Patronising Jerk (he thinks time spent with him is the greatest thing he could bestow on any woman) to the Cooltured Jerk (reads Philip Roth, drinks wine, listens to Nina Simone, and is just too cool for words).
WHO SHOULD READ THIS: Those who actually need a guidebook to tell them all men are jerks, even if they are Ideal Jerks.