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5 Books that Remind Me of Past Relationships—and My Present Love

by  | October 3

This is, most definitely, a very bad idea…. Do you ever pick up a book and then get hit with an overwhelming sense of déjà vu? If so, then it may be because you’ve dated this book before…. I mean, guy. I decided that in honor of #NationalBoyfriendDay, I would compare all my ex-boyfriends to some epic books. Was this a weird and kind of painful activity? Most definitely. Is there a possibility that any number of my exes could read this article? Perchance they could. But alas, fellow readers, I’ve compiled this list just for you! Here are five books that will break your heart, but just like real relationships you will be stronger because you loved them.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

The Blind Side

This is the relationship, or the book, that you would classify as your first real love and your first real heartbreak. The relationship where you still don’t really know why things fell apart, just that they did, and where there was a time when you thought you would never recover from the loss. Of course, time and age and wisdom reveal that you will, in fact, survive, but you’ll never forget that relationship…or book. This relationship is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Perks expresses so many universal experiences, that whether or not you can relate to Charlie’s exact situation, you will likely relate to his feelings of grief, confusion, and desire to be loved and included. This book is full of firsts in terms of friends, sex, and drugs, so perhaps it’s only fitting that the book should go to my “first” love. If you have yet to read Perks of Being a Wallflower, it chronicles high school freshman Charlie as he navigates adolescence and the cusp of adulthood through a series of letters. This book will break your heart and, in some ways, give you hope for the future, a future in which you eventually will find the right people for yourself, the ones who make your life that much better.

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The Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key

by Ruth Ware

The Codependent

Okay, so you probably looked at the cover of this book and thought…What on earth is this girl talking about throwing a thriller onto this list? Just hear me out. This was a book I absolutely could not put down until I had read the very last page. This book, like that one (yeah…we’ll say one) codependent relationship, stayed with me. Honestly, if you had wanted me to put this book down, you would have had to pry it from my hands with a crowbar. I am obsessed with this book and the incredible twists that Ruth Ware is capable of weaving into her narrative. The Turn of the Key follows Rowan as she accepts a live-in nanny position that is too good to be true. When I finally finished this book, it left a gaping hole in my heart, which had me immediately flipping back to the beginning with the urge to read the book again.

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Queenie

Queenie

by Candice Carty-Williams

The Opposite

Sometimes opposites attract and it’s wonderful…and sometimes it’s not. While this particular relationship might have been a mistake, reading Queenie was cathartic. Like its heroine, Queenie, we’ve all found ourselves in relationships that we just kind of fell into. We know the person is all wrong for us, that they don’t have our best interest at heart. We made a series of bad decisions and ended up stuck in a relationship that made us feel dejected and had us questioning every text message and avoiding each difficult conversation. Queenie follows a 25-year-old woman as her career and relationships take a downward spiral. Just like all of us, Queenie makes mistakes, and this story deals with her confronting where her self-sabotaging stems from. This is a book about self-love, self-discovery, and figuring out how to navigate the complicated adult life we are living. This book will make you laugh and it will make you cry, but you will be all the better for having read it.

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Stay Up with Hugo Best

Stay Up with Hugo Best

by Erin Somers

The Happenstance

You were there. He was there. You wanted…something and he complimented you. I realize this doesn’t paint the best picture, but we’ve all found ourselves in situations that we didn’t expect to be in or ever prepare for. Sometimes, we’re just along for the ride. That’s exactly what Stay Up with Hugo Best is, a wild ride of one circumstance that leads to another. This story follows 29-year-old June Bloom, a recently unemployed staff writer for the late-night comedy show Stay Up with Hugo Best. This whirlwind of a novel takes place over Memorial Day weekend as June finds herself at Hugo’s upstate mansion. I just so happened to pick this book off a shelf one day, and I was immediately sucked into June and Hugo’s fleeting story of two people trying to reestablish their place in the world.

But since we are here to celebrate #NationalBoyfriendDay, it seems only fair that I also include my current love interest.

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The Simple Wild

The Simple Wild

by K.A. Tucker

The #RelationshipGoals

What can I say, this book had to be a romance novel. I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow, I turned into a sappy hopeless romantic mushball with my current relationship (but shhh, don’t tell anyone). So, for a fitting book comparison, I’m going to have to go with The Simple Wild by K. A. Tucker. Not because my significant other and I started out in an enemies-to-lovers plot, or because he’s always had a fascination with Alaska, but because the love story unfolds amid a family redemption plot in the Alaskan wilderness. Calla and Jonah’s verbal sparring and sarcasm are delightfully rendered as they develop feelings for each other. But The Simple Wild is more than just a love story—it’s about life, loss, communication, and embracing the unknown. Just like with my SO, this book helped me let go of the past and become a little more adventurous.

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