Come on, you had to see this one coming. Nicholas Sparks is our premier writer of romance stories that will inevitably become movies that come out in February. Nicholas Sparks has written 17 novels in his career, with 8 of them being turned into movies. His books almost always strongly feature a love story, either of first love, or of older characters finding a second chance for love after being divorced or their spouse dying tragically. Oh, that’s the other Nick Sparks thing. His books basically are about love and death. People fall in love, there are complications, and someone dies, all in a small town somewhere in the South. Two of his books are The Last Song, and Message in a Bottle, which both pretty much nail the Sparks formula. The Last Song (the one with the Miley Cyrus movie) is about a teenage girl connecting with her estranged father while falling in love for the first time. Message in a Bottle is about a woman who while jogging on a beach finds…well, guess what. She reads the romantic letter a man wrote to a woman, and decides to find him. Both stories deal with love, loss, and moving on from tragedy. Sparks’ books do tend to be somewhat formulaic, but they know what they are. Grab up a bag of tissues, pull up a comfy chair, and get ready to be Sparked (even if you’re a guy- I won’t tell).
But Sparks was not the first person to write about romance. Ever since the 1940s, people have been eating up dramatic, steamy romances. Back before they invented HBO or the internet, romance novels were the only outlets that repressed, 1950s women had to release some of their…romantic tension. This online book looks at the history of the romance novel, distinguishing between steamy romances, and love-filled pre-Sparks books. While the book is about the history of romance novels, it also is about the story of how women and men have related to each other, and women’s place in society. And it also has some hysterically cheesy old time covers, from a time when you couldn’t even show a couple kissing, so take a peek! History and romance, what’s not to like?
Hear me out on this one. When you think V-Day movie, you might not think about the wacky misadventures of a neurotic clown fish that meets up with a blue tang fish and searches the sea to find his missing son Nemo. But remember what I said up in the first paragraph, about different kinds of love? Well, Finding Nemo is basically a movie about the honest to God power of love. It’s about parental love, and friendship love, and how much someone will go through for love. While this movie doesn’t really have a love story, the two main relationships, between Marlin and Nemo (father and son), and Marlin and Dory(friends/travel partners) are ten times more meaningful then most generic romantic flicks. Oh, and funny talking fish. And bubbles. MY bubbles.
Hope you all enjoyed this blog, and that it can help you have a happier Valentine’s Day! I know it can be a touchy time for some people, but hopefully this will help you have a fun time, whether or not you have a Valentine! Call someone you love, watch some Finding Nemo, eat some chocolate, and feed your goldfish. Just have fun!