I tend not to buy into all of the Valentine’s Day hoopla, but I live for books that work their way into my emotions. It’s not a very difficult thing to do, I cry all the time. I’m just going to go ahead and make a “tears” tag now – you can watch it grow. Good love stories will be all over that tag, but I think people tend to forget that a love story (and Valentine’s Day, for that matter) doesn’t always have to be between a romantic couple. Though there were some wonderful romantic stories last year, these tales of love stood out for different, but equally as beautiful, reasons.
Fourteen year old June feels like she belongs in the Middle Ages instead of on the fringes of her family and the only person who understands that is her Uncle Finn. When he dies of a disease no one will discuss, June is completely distraught until an encounter at his funeral allows her to form a relationship that will piece together the parts of his life.
There is so much more to this novel that I would hate to share and spoil. It is heartbreakingly beautiful. It’s also a great testament to the important bonds that adults and children can forge between one another, while highlighting the feelings that come with new realizations about the people you look up to.
After losing his family, former stay at home dad Benjamin Benjamin pieces himself together enough to return to the working world as a caregiver to Trevor, a nineteen year-old with muscular dystrophy. Over time, Benjamin and Trevor develop a friendship that leads them on a journey of fun and forgiveness.
I’ve gushed over this book so much that I almost don’t know how to gush any more. It is hilarious and sad and SO GOOD. There is so much love bursting from every inch of this book, it should just have a big heart drawn on the front. Still, the most beautiful (and sob-inducing) relationship is between Benjamin and his two children. You will find yourself both aching to know what happened to them and knowing you won’t be able to handle it (I could.not.handle.it). I just can’t recommend this book enough.