I know it’s out there. That book that must not be named. The trilogy that must not be named. The Movie That Must Not be Named.
Here’s a little secret: I’m not going to read the book. I’m not going to read any of the trilogy. I’m not going to see the movie.
Also? I’m not going to post 50 reasons you shouldn’t because…well. Duh!
I know some of you know some well intentioned, faithful Catholic women who feel differently. Who have read the book, read the trilogy, will see (or maybe already have) the movie. I have heard that some of them even promote it as “her changing him. He loves her in the end.” Look! Love conquers all!
And I’ll tell you now, this is the most sacrilegious thought on a sacred act that I have ever heard. Irony isn’t lost on me.
But see. Look. Here I am talking about it.
So this is what I’m going to do for you. I’m going to give you six books about lu-uv that will be enjoyable to the middle grader and/or the high schooler. Also, I’m going to give you a book recommendation, too.
And, lest that old fairy tale that English Lit majors are no good at math persist, this means my list is 7 books long. I am multifaceted, after all.
So for the younger crowd:
Absolutely Truly, by Heather Vogel Frederick – There is ever so much as a hint of the smallest kind in the novel toward romance. It’s precisely the level of romance that your 4th grade girl is ready for. I’ve reviewed it before. Go take a look.
Anne of Green Gables – The whole series is romance at it’s finest. And guess what? (spoiler alert!) Gilbert Blythe gets the girl and he didn’t have to make any sort of odd demands assaulting her nature!
The Wind Blows Free – It’s been so long since I’ve read this, I’ve lost the finer points. But the boy gets the girl, with nary so much as an ankle showing. Bonus! It’s Catholic-ish. And while slightly saccharine in that end of the 19th century way, isn’t preachy. An enjoyable read, for sure! (Whuh? This book seems to have gone out of print! Sorry ’bout that)
Pride and Prejudice – Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m totally cheating on this one. And I can hear you grumble and see your feathers get ruffled because – duh! – you’ve read this one already. To which I say, so what? It’s a perennial favorite and a perfect romance. And, may I remind you, that Darcy doesn’t even THINK about peeking at Jane’s ankles. Double bonus! It’s a movie, too. Several of them, in fact. But I’m partial to the BBC miniseries version with the Colin Firth.
The next books are for the high school crowd, ‘kay?
Lizzy & Jane – This list is starting to feel Austinite. It’s by Katherine Reay, too. And I liked it, as well. Clean romance. No movie though. Maybe she can write another and we’ll have a trilogy, of sorts? Or at least a box set.
The next book isn’t really for high school aged people. Not in my opinion, anyway.
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. Listen if you want to read a book where the man is jerk but still gets the girl. If you want to read a trilogy where the girl practically give herself up to please her a$$hat husband. Read this one. Because this book, this book is epic. Nearly literally. And Undset is Catholic. So, bonus. There isn’t anything is this trilogy that is inappropriate for a high school student. I’m just not sure that at the ripe age of 18 one has enough life experience to fully feel the full importance of Kristin Lavransdatter. Or maybe read it as a young adult, but revisit it. It must be revisited. Oh! And I linked to the huge muzzy book with all three books in it. But unless you are terribly strong and use books as the weight lifting aspect of your fitness regime, but the trilogy separately (The Wreath, The Wife, The Cross). And for the love of good translations everywhere, buy the Nunnally translations. I’m not even going to debate this with you. Do as I say.
I leave you, then, with seven alternatives to a Certain Book/Trilogy/Movie. Seven different novels in which a reader can find love and beauty written into it’s pages. Some are full of sweet love, and others are more mature.
And none of them – not one – assault’s Love’s nature.
Now your turn! What books about luv would you recommend? It’s okay. Go ahead and tell me. Tell Erin McCole Cupp, too. She wants to make sure the Good, Beautiful, and True are promoted. And I couldn’t agree more, of course.