We wanted so badly to be clever about love for today’s list. It being Valentine’s Day tomorrow, all those schmaltzy jewelry commercials are on TV; if we see another saccharine Hallmark card, we might self-destruct. A list of the 10 best anti-love novels or the most memorable characters wreaking revenge on hurtful lovers might have been an antidote to the commercialized ritual of love we all undergo this week. But when we started filing through the Kirkus archive, we kept saying “awww” and sighing while recalling love stories we unironically, unabashedly admire. So we’ll toss the clever façade: here are the 10 love stories we don’t ever want to forget.
If Harry Potter lived in an alternate Ireland, had no real magical powers but talked a good game, and fell all over himself every time he saw a girl, he might well belong in this splendid, sardonic magnum opus.
It seems safe to guess that Dublin resident Murray (An Evening of Long Goodbyes, 2004) knows the world of boarding schools, of drab dorms, fetid hallways and teenaged lads with their layers on layers of desperation.Read full book review >