Ok so I’ll be honest, out of all the books published over the course of 2016, this is probably the last book I would have chosen to read based on the blurb! Yet another baby-faced, adolescent You Tuber releases a book, this time it’s just a random collection of their follower’s thoughts on love and relationships, collected from social media. Ugh I thought! My friends at http://www.socialbookco.com/ sent me a copy to review, and I confess to groaning inwardly as I opened the first page, but a couple of hours later, as I turned the last page the groan had turned into a contented chuckle.
Darbyshire ponders what modern love is all about. It is fairly obvious we are not all gallivanting about on white chargers, rescuing damsels in distress, or waving a sorrowful goodbye to a love, off to serve in the trenches of war for years, anymore. This book proves the passion played out in long forgotten letters of the past, or epic romantic literature has not been forgotten with the invention of the text message. The book is a compendium of answers to a series of six questions Darbyshire posed to his followers on various social media channels, over the course of six months. The book is then split into three sections, the beginning of a relationship, the middle, and the ending.
This book totally took me by surprise. There are some wonderful pieces about that delightful ‘crush’ phase, when no matter your age or situation that first fluttering of lust for another human being makes you feel like you are thirteen again. My favourite was from Bella, who ended her letter “In conclusion I have two things to say. I really, really like you and damn you hormones.”
I really loved the ‘middle’ phase; here contributors describe how thankful they are to have the addressee of their piece, in their life. Ok so some of the contributions here are sickeningly sweet, they are after all from a contented market, safe and secure in long term relationships.
The gut wrenching final part of the book is about the end of relationships. There are some incredibly hard to read pieces, some of broken homes, broken dreams and some involving children as the product of relationships ending. This part of the book while incredibly sad, has some absolute comedy gold running through it. One of my favourites involves Soph and her childhood Pokémon card collection. Another is from Shanahbelle who asks Ben to ‘kindly keep your topless snapchat selfies to yourself. No they do not make me want you. And no I do not understand ‘dem bedtime feels.”!
In between the Tweets, letters and emails are some wonderful images that help to illustrate the pieces and themes, and the book itself is a solid red hardback which is an aesthetic pleasure to hold.
I’m really pleased I read this book, maybe it has made me rethink the whole You Tuber genre, I’m not sure! It would be a great gift for a lover, or maybe for yourself to help you find the words when a relationship sadly ends.
You can find This Modern Love for the best available price through book price comparison site SocialBookCo www.socialbookco.com/book/9781780895727/this-modern-love?rid=6
As this post is my 200th on artofglamour.co.uk (where did the time go?!) I am giving away two hard backed copies of This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire. To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is comment below by Monday 19th September and tell me what your standout summer holiday read is.
Good luck x
(This is an international giveaway)