I love Valentine's Day. I always have.
I think my favorite part of the holiday nowadays is that I finally have some traditions. I didn't grow up in a family with a lot of traditions, which made holidays and the like fun and spontaneous, but there is something to be said for those rites that help to get us in the spirit of the season. I've recently discovered that I have an overwhelming desire to start some traditions with my own family, and I think Valentine's Day is special because the tradition wasn't forced or contrived, it just kind of happened. It started when I was pregnant with my now-8-year-old and Mike (now husband, then boyfriend) and I were trying to figure out our next step. I was only 19 at the time, and after we found out I was pregnant, I moved in with my Mom after a wonderful streak of independence that led to some really bad choices.
So Valentine's Day rolls around. Mike is scheduled to work at PF Chang's that night, and I'm half way through my pregnancy with a nasty cold trying to catch up on housework. The doorbell rings and on my doorstep stands my sweet boyfriend with a heart-shaped pizza and a DVD of You've Got Mail. It's super corny, but I absolutely love it. Every year, no matter how poor, stressed, or tired we are, we get a heart-shaped pepperoni pizza from Papa Murphy's and eat while watching You've Got Mail. It will never get old.
Traditions - for the most part, I think - allow us to forget schedules and chaos and settle into a known event, allowing us to focus on the reason why we're doing rather than what we're doing. I love the idea of Paper Hearts in this book. I'd love to hear about your holiday or birthday traditions, so feel free to comment or message me!
Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What starts out as a light and fun read beautifully transforms into a story with a true beating, broken heart. Living in a kitschy, love obsessed town, Abigail Pressman has a perfect plan for fulfilling all of her dreams - none of which include any silly romantic sensibilities.
After all, "Who needs a man when you have shelves a beautiful books and dreams of growth and success?"
The only problem? Jacob Willoughby has set out for a new start, and his redemption means crushing the dreams of his new tenant.
Abigail's inner monologues are hilarious and had me laughing out loud at her wonderful snarkiness! The chemistry between Abigail and Jacob gave me heart flutters and a twisty stomach. But, my goodness, the poignant, pithy moments gave me all the feels.
This was my first foray into the brilliance that is Courtney Walsh, but you'd better believe there will be many more to come. You will fall in love with this story that is light enough to be uplifting, but deeply moving at the same time. Masterful writing makes this a great book (especially around Valentine's Day!)