Valentine’s Day. When you’re in love, it’s a special day on which you can be as sappy and corny as you want. It’s also a mine field of bad dinner reservations, over-priced roses, and questionably appropriate gifts. It's hard to live up to the hype of the holiday, so instead of looking at perfect romances, how about we go the other direction: stories about love gone wrong.
Below are a handful of books where love, sweet, love, goes sideways--some in very dramatic ways and others where love takes an unexpected turn. Love is, after all, unpredictable...
A gorgeous couple that seems to have it all is torn apart when wife unexpectedly shoots husband as he arrives home from work one day. That’s no spoiler — the whole premise of Michaelides’s book is figuring out what made her snap. As for the wife? She goes silent, adding to the mystery of it all, and draws in a criminal psychologist who becomes somewhat obsessed with her case. The Silent Patient may very well be the new psychological thriller to read this year.
Set in Nigeria, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s tale lends an exciting new twist on serial-killer fiction by building off undying loyalty between two siblings. Korede is the older and more responsible sister, while her younger sister, Ayoola, is gorgeous and manipulative. Ayoola also seems to have developed a tricky habit of killing her boyfriends and calling in Korede to help her clean up the mess. My Sister, the Serial Killer is one of our favorite new voices in suspense fiction.
Raphael Montes doesn’t just dip a toe into the water of obsessive love: he dives straight in and plumbs its depths. In Rio de Janeiro, a lonely and disturbed medical student kidnaps the young woman he’s fallen in love with after he discovers the feeling isn’t mutual. In psycho logic, this makes sense: abduct the object of desire in order to best show them what a great person said psycho really is. Things do not go as planned. Perfect Days is dark, twisted, and totally unexpected.
You may be asking yourself right now, why is this touching novel is on a list of books about love gone wrong? Well, it's here because The Sun Is Also a Star is about love at first sight and overwhelming, can’t-walk-away-from-it, first love. There’s a reason it’s called first love: because there is nearly always a follow-up love. That’s the one that comes after heartbreak so terrible you feel like you really might expire from the pain of it. But then you don’t, and love comes around again, just when you don't expect it. Yoon’s novel takes us on the magical joyride of falling in love, without having to expose ourselves to its potential demise.
This bestselling novel has been imitated and paid homage to in astounding numbers since it was first published in 2015, because…it’s fantastic. The Girl on the Train has over 58,000 customer reviews on Amazon, with 4.1 out of 5 stars--people love this psychological thriller that gives you an ex-wife, voyeurism, obsession, and so many ways relationships can go very, very, wrong…