Title: This Modern Love
Author: Will Darbyshire
Release date: August 11th, 2016
Publisher: Century (imprint of Cornerstone)
Rating: 3.75/5 stars
I wanna say a big thank you to SocialBookCo who kindly sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book is an anthology of love letters, collected and compiled by the charming and talented British filmmaker, Will Darbyshire. He asked people from all around the world to share their love stories through letters, pictures, and tweets. After sorting through all of them, Darbyshire made a selection of works which he separated into three sections; the beginning, the middle, and the end. Within these sections, a number of letters are used to tell the story of that specific section.
The one thing that stood out to me the moment I opened the book was the layout. The letters are formatted in a way that’s very pleasing on the eye, not too clustered. And there are images printed next to a bunch of letters which complimented the feel of said letter very well. In addition to the standard black ink on white paper, there were some nice red details added to the pages, which went very well with the ‘love’ theme of the book.
The next thing I very much enjoyed about this book was the fact that the submitted letters were printed onto the pages of this book completely unabridged and unedited. Grammatical errors were left in, in order to not censor the feelings of the writer in any way. I was very pleasantly surprised by this, I expected the letters to be slightly edited. I expected the spelling mistakes to be corrected and faults in sentence structure to be checked and filtered out. But I was wrong and happy about it (that doesn’t happen often, trust me). It showed that Darbyshire really wanted the true feelings and raw emotions of the writers to shine through. And he definitely achieved that. It was the little details that made the letters unique. Some letters were addressed to the pet names of significant others and some letters included inside jokes that I can’t even begin to try and imagine the origin story behind. And no matter what other elements were included, every single letter was heartfelt and (brutally) honest.
The last thing that I liked and that I want to mention is the fact that you get to read the stories of all kinds of people in this book. To be really honest I was expecting contributions from the standard demographic of an attractive British YouTuber, teenage girls like myself (yes, I still get to call myself a teenager for 3 months and I will do so every chance I get). But this was not the case at all, the youngest contributor is 12 years old and the oldest is 81 years young. Not only the ages were very diverse, but the gender, sexuality, and country of residence also varied.
“A new love that will complete me
Self love, this is what’s meant to be”
I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about the letters because I know they all come from the heart and I don’t think anyone should criticize that. But if enjoyed all the letters and don’t have anything I disliked about them, then why didn’t I give this book 5 stars? That’s because I would’ve liked to see a bit more of Will Darbyshire in this book. Yes, he wrote an introduction to every section of this book and he added pictures he took himself but I didn’t really get to read his story. I got a very personal glimpse into the lives of the contributors but I didn’t really get to see any more of Will. I would’ve liked to read a letter from him, not even necessarily to his girlfriend (I get that he’s a media personality and might not want to publicly share that) but he could have written a letter to another loved one, for example, a family member. This would’ve added the extra touch I thought it needed.
My final thoughts:
Did this book make me slightly bitter about being single? Absolutely. Did I still gush over the adorable romantic letters while reading this book? You bet! Overall I really enjoyed this book, the letters ranged from delightfully lighthearted to heart-wrenchingly deep and I think Will Darbyshire did a great job at selecting them. I would’ve liked to see more of Will in this, but I guess the fact that he didn’t add a lot of personal things, makes it marketable to a wider audience. If you are looking for a quick read that will stir up all sorts of emotions then I would definitely give this one a go.
Lots of Love,
Interested in this book? Purchase it at: SocialBookCo
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