It’s that time of year again. Valentine’s Day, a celebration of love, happiness, rushed last minute garage flowers and cursing forgotten restaurant bookings. Now we aren’t anti-love – far from it. There are many wonderful, awe-inspiring things about devoting your life to one person. But where, dear reader, is the celebration for those who find themselves, or have chosen to be, happily alone this Valentine’s Day?
We could expound for hours on the benefits of going solo – no one moves your stuff, you have complete control of the remote, you don’t feel obliged to wash your hair and you don’t have to share food – but we felt this was a timely opportunity to share those books that will make you inordinately happy that you’re single.
Here you are then – we’ve compiled a list of eleven books perfect for those who hate Valentine’s, relationships and, well, happiness in general. Enjoy…
Some spoilers below
11 books that make you happy you’re single
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Rachel, the heroine in number one bestselling psychological thriller The Girl on the Train, is on self-destruct. As far as narrators go she’s pretty unreliable and you will spend a lot of this book wondering whether she’s telling the truth. Rachel is down on her luck and has an unhealthy penchant for gin. Combined with the added insult of being recently fired and divorced, one can’t help but wonder whether this girl would’ve been better off single from the get go. The moral of this tale: be careful what you wish for.
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
How well do you really know the person you love the most? Dexter meets Gone Girl in this chilling, twisted psychological thriller about a married couple hiding a dark secret. It’s shocking, devilish and impossible to put down, and we promise you’ll be hooked after just one chapter.
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Shari Lapena’s phenomenal debut novel had us all wondering what was happening on the other side of the wall and questioning who to trust when it was first released. With a brilliant twist you won’t see coming, this is one of those books you’ll tear through, desperate to find out what happens.
Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse
You’d be forgiven for immediately googling your spouse and hiring a private detective to provide you with a dossier of all their past relationships after reading this one. It’s fiendishly clever, twisting and twirling through a plot that’s designed to make your heart fall to your shoes. It isn’t a book to read if you’re newly ‘loved up’. You have been warned.
Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall
In Our Kind of Cruelty, the relationship may be over but the game has just begun – a game of passion, obsession and murder. This dark, twisted psychological suspense novel is as claustrophobic and compelling as they come, exploring the lengths people will go to for those they love – even if they don’t love them back. Read a chapter here.
The Mistress’s Revenge by Tamar Cohen
Not since Fatal Attraction has the fallout from an illicit affair been exposed in such a sharp, darkly funny and disturbing way. What Tamar Cohen has done so brilliantly with this book is expose the slightly crazy habits we all suffer from at the end of a love affair (what do you mean you’ve never driven past their house at 1am to see if they’re in?!) She skilfully dials up the levels of crazy until you can’t look away. It’s a fantastic form of rubbernecking.
Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson
Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.
Even those in the most trusted and wonderful relationships will turn to look at their partner at the end of this book with a question in their eyes.
The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd
The relationship between women and convicts has been scrutinised by shows like BBC’s Happy Valley and Prisoner’s Wives, and Amy Lloyd takes it one step further in this gripping debut psychological novel that blurs the lines between true crime and fiction. Hugely compelling, this book will keep you guessing until the final page! Read a chapter here.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
We couldn’t not include Gone Girl in this list. Was there ever a relationship more suited to promote singledom? Best not to say much more about this book. If you’ve read it, you’re bound to have something to say about it. If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for?
Season to Taste or How To Eat Your Husband by Natalie Young
An ordinary housewife takes matters into her own hands in this bizarre, stomach-churning novel. Not one for the more squeamish readers, this book is packed with black humour and perfect for those who are fed up with the sickening sweetness of Valentine’s Day.
Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty
Yvonne is a high-flying professional with a beautiful home and a good relationship with her husband and their two grown-up children. Then one day she meets a stranger and, on impulse, begins a passionate affair with him – a decision that will put everything she values at risk.
Louise Doughty’s psychological thriller is a suspenseful roller coaster of a novel. While Yvonne’s mystery man provides her with the thrills she’s missing in her humdrum marriage, she can’t control the events that follow – events that will have unbelievably devastating consequences.
Can you think of another perfect anti-Valentine’s book? Let us know in the comments below!