Love in Colour — Book Review
It’s Valentine’s Day and I am back on the blog with a special one! In the mood of all things love-ly and romance, I want to discuss the book Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola (Black womxn for the win).
In 13 uniquely written short stories from cultures all over the world, Babalola’s Love in Colour is an ode to love and its beauty in an individual’s life. Each story showcases romantic love from different genders, race, and life experiences.
This fictional book takes romance novels to a whole other dimension that I wished I experienced growing up. As a self-proclaimed romance fan it was refreshing to read a book that emphasizes genuine true love as multifaceted and pain-free. Moreover, while reading the book, I came to recognize core values in loving relationships. Mutual respect, care and trust are the foundations in the love I envision for myself in the future.
Now, let’s dive some more!
NOTE: Love is NOT solely romantic. Romantic love is not my end goal in life, and it does not define who I am or what I prioritize in my life.
WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THIS BOOK
I enjoyed Love in Colour for several reasons, however its diverse characters were what had me hooked. The title of the book is a giveaway, yet it is amazing at how this book navigates love stories from across the world. The book accentuates diverse love which is more engaging than reading about white women and their love experiences.
The short story “Nefertiti” caught my eye as it described a peculiar love story between two women from different ends of justice. Moreover, the first story, “Osun” draws inspiration from a Yoruba orisha/deity who captures the attention of an ‘earth born’ Erinle. Interestingly enough, I read another book that discussed orishas such as Osun and I learnt that the goddess represents femininity, water, and love. So, the characters are definitely on brand for this novel. These two stories alone exemplify the range of stories in this book and its significance towards the main theme of love.
WHY I WISHED I HAD THIS BOOK WHEN I WAS YOUNGER
As I mentioned earlier, I have a keen interest in romance novels. Specifically, throughout my teenage years I would spend hours reading Sarah Dessen books, engrossing myself in the quirky/misunderstood girl and the boy who sweeps her off her feet trope. While I appreciate those books for stimulating my desire to read, I’ve always felt a disconnect. Reading allows the reader to imagine themselves in an alternate universe or characters in the book however, it was a tiresome challenge. For example, I used to read so many stories on Fanfiction.net or Wattpad and there were stories where you are the main character. Even though you are the main character, it was just your name you inserted and the rest of “you” was already written. Consequently, “you” or Y/N had either pale or olive skin, blue or green eyes and LONG wavy hair. Similarly, mainstream YA fictional romance novels amplified this trope where there was a lack of Non-white main characters and/or love interests (my school libraries needed to DIVERSIFY).
There were hardly any books where Black girls were experiencing pain-free love. Little by little my teenage heart broke when the author described the main characters. I understand their importance, but it is discouraging when you can solely relate to the main character on a surface level (teenager and girl). It heightened my insecurities of dating, love and my overall self-esteem. THANK GOODNESS I overcame that stage in my life—I’m really that girl! God knew what he was doing when he made me!
I encourage y’all to read this book, especially if you’re a Black womxn. More times than desired Black love glorifies suffering at the expense of Black womxn. It is almost as if we need to struggle to experience love. I do not want that at all. Falling in love with someone who cannot get enough of me; vice-versa. So, thank you Love in Colour for highlighting the Black womxn do not need to suffer to experience romantic love.
Overall, if you’re looking for a book to re-ignite your spirit and read more Black authors, take a read at Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola; you won’t regret it.
What are you currently reading? What does love look like in your everyday life? Let me know in the comments below! Also, Like, comment and share this post. I’ll see y'all on the next one
Renee Shian xx