Review: this modern love by Will Darbyshire


This Modern Love is not your typical book: it may have a beginning, a middle and an end, but the majority of the book was written by the audience. It was a project conducted by Will Darbyshire in which 15,570 people, from 98 countries, from the ages of 12-81 responded, but do not let the numbers misguide you. This is a book about love.  

I can’t tell you the plot because there is none, and as a novel enthusiast that lives for a thick plot and real characters, the word disappointment is nowhere to be found apart from the fact that I didn’t contribute myself. But behind each letter, email, image and tweet, there lies a person that has poured their heart out, and it is there where the plot is developed. For those that do not know Will Darbyshire as a Youtuber and inspiring individual, they would be vapid to not give him his deserving title of an author, or even to read his short introduction to one of the three parts of the book itself: he is a creator. As an individual to want to produce a book about love it can be cheesy, awkward, cringy, all words people shudder at even reading, but this crimson masterpiece is real. To add to the rawness of the contents, each submission is untainted, spelling mistakes remain, only capital letters are omitted so the feeling that the writer of each piece is left intact.

A wider platform

But where lies the inspiration? Darbyshire himself experienced a break-up. Some of us reach for the standard ice cream tub, some desire to create their own masterpiece in the form of a mascara-ruined pillow, but others reach out to a wider platform: the internet. By no means was this book his intention, he simply required sympathy from a community that was a little less closer to home, and the response that welcomed him was overflowing. Deciding that there “needed to be a better forum for people to express themselves”, this modern love was born.

To say there is no plot was perhaps rather rash. To guide the thousands of contributors, Darbyshire sparked them with 6 questions, including: “What would you say to your ex, without judgement?” and “Write a thank you note to your partner”. The beginning, middle and end are separated as: the whimsical feelings of a crush, the contentment of a relationship, and the definitive end which is a break-up, but Darbyshire explores the variability of emotions that one can feel at each stage.

Despite it being about love, the book is also about life, which many people endeavour to say go hand in hand: there are people that have anxiety, body issues and have been abused. Whoever you are and wherever you are, this book is guaranteed to be relatable to you in some way and it’s a timeless piece that I certainly will always have a place for on my bookshelf. If this appeals to you, then I advise you to run to your nearest brilliant bookshop and pick up a copy.

Will you be reading the book? Let us know in the comments below!