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I started reading Jennifer Weiner in my twenties and while I might not love everyone of her novels, I have definitely had fun reading most of them. What I usually enjoy about her novels is that romance is generally not the main focus of the novel and it’s something that I really appreciate about her novels.
Who Do You Love? is the exception, this is a quasi romance novel, though true to form, the romance aspect isn’t quite front and center. Andy and Rachel are each their own characters and their own stories. The time they spend together in this book is actually very minimal, so their romance is slow building and allows the reader to get to know each character independently.
I enjoyed the premise of this story, how can you not appreciate a story about two people who are orbiting one another over the space of thirty years. The two characters are from two different worlds, growing up in two different parts of the country and still they manage to appear in one another’s life over and over again.
I felt like this was a little too slow moving and I am not sure how much I actually enjoyed Rachel and Andy. There were things about each character that didn’t really enjoy. Not enough to say I didn’t enjoy this, but it was enough that I felt this was only a three star read instead of a four star read.
I find it slightly difficult to write a review without giving a synopsis of the story but I don't wish to spoil it for potential readers so I will be very brief. I was in the mood for a light read love story so I picked this one up. I found the description intriguing and from the first chapter I was engaged in the story. I enjoyed the author's writing style, her character development, and thought-provoking themes that came along with this book. However I can only give Who Do You Love 3 stars because of the abrupt and fairly bland ending. There was so much depth in this story that the sudden ending seemed rushed and sloppy, almost as though the author simply ran out of steam and arranged a quick chance meet for the characters so she could wrap it up and move on to her next novel. I also found the interactions of the main characters at the ending to be unrealistic considering the other individuals who were with them at the time (intentionally vague here, so no spoiler alert). This comment of course won't make sense without reading the story, but I'm confident I'm not the only one who felt disappointed with the lack-luster ending. I'm definitely not the type of reader that believes every book or love story needs some big Hollywood movie type ending but this one really fell short from my perspective and knocked an otherwise engaging story down a few notches for me. I'm certainly not disappointed that I read Who Do You Love, but it's not one I would recommend to friends based on the seemingly thrown together ending.
In Jennifer Weiner's latest novel, readers are guided through a sloppy plot with underdeveloped characters while simultaneously being reminded of Weiner's strengths, which include detailed narrative and humor. The book is enjoyable, but not meaningful in the way that Weiner's previous novels have been to me. The natural ebb and flow of life does allow for people to come and go. There are always connections with others that are impossible to forget. However, seldom do these relationships manifest in such a way that Weiner describes in Rachel and Andy's stories. It is fiction stretched to the max. Weiner is an excellent writer, but I felt like this most recent endeavor lacked creativity.
3 stars is the best I could give, and I did waiver at two. To many areas of rambling descriptions on information that added nothing to the reading and at the same time areas of skimming over writing opportunities that would have added to the story telling. After reading a novel I expect to have an ending that gives some satisfaction. The end, without giving it away, happens in a paragraph...really? This book certainly left me wanting. I didn't like the F words either and see no necessity for them. It was my first Jennifer Weiner book and I'd say my last. Sorry but this is, as I see it.
This is the first book of Jennifer Weiner's I have read. I was taken by the hype, and downloaded it to my Kindle. I was disappointed, for as I got into it, I found I was just reading to "finish" it, as I always hesitate to stop reading a book part way through. (Though it happens!) I was rather bored until the "Andy" chapter where it opens up with him in a new relationship. At that point I stayed with it to the end. The book was ok - more of a beach read for me.
I guess to like this book you have to believe that because of a VERY brief encounter as young children, two people can be destined to be together and the love of each other's life. Personally, I found it very hard to swallow.
Perhaps if Rachel and Andy had spent several weeks (or even days) in the hospital at the same time and REALLY formed a bond, then maybe I could have bought the premise.
The encounter was brief (and rather sweet) but these two have just nothing much in common. Rachel is a Jewish girl of privilege and Andy is very poor biracial child being raised by a single mother.
When their lives reconnect at times later in their lives, they just seem so VERY different in terms of goals, values, and dreams. Rachel goes off to a posh private college when she is a leader in her sorority and Andy is a full scholarship student at a state university where he works on his dream of being an Olympic runner. I honestly could not see them ending up together.
Some of the "minor" characters (Andy's supermodel girlfriend, the man Rachel marries) are treated superficially, I felt. Rachel's husband Jay was at first portrayed when she met him as kind, loving, caring, and a good person but in the blink of an eye we see a very different Jay. And Rachel's choice of career after college seemed implausible at best.
When both Andy and Rachel experience great disappointment in their personal lives, you can tell that they will find each other again. My personal philosophy is that you can love someone but not be meant to spend your lives together.