Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

25205422Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are eight years old when they meet late one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she’s intrigued by the boy who shows up all alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy’s taken back to the emergency room and Rachel’s sent back to her bed, they think they’ll never see each other again.

Rachel, the beloved, popular, and protected daughter of two doting parents, grows up wanting for nothing in a fancy Florida suburb. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent that will let him become one of the best runners of his generation.

Over the course of three decades, through high school and college, marriages and divorces, from the pinnacles of victory and the heartbreak of defeat, Andy and Rachel will find each other again and again, until they are finally given a chance to decide whether love can surmount difference and distance and if they’ve been running toward each other all along. – Goodreads

Damn it, my emotions are still reeling. This one hit me right in the feels. Thanks for that, Jennifer.

Rachel and Andy are high school sweethearts—but their story starts long before that. Rachel has had a heart condition her entire life, and they end up meeting in the hospital when they’re young. They come from separate sides of the tracks—Rachel from a rich, Jewish family and Andy from a low-income, single parent household. This is fine, until they’re older and begin to realize that their differences are coming between them.

The storyline is fantastic and spans over many years. It switches point of view between Rachel and Andy with each chapter, and also labels the year. It was easy to understand and gave a great look at each character as they progressed through life.

Andy and Rachel have a very on again off again relationship throughout their adolescent and adult life as they realize their differences—in beliefs, backgrounds, goals, and aspirations. They both just seemed so real. Even Andy, who turned into a freaking Olympic runner.

I literally don’t even know how to put into words how much I love this book. Definitely my new favorite Weiner novel. 5/5 on Goodreads.

L

Top Ten Tuesday: 12/16

TOP TENTop Ten Books We Read In 2014

9781402298684-3001. The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister – this one is still fresh in my mind, as I just finished it. It doesn’t come out until January 2015, but I’ll still count it. It was an absolutely captivating read. Check out the review and giveaway (live until Friday!).

2. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – I haven’t posted my review yet, but I just finished this over the weekend…totally loved it and can’t wait until book two is released!

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – review here. These books have been around for a while but I finally decided to read them. I loved the first book, but couldn’t seem to get into the second.

4. His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers – maybe it’s cheating to post an entire series, but I loved them all! Review for book one here and for books two and three here.

5. The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas – okay, cheating again. Review for book one here and book two here.

lauren copy 3

6. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin – I love the Heaven that Gabrielle writes about, and the whole cycle of life – you die, stay in Heaven as you age backwards from the age you were when you originally passed, and then you are sent back to Earth as a baby. Super intriguing. 5/5 on Goodreads. Elsewhere

7. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder – review here.

8. Pointe by Brandy Colbert – I wrote about Brandy Colbert a week or so ago, and she’s a pretty amazing author. This book is definitely not something I’ve ever read anything similar to in the past, and the that Brandy wrote it makes it so much better than I could have ever imagined. 5/5 on Goodreads.

9. All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner – review here.

10. Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder – review here.

Only a couple of these were actually published in 2014, but I read them all for the first time this year and they stand out in my mind. I’ve linked back to my reviews of the ones I’ve blogged about, the others I read earlier in the year.

lauren copy 4

Thirty Day Book Challenge: Day 29

Day 29: A book everyone hated but you liked

18144115I’m judging “everyone hated” by the average rating on Goodreads, and the lowest rated book that received my highest rating was All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner…I was horrified.

I loved this book so, so much. Kiesha and I both reviewed it, actually, as our first review on this blog. Granted, it has an average rating of 3.62. That’s probably not hate, but still. I rated it 5/5, so 3.6/5 may as well be hate!

You can read our reviews, but in a nutshell, All Fall Down follows Allison Weiss through her prescription pill addiction and seemingly perfect life. Things aren’t always as they seem, though, and she goes into a downward spiral of addiction and self destruction. It was a very emotional and moving, and made me cry multiple times.

Lauren11

2336101Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch is the book that received my highest rating (5/5) but the lowest average rating (2.84/5) overall on Goodreads which is totally weird to me.

It’s one of those books that is set in the South that I love so much,about a girl named Sarah Walters. Here is a partial summary from Goodreads: Sarah Walters is a less-than-perfect debutante. She tries hard to follow the time-honored customs of the Charleston Camellia Society, as her mother and grandmother did, standing up straight in cotillion class and attending lectures about all the things that Camellias don’t do. (Like ride with boys in pickup trucks.) When life’s complications become overwhelming, Sarah returns home to confront with matured eyes the motto “Once a Camellia, always a Camellia”- and to see how much fuller life can be, for good and for ill, among those who know you best.

I obviously really liked it, but I like most books set in the South. It was funny and lighthearted, a nice break from all the heavy mysteries/thrillers that I read so often.

Kiesha

Two Review: All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

18144115

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t have high hopes for this novel. My last experience with Jennifer Weiner left me feeling let down and empty, so I have avoided the rest of her works for about a year now. When I saw that she had a new novel coming out, I was intrigued. Around the time that All Fall Down came out, I had just finished a very intense thriller/crime novel and was ready for something much lighter.

This book had me hooked within just a few pages and it’s safe to say it’s become my favorite of Weiner’s. I didn’t even finish the first chapter before I was texting L.C. telling her she needed to read it.

Alison Weiss is a stay at home mom with a booming blog business. She has the perfect husband, but a rocky marriage. She devotes all of her non-working time to taking care of her daughter, who is at the very least, a handful. To the outside world, she has the perfect life. What she’s hiding is how she manages to do all of these things and not lose her mind – prescription painkillers.

This book hit home mostly because my father was an addict. His poison of choice was heroin, which is known as the next step up from prescription pills because it’s cheaper but provides the same high. My entire life I’ve known that I am more susceptible to addiction than others, and have always stayed away from drugs because of that (among other factors). All Fall Down was like a glimpse into a life that could be mine if I inherited my dad’s addiction and let it get the best of me.

While I didn’t exactly get what I bargained for thinking that it would be a lighthearted, breezy chick lit, I did find a book that hit home and made me think about my own life pretty deeply. I rated it 5/5 on Goodreads and have been recommending it to anyone and everyone.

Kiesha


 

My first Jennifer Weiner experience was Good in Bed. After that, I was hooked. I blew through several more before venturing off into fantasy-land and forgetting all about chick lit.

This brought me back. We decided to do a double review because we both enjoy Weiner, and I’m so glad K.T. talked me into it.

I finished this book in a few days and stayed up waaaay too late to read more. Allison Weiss lives (seemingly) the perfect life. She’s got it all: hot husband, adorable (though demanding) child, beautiful house in the suburbs, huge blogging career. But that life is out of the Weiss’ price range, and Allison is also trying to handle a sick father, crazy busy job and taking care of a child. In an effort to balance everything, she becomes addicted to prescription pain pills.

I work in crime prevention, and prescription pill abuse is a national issue. Idaho has one of the highest addiction rates in the country, and the rates are raising every day. This book hit close to home, and I found myself enveloped in Allison’s world…and her addiction.

I had so much tension and concern for Allison while reading this book. On some strange level, I could understand her need to pop pills. I could understand how addicted she became. However, I could also see how it could tear her life apart—losing her child, her marriage, her life she’d worked so hard to build.

This book was a surprise from Jennifer Weiner, as I’m accustomed to her quick wit, humor, and easy reads. This book delved into tougher topics like addiction, marriage conflict and deteriorating parents, which was a nice change. Weiner’s writing is masterful, and I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I rated it 5/5 on Goodreads, and would highly recommend.

Lauren11