January 16, 2014

Latest Read: The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum

Here are the basics ...
The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum
Publication date: Jan. 29, 2008
Publisher: The Dial Press
Category: Adult - Contemporary
Source: Purchased

Summary: When twenty-nine-year-old Manhattan attorney Emily Haxby ends her happy relationship just as her boyfriend is about to propose, she can’t explain to even her closest friends why she did it. But Emily knows her breakup with Andrew has less to do with him and more to do with her. As the holidays loom and Emily contemplates whether she made a huge mistake, the rest of her world begins to unravel. She has a boss who can’t keep his hands to himself, her Grandpa Jack is losing it while her emotionally distant father has left her to cope alone and underneath it all, memories of her deceased mother remind her that love doesn’t last forever. How this brave young woman finally faces the fears that have long haunted her is the great achievement of this marvelous first novel, written with authority, grace, and wisdom. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: If you've ever felt like the older you get, the less together you feel then you'll find yourself relating a lot to twenty-nine year-old Emily Haxby. On the outside, she's this fun, intelligent woman working as an attorney in Manhattan and dating a really amazing guy who's about to propose to her. But on the inside, she's a mess. So what does she do? She suddenly breaks up with her boyfriend for no reason at all, throws herself into her work (which she hates) and starts questioning every aspect of her life and who she is.

Emily has got issues and while I didn't always understand her logic and thought she needed someone to shake some sense into her, I did sympathize with her quarter-life crisis moment. I remember feeling the exact same way at 29. Having that OMG-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life revelation. Immediate change seems necessary. I chose to move out and Emily chose to break up with her boyfriend. It happens. From there she turns to her friends for comfort and honesty, tries to be the best lawyer she can be in spite of some awful moments (her boss = skeeviest boss ever) and reconnects with her family. She goes on a bit of a downward spiral but doing so forces her to take a good look at her life. Her father has always been distant and she lost her mother at a young age. She's not happy at work and she's starting to second guess her break-up. But sometimes it's when you hit rock bottom that you can finally climb out of the mess. And that's exactly what Emily does. It's a struggle but she does it with humor, good people in her life and a little bit of moping. But it felt real. Even when I didn't fully connect with Emily herself, I connected to the uncertainty she experienced and I wanted her to find whatever it was that she was looking for to make her happy.

(Minor) reservations: The pacing felt a bit slow at times. There was definitely a point when I was just waiting for something to happen. I think because it takes a while for Emily to finally snap out of it and make some necessary changes in her life. But once she does, it all came together.

Do I recommend?: I think Emily's story is a relatable one, even if your circumstances or your personality is different. So yes, I do recommend checking this out (from the library).

Happy reading!

4 comments:

  1. Emily does seem like a relatable character. Thanks for the review. I may just pick this one up!

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  2. You know, I feel like I would still find Emily relatable too. There's always a point where you wonder what you're doing with your life, if you're doing what you set out to do -- and it sounds like she goes through that experience here. I definitely want to check this one out!

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  3. I feel like I'm going through this right now! I hate the whole "what am I doing" situation I'm in. Sounds like this one would be perfect to read right about now! Thanks for the review!

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  4. I'm so glad you read and enjoyed this one! I read this in college, and I'm not sure why I connected to it so much but it just felt so refreshing. I fell in love with it, and it's been one of my favorites ever since. It's one of those weird instances where you know a book isn't perfect but it somehow becomes the perfect read for you? I think I just love the way Buxbaum writes - I wish she had more books!

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