By Jennifer Weiner
Narrators: Sarah Steele, JD Jackson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: 8/11/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
From the “hilarious, heartbreaking, and insightful” (The Miami Herald) bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a sweeping, modern day fairy tale about first romance and lasting love.
When the love you love is the one who got away…
Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are just 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 a doctor and Rachel’s sent back to her bed, they think they’ll never see each other again.
Rachel grows up wanting for nothing in a fancy Florida suburb, the popular and protected daughter of two doting parents. 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 next three decades, their paths cross in magical and ordinary ways. They make grand plans and dream big dreams as they grow together and apart in starts and stops. Through it all, Andy and Rachel never stop thinking about that night in the hospital waiting room all of those years ago, a chance encounter that changed the course of both of their lives.
In this captivating, often witty tale about the bonds between women and men, love and fate, and the truth about happy endings, Jennifer Weiner delivers two of her most memorable characters and a love story you’ll never forget.
About the Author
A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer Weiner’s books have spent over five years on the New York Times bestseller list with over 11 million copies in print in 36 countries.
She is the author of the novels Good in Bed (2001); In Her Shoes (2002), which was turned into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine; Little Earthquakes (2004); Goodnight Nobody (2005); the short story collection The Guy Not Taken (2006); Certain Girls (2008); Best Friends Forever (2009); Fly Away Home (2010); Then Came You (2011); The Next Best Thing (2012); All Fall Down (2014) and her forthcoming novel Who Do You Love (August 2015).
Jennifer Weiner grew up in Connecticut and graduated with a degree in English literature from Princeton University. She worked as a newspaper reporter in central Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Philadelphia, where she wrote a series of popular columns for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Now a Contributing Opinion Writer for The New York Times Op-Ed and Sunday Review, Weiner’s recent contributions – “Mean Girls in the Retirement Home” and “Another Thing to Hate About Ourselves” – rose to the top of the “most emailed” lists and have been picked up by newspapers and media outlets across the world.
With over 95,000 fans on Facebook and 108,000 followers on Twitter, Weiner appeared on Time magazine’s list of “140 Best Twitter Feeds.” The magazine hailed her “must-read” live “Bachelor” tweets, noting that “rarely has there been such an ideal pairing of material and writer.” Forbes magazine ranked her second on their list of “25 Working Moms to Follow on Twitter”: “Tune in for hilarious shards of brilliance.” A recent New Yorker profile demonstrated how much influence this “unlikely feminist enforcer” has had on her culture, celebrating Weiner’s “lively public discussion about the reception and consumption of fiction written by women.”
Weiner has appeared on numerous national television programs, including The Today Show, CBS This Morning, and CBS Sunday Morning, and has been published in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Seventeen, Redbook, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Good Housekeeping. Most of her essays are featured on her website, where she started her blog in 2002. Jennifer can also be found on Facebook, and, in real life, Philadelphia, where she lives with her family. Website Twitter Goodreads
Jennifer Weiner returns with WHO DO YOU LOVE, her 12th book, and first love story, a grown up emotional book about life, love, dreams, fate, and complications— mixed with wit, humor, and brutal honesty.
A love story is sparked by the chance encounter at a hospital between Rachel Blum, a privileged Jewish Floridian, and Andy Landis, a poor, bi-racial boy from Philadelphia, who later in life becomes an Olympic athlete. Two young children are looking for the perfect grown-up life.
Rachel Blum has lived a sheltered life, born with a congenital heart defect, she has not had a normal life. Her parents over overprotective and she has spent plenty of time in and out of hospitals. She comes from a well-to-do family and financial security. She never feels like she belongs. As a child, she met a boy named Andy Landis in the hospital ER. She tells him a story. They never see each other until years later.
Andy Landis, on the other hand, comes from a poor humble beginning. Raised by a single mother, in Philadelphia they never have money and his dad died years before, so he never knew him. His mom encouraged him to channel his rage into running. He finds he is good at running, and becoming a devoted athlete. He becomes obsessed with being the best runner in the world. From scholarships to gold medals. However, when he becomes famous, the reporters dig up his dad and his past. When is achieving enough? When is it time to stop?
Years later, two misfits, with different backgrounds, meet again and begin dating while in high school and college. They are close, share the most intimate moments; connected in many ways; however, as most kids in college, they do not always see eye to eye. They break up and go their separate ways; however, they both are always on each other’s mind. They compare other people in their lives, to their first love. Destiny?
From the geographical distance which separates them, plus different colleges, and diverse backgrounds, from childhood love to teenage, college, to adulthood. Will fate bring them back together? Poor choices, a drive to succeed, the need for a perfect life—will their differences and desires drive them further away, or back to one another. Can you go back? Soul mates?
Rachel is flawed, realistic, imperfect, and always trying to do better. Andy is continuously striving for more, to be good enough to fit in. When they both lose everything, will they turn to one another once again for rediscovery? Are the goals in our lives more important than the people? Do we lose part of ourselves on the climb? Sometimes the journey is more important.
Now decades later after college, to adulthood--will they find their way back to one another? From high school, college, gold medals, marriage, pregnancy, social work, Sports Illustrated, and other partners—with unexpected turns. How do you act when you have lost it all?
A little different twist, than Weiner’s past books-- she delves into the heart of two young kids, their passions, and dreams, and the tragedies and triumphs of life, love, and relationships. A coming-of-age, a journey, as two characters, find their way in this complex world we call life. In the midst of the love story, we find those who impacted and touched their lives. There is also is prison, racial, issues, body image, abandoned parent, alcoholism, cheating, infidelity, snobbery, drugs, bullying, parenting, and injustice, plus more social issues. You will cry and laugh!
Having read all Jennifer’s books; they are always entertaining. I would have most likely given a higher rating if I had read the book, versus listening to the audio. (you are unable to sample the narrator; the downside of pre-ordering audio). I found Sarah Steele (Rachel’s voice), totally annoying. On the other hand, Andy’s voice, narrator,JD Jackson delivered a good performance.
Would not recommend the audio; however, highly recommend the book, as a beautiful love story about young love, life’s problems, and adult love. Two characters you will remember, long after the book ends. Chick-lit and Weiner fans will love it.
I enjoyed reading the inspiration behind the story from Weiner.
“Some of it was my own story, too. When my marriage ended I reconnected with an old beau who was still single — someone I'd dated in my twenties, and might have married if things had worked out differently and if we’d been on the same page then in terms of what we wanted. It got me thinking about time, and the nature of love, and how it changes as people change.”
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