Who do I love? Hmm...let's see. I love my husband. I love my crazy kittens. I love my family. I more than like my job. I love...
Oh. Who Do You Love is the title of a book by Jennifer Weiner?
And you weren't asking me who I really loved?
That's ok. I love Jennifer Weiner too! Ever since her first book, Good in Bed, came out in 2001 I've enjoyed her Chick Lit novels. If her name sounds familiar, that's because her second book, In her Shoes, was made into a movie starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette. Good in Bed has always been my favorite, and after the first two, Weiner's other books have kind of left me flat. It felt like she was working too hard and not letting the story tell itself.
Who Do You Love, her latest book, is giving Good in Bed a run for its money as my favorite Jennifer Weiner book. I wasn't really expecting much because I'd all but given up on Weiner as a novelist, and than she comes out with something great like this.
Basic premise: Rachel has a heart defect that kept her in and out of hospitals throughout most of her childhood. During one particularly memorable visit, she stumbles across Andy sitting in the emergency room without any parents, holding a broken arm. The nurses can't treat him until they have parental permission because he's a minor, so to help him pass the time, Rachel comes over and starts to tell him a pretty convoluted version of Hansel and Gretel. From that point, it seems like Andy and Rachel's stars are linked and they break apart and come together over the course of the story.
I enjoyed how Weiner wove the two story lines together. It wasn't completely unexpected, but it had enough life that I stayed engaged. Both characters were well-developed and they felt real and not cliched. I'm so glad that Weiner has returned to her original, completely awesome form. I was thisclose to breaking up with her. I'm glad I stayed the course so I could meet Andy and Rachel. They were worth the wait.
If you haven't read Weiner yet, I definitely recommend Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, and Who Do You Love. The others you read at your own risk. They aren't bad, but they aren't as good as these three.