Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Review: Who Do You Love

Who Do You Love
By Jennifer Weiner
Published: August 11, 2015

An unforgettable story about true love, real life, and second chances…

Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are just eight years old when they meet 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 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 in an affluent 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 for running.

Yet, over the next three decades, Andy and Rachel will meet again and again—linked by chance, history, and the memory of the first time they met, a night that changed the course of both of their lives.

A sweeping, warmhearted, and intimate tale, Who Do You Love is an extraordinary novel about the passage of time, the way people change and change each other, and how the measure of a life is who you love.

My review:

I loved the first part of this book from the initial meeting between Rachel and Andy to their reconnecting as teens. I thought it was really sweet that eight year old Rachel told stories to Andy to keep him from being afraid until his mom arrived at the hospital. Young Andy is a character I really rooted for. He had a hard lot in life as the biracial son of a single mom struggling to make ends meet. Thankfully their Super takes an interest in mentoring Andy and becomes a sort of father figure. In the meantime Rachel grows up in privilege. Her mom smothers her with over-protectiveness because of her heart condition even though Rachel is now basically healthy and able to live a normal life. Rachel just wants to be like any other girl at her school instead of Rachel the miracle child who survived a horrible health crisis.

As the book progresses, the differences between Rachel and Andy continue to grow. When teenage Rachel goes on a volunteer home building trip she is surprised to find Andy there too. He recognizes her right away and the two of them connect romantically. They live far apart but they write to each other and call and after high school graduation she pays him a visit and they are officially a couple as they start college. Unfortunately life and their differences continue to get in the way. Andy is a gifted athlete and takes his training and health regimen seriously while Rachel joins a sorority that Andy finds silly and she doesn't understand Andy's love of running or lifestyle. It seems like their differences are insurmountable but maybe they just have some growing up to do. In adulthood, Rachel and Andy have both made mistakes and perhaps finally they are on the same page but it may take fate to bring them together again.

I liked this book though it has some minor flaws. In a way it reminded me of One Day (the film, not the David Nichols book which I haven't read yet) but with a happier outlook. I would have liked it more if Rachel's character was built up more but instead Andy outshines her. I initially liked both Andy and Rachel when they were kids but then started to like Andy more during their adolescence as he worked hard to become a runner and transcend his difficult background while Rachel became kind of bratty. Their characters became more complex as they got older and made big mistakes (especially Andy). It was interesting to see them grow and develop and how they influenced each other. The ending/resolution felt a little forced but I was still glad there was a happy ending after the journey both characters went through.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. I've requested this book too. Sounds good.

  2. I've heard mixed reviews about this, but still want to read it. Great review! It always aggravates me when one main character is more built up than the other.

  3. I'm really excited to read this one!! Found your blog through Christina, over at Confessions of a Book Addict, and saw that you'd been able to get a review copy; I missed out, so I've had to wait like everyone else - ha! Jennifer Weiner is one of my favorite authors; I'm curious to see how this one goes.

  4. I have enjoyed Jennifer Weiner's books in the past, so I will have to check this one out. I am glad you enjoyed it despite its flaws. Great review, Christina!


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