Review: Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

My Thoughts

A heartfelt, deeply moving tale about life, love and second chances. These star-crossed lovers will tug at your heart strings.4stars

Synopsis
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
Can true love triumph over almost three decades of heartbreak, loss, scandal and second chances? Bestselling author Jennifer Weiner explores the answer to this question with the moving story of Rachel Blum and Andy Landis. Rachel and Andy meet as eight year olds at a hospital. Rachel has been in and out of them since infancy due to a congenital heart deformity. She’s had a childhood riddled with surgeries, emergencies and close calls, but her wealthy, ever vigilant family has remained stolidly at her side. Meanwhile, Andy has grown up in poverty, under the care of a single mother who struggles to pay the bills and is, as a result, largely absent. Andy is the son of a black father and a white mother, and battles not only with a destitute life, but also with his biracial identity. When Andy accidentally breaks his arm and is forced to go to the hospital on his own, he meets the effervescent Rachel in the emergency room. Fate’s magic stirs, as their first chance encounter transpires. Andy is a quiet, introspective child while Rachel seems sprightly and confident. They both understand, however—each due to their own distinct life experiences—how it feels to be different… broken. When Rachel and Andy meet again as teenagers, the short-lived, but deeply felt bond they forged as kids, comes to life once more. In fact, very quickly, they fall in love. Their relationship feels full of hope, but family, life and a myriad of challenges threaten their future. Their lives are very different, they live in different cities, and like any relationship, theirs buckles under the pressure. Over the course of many years, Andy and Rachel come together and get pushed apart… through the achievement and shattering of dreams, through broken and mended hearts, through marriage and other relationships, to see if their love—one that blossomed when they were so young—can truly last a lifetime. The story was very engaging, moving at a meticulous and descriptive pace, as these two lives twined and unraveled. I couldn’t help but feel an affinity towards Andy, whose story was equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful. I would have loved a more extended conclusion, to relish the much-awaited payoff, but nonetheless, it was the kind of novel that delivered all the feels. I love that it explores issues of celebrity and wealth, first love and second chances. It even made me tear up at the end… which never happens!
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