This is the third Jennifer Weiner book I’ve read, but the first that I’ve picked up in at least 10 years. I remember enjoying the other two, Good in Bed and In Her Shoes, which was later made into a movie with Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz that I have seen approximately seven times for some reason (not that it’s bad, I just don’t know why I’ve watched it so much).
If Who Do You Love is ever made into a movie, I’m not sure I’d watch it once. I didn’t hate this book, I just felt meh about it, and it’s always difficult to write about something you feel meh about. It’s easy to gush about a book you love, even easier to tear apart a book you hate, but meh? Meh just is.
Who Do You Love is told from the point of view of two characters, Rachel and Andy. Both start out as super sympathetic characters. When we meet Rachel, she’s 8-years-old and has been in and out of hospitals her entire life, and has had several operations, as a result of a congenital heart problem. One night, she sneaks out of her hospital room to hang out in the ER waiting room, because it’s much more exciting than the ICU. There, she meets a young boy named Andy, who comes into the ER with a broken arm and no parent. To cheer him up, she tells him a story and gives him one of her stuffed animals. Later, he writes her a letter to say thank you. It’s super sweet!
Fast forward to high school. Andy, who had started to get into some trouble, has taken up running as a way to stay out of it. Rachel is as healthy as she’s ever been (though her mother still worries) and is focused on having the right clothes and friends and just being a “normal” kid for the first time in her life. Though they live states away, they both end up at the same service project, where they’re tasked with building a house. They quickly recognize that they’ve met before and start romancing the shit out of each other.
The book continues in this vein, skipping years ahead and waiting for the reader to catch up with what’s going on in their lives. There’s turmoil, of course, and some more sweet moments, and genuine sadness, but I found myself left cold. This book, try as it might, could not warm my cold, dead heart. So that was a bummer.
I did like that the story was told from both points of view, but as Andy and Rachel got older, they both got less likeable (which I suppose is normal since most adults are less likeable than children). At times, I forgot why I was supposed to want anything good to happen to either one of them.
But anyway, yeah…this was a book I read.