Rosie and Alex are classmates and the best of friends since they were 5 years old. They love to hang out with each other, tell each other everything and have decided they will be best friends for life. They don’t seem to need other good friends to spend time with or anyone else they can pour their hearts out to. All up to the age of 17 when Alex has to move to the U.S. because his father got a job there. Hence, distance comes between them as best friends and possible romantic interests for now, but not before making a pact to apply to colleges in the same city of Boston together. Until Rosie gets pregnant at 18 and everything changes.
The story of their friendship over the years is told mainly from Rosie’s point of view. Disclosed through a series of letters, e-mails, instant messaging, text messages and cards exchanged over the years among Rosie and other characters of the book, Love, Rosie manages to give us a complete picture of her life from age 7 to 50.
Yes, the book spans 44 years of Rosie’s and Alex’s life. Despite this, there is never a dull moment; nothing ever stays stagnant as page after page dishes up more interesting happenings, juicy conversations, friendship adventures and romantic curveballs. All in a comedic, universal plan (it seems) to prevent Alex and Rosie from getting back together.
The characters–comprising Rosie’s family and her support group of friends, neighbours and employers–are interesting and engaging enough to maintain my interest and give a balanced view about Rosie’s life. Along the way we get deeper insights and understand more about each character as we go along.
The text is, more often than not, a blow-by-blow account of the ups and downs, fortunes and misadventures of life in different conversational formats. At times, I felt a little guilty, like an eavesdropper who happened to catch these precious, private moments of exchanges; at other times, I felt privileged to be allowed this window of opportunity to get into their heads in an unusual way. By the end, I found the book really enjoyable although the format could get tedious to read sometimes (because I felt there was something missing when I didn’t know how the characters physically look like, what they are wearing, how they move/breathe and so on.)
This book is an honest look at how we sometimes allow life to lead us by the leash instead of the other way around. It shows us the importance of taking charge and making wise decisions about life, how we achieve balance of compassion and reality in those important relationships in our lives, which are usually more complicated than it is simple. More importantly, it illustrates that what we invest in our relationships normally gives us multi-fold returns, or even if not, we learn important lessons that we would not have gotten elsewhere.
Publication Date: September 2014
Genre: Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Young Adult
Pages: 558 pages
Side note: As of July 2016, I have not watched the movie yet, but I am looking forward to catch it soon!