Review: Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

Series: No

Genres: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 27, 2015

Format: Trade Paperback

Source: Purchased

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon

Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are eight years old when they meet late 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 all alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy's taken back to the emergency room and Rachel's sent back to her bed, they think they'll never see each other again. Rachel, the beloved, popular, and protected daughter of two doting parents, grows up wanting for nothing in a fancy Florida suburb. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent that will let him become one of the best runners of his generation. Over the course of three decades, through high school and college, marriages and divorces, from the pinnacles of victory and the heartbreak of defeat, Andy and Rachel will find each other again and again, until they are finally given a chance to decide whether love can surmount difference and distance and if they've been running toward each other all along.

It’s been years since I read anything by Jennifer Weiner but when I read the premise of this one I knew I had to read it. I think I fell a little in love with Rachel and Andy before I ever opened the book. I mean, that synopsis: a connection that forms in childhood, growing up in vastly different circumstances, re-connections, life experiences, and a timeline than spans thirty years. I was sold.

Andy and Rachel meet at the tender age of 8 when both are in a Miami hospital emergency room. Andy with a broken arm, Rachel with a heart defect. Rachel lives a privileged, if insulated, life and wants for nothing. Andy’s experience is harsher – the biracial only child of a single working mother in a gritty Philadelphia neighborhood. Their brief encounter isn’t forgotten by either of them and fate brings them together again as teenagers. And there begins a relationship that will test their love, make them question who they are, and will at times both comfort and falter.

I truly loved the evolution of Rachel and Andy’s story. I loved their precious first meeting (“Do you want to borrow my blanket? My nana made it.”). And I loved being present for the twists and turns their lives took, both together and apart. From the thrill of first love to the realization that sometimes just loving someone isn’t enough, Andy and Rachel live their lives both separately and together, experiencing highs and lows that truly touched my heart.

Weiner created a story that is so multi-layered, with complex characters who are oh so human and flawed, and with situations that have no easy answers. So many issues were seamlessly woven into the story – friendship, relationships, sex, marriage, divorce, race, class, success and failure – and it all blended to form one cohesive story that felt so true to life. Readers who demand an instant pay-off may be disappointed, but if you appreciate the journey as much as the destination you will surely fall in love with Who Do You Love.


4.5/5 STARS
Do you enjoy second-chance romances?

16 comments

  1. I adored this book when I read it. It was my first Weiner book and I still need to get to more from her. Glad you enjoyed this. Great review!

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    1. Thanks Grace - I wish Weiner wrote more romance because I totally fell for this one. :)

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  2. oh this sounds so precious! I think I also fell a little in love just by reading your review! I don;t think I have ever read Weiner, and it seems I should! Because I do appreciate the journeys! Sometimes even more than the destination :)

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    1. Totally precious, D! I so recommend this one.

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  3. Aw, this sounds like a cute one. I love that they met as children and then connected again years later. I AM a fan of second chance romances!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I love second chance romance, too! And this was like... third chance romance. LOL

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  4. OMG! I have chills. I love that their paths just keep crossing, and they have history. I think I would like this one. Great review!

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    1. Oh Sam, I think you would really like this one. It gave me ALL the feels and just felt so true to life. Nothing over the top. They found themselves at times where being in love just wasn't enough - there was timing, there was wanting or needing other things out of life. It broke my heart, it made me want to shake them, it made me giggle and smile like an idiot... if you can't tell (ha), I highly recommend it.

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  5. I don't think I have ever tried this author, but this sounds wonderful, complex and full of all the feels! Wonderful review Kathy.

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    1. Thanks Kim! (It's Tanya, btw, not sure where Kathy came from. lol) This one felt different from the others I've read by Weiner and I really loved it.

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  6. This sounds a little bit like the fault in our stars? Just me? Never mind then XD

    But this really do sound like a great book. So glad you enjoyed it! Excellent review.

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    1. Hm, I never picked up on any TFIOS similarities. At all. LOL :)

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  7. This sounds like a lovely read, characters with all that history between them. And the cover is simple but beautiful, very effective indeed.

    Wonderful review :)

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    1. Thanks Bre. It really was a wonderful story. And isn't that cover pretty? The U.S. cover is pretty boring so I specifically ordered this UK edition from Book Depository so I could have the pretty cover. :)

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  8. I think I've only read one or two books by Jennifer. I'm not sure why I haven't read more because I really enjoyed them!

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    1. I'm actually gifting copies of this one to my mom and my sisters for Christmas. I think they'll love it, too. :)

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