**Giveaway is now closed**
I’ve often thought it was a good thing I went to college in the 1980s, rather than now. I was a horrible prospective/current/ex-girlfriend, having perfected ways to stalk my romantic prey that I thought were quite forward-thinking, if not soap operatic (dating the brother really does work). If I were in dating mode now, with texting and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, I’d probably end up getting arrested.
None of the women featured in Jo Piazza’s novel Love Rehab end up in jail, although one of them is on probation for drunk driving. Love Rehab is an incredibly real, rip-roaringly funny look at all the ways women in the digital age have for obsessing over their ex-boyfriends. Sophie, having been dumped by her boyfriend Eric in favor of the assistant whom she refers to as Floozy McSecretary, texts him constantly and keeps track of his comings and goings by creating sock puppets to friend the Floozy and follow her on Twitter. When her best friend Annie is forced to attend AA, Sophie tags along and realizes she is as addicted to love as the 12-steppers are addicted to alcohol. After confessing to the group leader, Joe, that she isn’t really an alcoholic – that all the crazy stories she told were prompted by a man, not by a bottle – Joe suggests she start her own group – for love addicts.
Sophie’s New Jersey home (which she inherited from her grandmother) quickly becomes overrun by women addicted to love. There’s the yoga instructor, the pregnant Indian woman whose fiancé is living with another woman, the woman whose boyfriend is starring on a Bachelor-like TV show. As Sophie works to help these women, she starts to realize how her own behaviors – and her addiction to love – contributed to the ugly deaths of her relationships. Love Rehab is “a novel in 12 steps,” and Sophie seeks to use them to recover from her addiction. As she gets closer to the women in the group, Sophie makes headway in getting over Eric. But now Joe is starting to look pretty good. Is their connection real, or just another symptom of Sophie’s love addiction?
Love Rehab is a comedy, but the book addresses real issues. Why do women feel such pressure to be in a relationship? How does a diet of romantic comedy movies and TV shows like The Bachelor affect the way women perceive the development of relationships? Why do we wonder what our children will look like when we’re on a first date? Author Piazza doesn’t necessarily have the answers to these questions, but they are questions worth pondering.
I loved the book, and only had two quibbles with it. One, there were so many women coming and going out of that New Jersey house that I had trouble keeping track of who they were and their stories. Two, Sophie’s best friend Annie doesn’t seem to have any of the love issues that any of the other women have. She also happened to be gay. I would have enjoyed a deeper exploration of Annie’s character – who takes to AA without ever looking back – in contrast to the other women. Did she have the same issues with the women she dated? If not, what did she know that the other women didn’t? Sophie’s high school boyfriend was happily married to a man. I would have found it interesting, with so many stories about love-addicted heterosexual women (and later, one man), to read about what those issues looked like for same-sex couples.
Other than those nitpicks, the rest of the book was wonderful. If you’ve recently been dumped and you’re stalking your ex through his new girlfriend’s Facebook posts, please pick up this book instead. You’ll laugh and you’ll heal.
Even though I was dating during the days of rotary phones in the dorm hallways, technology can have an uncanny way of peering into your past. Yes, I’ve looked up ex-boyfriends on Facebook. I even friended the one – the only one! – from whom I parted on friendly terms. But the other day, after a former neighbor connected with me through LinkedIn, I scrolled through the page of people LinkedIn thought I might know. And that one ex-boyfriend who never showed up on Facebook was right there.
And no, I didn’t send him a request to connect. But I did change my profile picture to a much more flattering one, while scratching my head wondering how LinkedIn knew I knew him. The addiction never does go away.
Thanks to Open Road Media for the book in exchange for an honest review. They also have FIVE e-books for some lucky readers anywhere in the world!
How to win:
Tell us the craziest thing you ever did to win over a potential or past love interest.
One entry per person.
Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted.
Open worldwide. Giveaway ends October 6th at midnight EST.
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