Jennifer Weiner's latest novel, Who Do You Love, is not like her others. For one thing, the cover picture is simply a paperclip shaped like a heart (which is significant to the story). The other is that half of the story is told from a male perspective, which hasn't happened in a Jennifer Weiner novel as far as I can remember (aside from the free e-short story Good Men, which was also featured in The Guy Not Taken).
Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are just 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 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 the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent for running. Over the decades, their paths cross in magical and ordinary ways, as they grow together and apart. But Rachel and Andy never forget that night in the hospital waiting room all those years before, a chance encounter that changed the course of both of their lives. (Synopsis courtesy of Atria.)
I really liked the pace of this story, as well as seeing how Andy and Rachel's lives were so different and how they balanced each other out so well. Both their perspectives were interesting and emotionally strong throughout. I could definitely relate well to Rachel, as we had similar upbringings, aside from her being popular while I wasn't. (And curly hair, as well.) However, I enjoyed Andy's side of the story because it took me into a lifestyle of which I wasn't so familiar. I especially liked Andy's relationship with Mr. Sills, who became a father figure to him. Aside from that, there were some really good "romantic" scenes. Jennifer didn't disappoint when it came to that part of the story. The dialogue flowed nicely and there were a lot of things I didn't expect, so this novel never became predictable.
The only thing I would have liked to see is an epilogue that takes us out to the following year or so, where we can see what has happened in Rachel and Andy's lives since the ending. Perhaps Jennifer will write a follow-up short story someday?
Overall, I enjoyed Who Do You Love and recommend it to anyone who wants a sweet story told with Jennifer Weiner's natural flair.
Thanks to Engleman and Co for the book in exchange for an honest review. They even have one copy for a lucky US reader!
How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
US only. Giveaway ends August 16th at midnight EST.
More by Jennifer Weiner: