Friday, July 27, 2012

Love Story by Erich Segal

  • Title: Love Story
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 224 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (January 8, 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 0380017601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380017607

     "What the hell makes you so smart?" I asked.
     "I wouldn't go out for coffee with you," she answered.
     "Listen--I wouldn't ask you."
     "That," she replied, "is what makes you stupid."
Every so often the planets align, the universe is at peace, and two soul mates meet. Oliver and Jenny met in college. He was a preppie rich Harvard jock on the fast track to becoming a lawyer. She was a studious Radcliffe scholarship student majoring in music. It started off as a classic case of boy meets girl, but as Oliver tells you right from the start this is a tragic love story. But it's his story to tell. Make sure to have a box of tissues handy. This one is a real tear jerker.

This story was first published in 1970. At the time it was a best seller and I can see why. Even though it's a little out of date (ex: $11, 800/year salary for a lawyer), and most love stories are a little more detailed these days, it contains the essential ingredients for a good romance--likable characters, witty banter, a good chemistry between the main characters that saturates the pages, and a story everyone can relate to. I particularly liked that this story was written from the perspective of the male character. You just don't see that too much these days and I found it quite enjoyable. Usually you'll get the female's perspective or a mixture of both the hero's and heroine's, but I truly can't recall reading another love story given fully over to the male character's perspective.

I loved the relationship that the two shared and how at one point, Jenny and Oliver have a fight where she states, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." I liked it not because I think a 'sorry' is never necessary, but because I felt what she was trying to convey a deeper meaning. That when you love someone you can forgive them just about anything because you know nobody's perfect and you love them despite their imperfections. You realize everyone will undoubtedly at some point in time say or do something they don't truly mean. You understand them on a deeper level and know it wasn't meant to wound you and you let it go. My grandmother once told me she felt one of the keys to a successful marriage was to make sure you never went to sleep angry with each other. For some reason this verse reminded me of that. I guess I always looked at it as meaning grudges have no place in a marriage.

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. It was short and sweet and I liked it despite the sad ending. I confess, I  needed a tissue or two. Additionally, I loved the fact their relationship started out because he wanted to check out a book. The book lover in me got a kick out of that. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a  BLUSH--at the beginning stages of romance where something is just starting to be stirred. (i.e. pretty tame)

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