Monday 13 April 2020

Almost Love by Louise O'Neill

Almost LoveAlmost Love by Louise O'Neill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 314

Publisher - Riverrun

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard.

So it doesn't matter that he's twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she's sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him.

Sarah's friends are worried. Her father can't understand how she could allow herself to be used like this. And she's on the verge of losing her job.

But Sarah can't help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew.

And love is supposed to hurt.

Isn't it?

My Review

Split between then and now, Sarah is our main character and everything is centered around her. The then takes us back, into before and the run up to her "relationship" with Matthew, the older man she falls for. A man who treats her pretty much as an object to be used and discarded as required and shows her views on love.

Sarah is not a likable character, the way she treats people around her is pretty shocking, she is selfish and very self involved. Then on the flip side, the way she is taken in by Matthew, a booty call plainly seen by the reader but Sarah is convinced they are an item. I think the thing I found so frustrating is we have all had a Sarah or a version of Sarah in our lives. Self destructive, self obsessed, self involved, treats those closest to her terribly and is completely oblivious to her behaviour. Yet with Matthew her blinkers are toward his behaviour, his disregard and pretty shocking treatment to her.

The book challenges the reader because you absolutely judge Sarah but can't help but feel a wee bit for her too. Her past - how it shaped her as an adult, the toxic "relationship" and treatment she accepts and sees as part of a normal relationship. She is a complex creation that I went back and forth on, I was mortified at how obsessive and needy she was, how badly she treated those around her and then allowed Matthew to treat her like that. The messages, the sexual degradation, her behaviour it makes for pretty tough reading at some parts and even emotionally exhausted to be honest. It is a bit of a deep book on some levels because you examine your own attitude(s) and judgement(s) it certainly isn't a light poolside read that's for sure. 3/5 for me this time, interesting, harsh, shocking and thought provoking, not my first by this author and it won't be my last. I can't say I enjoyed it but it gives you pause for thought that is for sure, seems to be a marmite read!

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