Book Review: How to Fall in Love – A Novel
Back in February I previewed a new novel, How to Fall in Love. It sounded great – I even said so in my post. Cupid is in danger of losing his job and he’s got one chance to prove to his father, Jove, that he is still needed to serve humans as the great matchmaker. He picks Evan, an anthologist, and Eve, a former ballerina turned maple syrup farmer. He can offer very little assistance in this love match and hopes that the two will fall in love and save his job.
As I mentioned, it sounds like such a fun read right? Um, no. Okay, this was a quick read and to be honest I couldn’t stop reading it because I wanted to see how it would end so in that regard – it was a page turner. But, overall I could not stand the characters and for a relationship that is supposed to be a match made by Cupid and a “great love” I found it to be a highly toxic and unhealthy relationship. I kept reading because I thought surely the authors would not think this is a good relationship and maybe the characters would end up with different people (as other characters and potential romantic partners were introduced during the novel) and maybe the idea could be that humans have free will and maybe Cupid doesn’t know good matches as well as he thought he did. But no.
I won’t get in to specifics in case you want to read the book, because as I said I did read it fairly quickly and couldn’t put it down. And clearly I had a strong emotional response to it. At one point I even said “What? You’ve got to be kidding me” out loud and shook my head…to myself. To give you some context – Evan is around 40 and lives in California. He’s never been married but had a serious girlfriend, Ruth, for a long time. Frankly, I think Evan’s a jerk, but that’s my opinion. Eve is a former ballerina and widow in her 30s. Her husband was famous in the ballet world and was much older than her – a mentor turned husband. After retiring from dance she moves home to her grandparents’ maple syrup farm, inherits the land, and finds real happiness working the land and making maple sugar candies. She is happy and independent after years of being constrained to a strict schedule and regimen as a ballet dancer and controlled by her husband in order to be the best ballerina in the world.
In my opinion, Evan is just not likeable. He’s not that nice of a guy and I don’t care that he’s “so in love” with Eve. If he’s not a good person to people other than Eve, what’s the point? And Eve is all about how she wants to be independent and not controlled anymore, yet she becomes this pathetic woman who will do anything for her boyfriend and anything that will make him happy despite how she feels and what she wants.
At one point in the novel the authors write, “He would claim her now; he would give her no more of a chance to wriggle away than he gave himself.”. Okay, I get that they’re trying to say that Evan is determined to work things out with Eve whenever they have a disagreement – they’ll stick together. But look at the choice of words. He “claim[s]” her? What?
Then there’s a part where they get in his car and he buckles her seatbelt for her…..
I’m sorry, is she a small child?!
Clearly, I have very strong feelings about this book and while I did not love the characters or the relationship whatsoever I would actually love to have someone to talk to about this book! So if you read the book or have read it, let me know!
*I was sent this book complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post also contains an affiliate link.*