Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Quick Pick: The Law of Loving Others, by Kate Axelrod

  • Opening lines: It was a Friday in the middle of December, the day after Daniel and I had finished our finals, and we were leaving Pennsylvania for New York. 
  • Reason I picked up the book: I received it in the mail to review, without a pitch letter or email (very mysterious, ha) and it looked good. 
  • And what's this book about?
  • Terrified by the realization that she could lose her mother to schizophrenia, Emma spirals out of control over the course of one winter break.

    The car glows with that careless feeling before the freedom of winter break as Emma drives home from boarding school with her boyfriend, Daniel. But when Emma calls to tell her mom she’ll be home before dinner, something is wrong. Just hours after Emma returns home, she realizes that her mom is suffering from a schizophrenic break. Emma’s entire childhood and identity is called into question. How could the woman who sent huge care packages of candy to sleep away camp be the same woman duct taping their windows to keep out the voices in her head? In her search for answers, Emma lands on a terrible possibility: schizophrenia is genetic. Emma could have only a few more years of sanity. Emma could end up just like her mom.

    In the span of just one winter break, Emma’s life falls apart. Her relationships alter forever and she is forced to see the hard reality in a line from Anna Karenina: “The law of loving others could not be discovered by reason, because it is unreasonable.”

  • Favorite paragraph:
  • "I know we aren't allowed to do anything," he said, "but can we just hang out again? Just a little? Really, just to talk and do whatever?
    He grasped me playfully, and I wondered if he was going to kiss or hug me but then he just rubbed his knuckles into the mess of my hair, a sloppy bun that rested on the top of my head.
    "Maybe a little," I said and I twisted myself out from his grip, did a clumsy twirl. "Maybe we can hang a little."
  • Recommended for: Anyone who like stories about mental illnesses or enjoys YA lit.
  • Something to know: The story mostly takes place in NYC, even though the main character goes to boarding school in Pennsylvania.
  • What I would have changed: The ending. HATED it because it just makes you speculate on the fates of all of the characters. I will say the actual writing (prose) in this book was good, but it ends on a very vague note; I would have liked a more defined ending. 
  • Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I find this book? Click here.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


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