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How to Fall Out of Love Madly
How to Fall Out of Love Madly is the latest novel to be checked off my to be read list, and that list is really long. The thing that captured my attention about this one was the cover and the description. Aren’t people supposed to fall in love, not out? It certainly captured my attention!
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Have you read How to Fall Out of Love Madly? Come on in and let me tell you about it!
About How to Fall Out of Love Madly
Joy and Annie are friends and roommates whose thirty-something lives aren’t exactly what they’d imagined. To make ends meet, they decide to rent their extra bedroom to Theo, who charms Joy with his salt-and-pepper hair and adoration of their one-eyed cat. When Annie goes to live with her boyfriend, Theo and Joy settle into a comfortable domesticity.
Then Theo brings home Celine, the girlfriend he’s never mentioned, who is possibly the most stunning woman Joy has ever seen. Joy resolves to do whatever it takes to hold on to him, falling ever deeper into an emotional hellscape of her own making. She is too obsessed to realize that Celine’s beauty doesn’t protect her from pain. Haunted by an event from her past, Celine can’t escape her shame and finds herself in an endless cycle of self-sabotage.
Annie is baffled by Joy’s senseless devotion to Theo, but she’s consumed by her own obsessions: she can’t stop parsing her commitment-phobic boyfriend’s texts in an exhausting mission to maintain his approval. At work, where she fully embraces her natural assertiveness, Annie is a star. But when an anonymous letter lands on her desk accusing her esteemed and supportive boss of sexual misconduct, she is forced to decide who and what she’s willing to stand up for.
Perceptive, mordantly funny, and full of heart, How to Fall Out of Love Madly examines women’s many relationships—with one another, their mothers, their work, men, and themselves—to reveal their underlying power and complexity. It asks, why do so many smart, compassionate, otherwise empowered women tolerate egregious behavior from the men they love? And what will it take for them to reclaim control?
Thoughts on How to Fall Out of Love Madly
I had really high hopes for this book, and they were dashed within the first chapter. I was already cringing and hating it. I hated it to the point I wanted to give up reading right then and there, at just one chapter in.
The main characters have absolutely no self-esteem. They’re completely fake in their relationships. One asked the other about hating someone and she replied, “no more than I hate any of my friends.” Do people really hate their “friends” and why do they even talk to these people if they hate them?
If that didn’t show a lack of depth in the main characters, one of them was complaining about how fat she was. Then goes on to cry about her ex deleting and unfollowing her on social media, so she couldn’t stalk him every single day, despite no longer being a couple. She felt “alone” because she couldn’t complain to anyone about this horrible tragedy.
“Let me tell you something about my stomach. It’s big and I hate it. I think about it all the time. I think about the way it looks in shirts and dresses, the way it sits over my jeans and hangs over the edge. When I’m sitting, it juts out in the most hideous way with big folds. There’s no flattering way for me to sit with it so I think about ways to not sit, and I think about sucking it in whenever it is that I am sitting. I think about what other people think about it, and what they think of me because of it.
I never want to look at it, but I can’t stop staring at it in the mirror whenever I get the chance. I would love to tell you that it doesn’t define how I think of myself, but those are just words and they’re not making me feel what it is I want to feel and what it is that I want to feel is thinner.
I cry about it a lot, mostly to myself and sometimes to my mom. She usually tells me I’m crazy and that I should stop obsessing. One time, just once, when I’d called and started in on the same conversation about my weight and how fat I am, she said as I was sobbing, “Jenny Craig, maybe?”Jana Casale, How to Fall Out of Love Madly
I wanted to scream throughout this entire novel, and it was almost impossible to finish. Many people have sung high praises for this novel, but it simply wasn’t one that I enjoyed or even wanted to finish. It was a painful read to get through. But I have a firm belief that finishing a novel, even a terrible one builds character, so I pushed through it.
Final Thoughts on How to Fall Out of Love Madly
When I finished this novel, I had to go and look at other reviews to see if anyone felt the same level of irritation as I did, and nope. Most of the reviews were a lot more positive, claiming this novel was “relatable” to them. I felt the opposite. Mostly because I can’t imagine having the time to complain that someone deleted me on social media and feeling alone because of it.
I highly recommend you give this novel a try, because everyone has a different opinion and perspective. It just wasn’t the right novel for me, and I’m happy to have finished it and moved on to another one. You might enjoy it though, and I really hope you do.
Jana Casale’s writing isn’t bad. There’s no egregious mistakes or anything like that. But it just wasn’t the kind of novel that was enjoyable to read for me. It felt too negative and I didn’t enjoy it.
Have you read How to Fall Out of Love Madly or any other writing from author Jana Casale? Are you a fan? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author
Jana Casale is the author of How to Fall Out of Love Madly and The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky. She has a BFA in fiction from Emerson College and an MSt in creative writing from Oxford. She currently resides outside Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband and son.
Purchasing How to Fall Out of Love Madly
If you are interested in buying the hardcover version of How to Fall Out of Love Madly, click here.
Click here for the Kindle version.
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