(Author: Cecelia Ahern) + (Year: 2006) + (Goodreads)
You know how people like to hug and smell their books. You know what I would like to do this book? This is what.
I’m Professor X. Love, Rosie is Starlord.
Because fuck you, Love, Rosie, that’s why.
Love, Rosie tells the story of Rosie and Alex, two friends from Ireland who meet when they are 5 and are inseparable from then on until Alex’s family decides to move to the USA. Thanks to the many twists of fate, they are put in many hard and strange situations, and although they try to keep their friendship, it slowly but steadily grows into much more. Another question is, however, if they are going to be able to finally find their way to one another, as life seems to throw everything in their paths, just so they do not cross.
Being the Sam Claflin fangirl that I am, I heard about this movie when they started shooting, although I didn’t even know it was based on a book. Big surprise. But it was just yesterday, when on a whim I watched all of the trailers, that I realized that there was not only a book, but it was from the author of PS, I Love You. From the trailers, I decided this was going to be a fun little teenage story, I mean:
So, I came to the Goodreads page and I read some reviews, too. It’s hilarious, they said. Laughed my ass off, they said. I recommend it to everyone, they said.
I’m really glad they seem to have significantly changed the story in the movie, judging from the trailer. I absolutely do not think I could stand the psychological trauma once again.
What kind of book is Love, Rosie?
E) dangerous to your psyche
F) ALL OF THE FUCKING ABOVE, BECAUSE THIS IS A FUCKING ROLLER COASTER OF FEELINGS, THE SUM OF WHICH EQUALS TO GETTING HIT BY A FREIGHT TRAIN AGAIN, AND AGAIN, AND A COUPLE OF MORE TIMES, JUST FOR GOOD MEASURE.
What can I really say about this book? Am I the only one who is deeply and profoundly disturbed after reading it? How am I ever possibly going to read another book by the wicked Cecilia Ahern? Wasn’t this a shock for you?
Am I the only one getting through an early mid-life crisis?
It is possible. The things in this book touched me on a very deep level. I have been reading book after book about missed opportunities and a spent life. Love, Rosie might seem like a sad yet funny comedy of errors, but I think it delves into a whole other dimension of questions which we have to ask ourselves. It’s not just: does (s)he love me, are we ever going to be together. I actually think what we should be asking ourselves is: am I doing the right thing for myself? About time our whole damn world stopped living for everyone else – whether to impress, or surpass, or whatever stupid excuse we have. I am by no means saying that we should live in disregard of other people’s feelings. We should just do what is right for us, without letting everyone influence our life and make our choices.
Rosie is a very normal teenager. She doesn’t like to pay attention in class, passes notes, gets drunk, gets grounded often, even gets suspended every year. She is smart, charming and absolutely hilarious. She is a dead ringer for Shopaholic‘s very own Rebecca Bloomwood, who, however, is stuck in a much more cheerful world than Rosie’s. Maybe it is a tendency for UK/Ireland-based authors to make such adorably crazy and quirky characters.
So, naturally, Rosie gets herself in the mess of a lifetime: none other than a baby. Here comes my favourite quote from the book. I could probably find you fifty more meaningful and soulful quotes, at least at first glance, but this is the one that has stuck with me.
“… And wondering what on earth I am going to do when this little one is born and looks at me and I shrug back.
At first I laughed at this. I imagined a baby looking at its mother, awaiting some deep answer and the mother just shrugging. Actually, I laughed my butt off. And then it hit me. Imagine how helpless you would feel. I don’t have a child, but the thought of bringing one into this world makes me feel very helpless and worried. What about a teenager who had her plans all made, her dream just in front of her. And all of that, gone.
And this is the theme which stuck with me for the rest of the book. All of Rosie’s hardships, her pain, her struggles. She makes a load of HORRIBLE decisions, but I could not help but feel so proud of her when she starts to accept motherhood, when she gets her first, second and every other job, when she decides to get a degree, when she fights to fulfill her dreams.
Alex was the character I set out to like. I have never had much sympathy for girls who let themselves go so much that they get knocked up before they have finished high school. So that in mind, I was sure that Alex would be the likable one in this duo. Not to mention that I started with Claflin’s image in mind. I mean, come on.
However, as much as I was rooting for him the whole time, I could not help but think he’s a total brat most of the time. He’s THE worst best friend ever. After Bethany appears at the very beginning, he just gets from one degree of an asshole to the other. He is nice to Katie and buys her presents and sends her cards, but he’s not really putting himself in Rosie’s shoes. He has his flashy job and his flashy life and his flashy women and she’s just a toy that he used to have but doesn’t anymore and he wants it back. Don’t get me wrong. I was team Alex/Rosie the whole time, but I felt like he was always making the wrong move, from the very, very beginning: Rosie’s 16th. I felt a natural desire to punch him on multiple occasions.
Rosie’s family seems supportive, is described as supportive and all that, but are they really? She’s homeless and jobless and shattered, so what shall we do then? Oh, I know, let’s sell our house and leave for China on a cruise! ARE YOU SERIOUS? IS THIS REAL LIFE? Not to mention her sister or the stupid little brother, who don’t seem to be of any help at all, except for writing the occasional note or a birthday card.
Katie, Ruby, Toby and the rest of them: I LOVED the secondary characters. They were fleshy and full-blown and realistic. They were the hilarious side of the book, opposed to the Alex/Rosie drama. They were the sort of characters you meet in your everyday life. Maybe there were too many recurring characters, I would agree to that, I was confused at some points, yes, but they were great! I loved Ruby so, so much, she was so funny and crazy. Katie and Toby were the doppelgangers of Alex and Rosie so, naturally, I was rooting for them too, not to mention how likable Katie was compared to other book brats, kids of main characters. There was just so much life in all of the people around Rosie, even Sanjay from the Indian restaurant.
If I have so much to say about everyone and everything, in a not so positive light, then why am giving it four stars then?
Because it made me care. It made me think. I felt sympathetic to the characters. I bashed my head against the wall and commented out loud to myself. I rooted for them to succeed and to be happy. I would have given it five stars, actually, but it left me sort of desperate and depressed. I mean, yes, a happy ending, but when? How long was it? It’s too sad to think.
The silence: this is a very beautiful concept. I have actually thought about it many times before. I agree that it doesn’t matter how many topics for a conversation you have, it matters when you can be together and not say a word and never be awkward.
By the way, if the movie was truly based off the book, I think Shopaholic actors Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy would be marvelous. They both had the right looks, except for Isla’s hair color, and their ages could be better suited for the characters in the book.
Now, here is a cute gif from the trailers, and unless you want spoilers, do not read below the gif.
And I don’t think the gif is spoilery, because I have NO idea which scene this is.
*** SPOILERS ***
ARE YOU EVEN DAMN SERIOUS? IT TOOK THEM HOW MANY YEARS? THEIR LIVES ARE GONE. THEY WERE UNHAPPY AND NOT TOGETHER FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. THEY KNEW EACH OTHER FOR 45 YEARS!!!
Sorry for the screaming. I do feel like screaming. What is the point of a happy end when they are fifty years old and their lives are almost over. Not to offend anyone above fifty, but Rosie’s parents both passed away in their sixties. So how many years do Rosie and Alex really have together? How is it fair that they spend their entire lives apart? I couldn’t believe my eyes as page after page they were getting older and older. An year passes here, three years pass there. We are such fragile and finite creatures. One blink and our lives are over. Is there really any point if you only ever find happiness when more than half of your life is over?
PS. All gifs belong to whoever made them, I got them from Google, so credit to makers.