I was so hyped to read this book after seeing all the rave reviews and reading the synopsis. Sadly, I was left underwhelmed. The plot centers on two individuals, Connell and Marianne, who have known each other since their early school days. Connell’s mother works for Marianne’s family, and they soon become friends with benefits. As the years pass, though, they drift apart and come back together and see each other for who they really are.
The romance was toxic, to me. Both use each other just for sex and refuse to acknowledge how they actually feel about the other, and both commit infidelity. Also, a troubling issue is the fact that Marianne is abused but no one does anything to help her, even though they know what is going on. I also wasn’t a fan of the lack of quotation marks.
This is a pretty quick read, and Rooney does have a talent for describing characters and environments vividly and beautifully. I also enjoyed how the characters came into their own and discovered who they really were and what they wanted out of life. There’s a lot here for millennials to connect with in regard to college, friendships, etc. I’m sure others won’t have the same views on the central relationship, but I just actively despised it. This novel hinges on that romance, and it let me down tremendously.