Posted 20 hours ago

How to Fall Out of Love Madly: A Novel

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Joined in 2023

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The purpose is not to move lit discussion away from r/redscarepod, general lit discussion can stay there. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year.

I would have liked more about friendship, more about finding yourself, it seems like we have just scratched the surface here and there was a lot more we could have dived into.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. Joy, Annie, and Celine are all mid 20's, early 30's ladies trying to figure out themselves and their lives. Instead, she tried desperately to convince herself that she was in love with him, even telling friends, “I think I’m falling in love with him,” something she could text and almost believe, but the second she said it out loud, she felt foolish and instantly regretted it. i found myself so annoyed with these women immediately and i hated them and their insecurities and the way that they let them rule their lives, but i think i hated them because i’m no better than them and that’s not pleasant to realize. I’m sure Casale’s hope with this book was to bring attention to double standards and the image issues women deal with every day, but all I can think is that if I had read this book at ten, I would have had a hundred new things to criticize in myself by the end.

The insights are all very surface level and don’t capture anywhere near the breadth of the female experience. She made me think of the times when someone has said something little about my appearance or personality that have stuck with me forever; the half-truths and lies told that you’re only too willing to believe. I found the ‘feminism’ dated, the characters dull, and just generally this didn’t seem to have anything new or interesting to say. Yes, the book portrays how society puts so much emphasis on beauty and all the insecurities that women have faced over the years because of it.

It put me through all of the emotions from happy to sad, depression to longing, and especially anger. When they rent out the third bedroom in their apartment to handsome, flirtatious Theo everything gets complicated. All having their respective faults and insecurities—this book took relatable discomfort and ran with it.

Joy and Annie are friends and roommate but still unable to cover their rent, they get third roommate and in walks Theo who charms them. So now, it is just Joy and Theo…until Theo brings home the most picture-perfect woman Joy has ever seen and introduces her as his girlfriend. It asks, why do so many smart, compassionate, otherwise empowered women tolerate egregious behavior from the men they love?We see how these women grapple with the stage they are in their lives- the need to grow in their career, be closer to their family, to get more money and to be hit those societal markers. Distracted by her need to please Theo, Joy fails to see that Celine’s beauty doesn’t protect her from her own insecurities. The strength is in the specificity - from the way a character scrutinizes another woman’s leg-crossing dexterity to how a throwaway comment by a mother about dieting reverberates in a daughter’s head. Haunted by an event from her past, Celine can’t escape her shame and finds herself in an endless cycle of self-sabotage.

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