Book reviews




Source: Pan Macmillian Australia (DANKE)
416 Pages

Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself back in South Jersey, a place that remains largely unchanged from the years of her unhappy youth. Lost and alone, looking for the goodness she believes still exists in the world, Portia sets off on a quest to save the one man who always believed in her—and in all of his students: her beloved high school English teacher, Mr. Vernon, who has retired broken and alone after a traumatic classroom incident.

Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metalhead little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt Portia’s chances on this quest to resurrect a good man and find renewed hope in the human race? Love May Fail is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.

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I really don’t have any thoughts on this book except that Portia was a really moody character. I had really high expectations about this book, I was so excited to read it to the point where I jumped around my room like madwoman.


But this book took me longer than usual to get through. It wasn’t that the book wasn’t interesting, it really was with some great, unique characters but I just couldn’t get absorbed by the book as well as I hoped.

Portia’s little scenario with her cheating pornographer of a husband was down right hilarious for me. Call me immature but reading the scene where she’s hiding in the closet catching her husband in the act was the best! I literally sat there just laughing my head off.

I applaud her for leaving her husband but I felt as if there wasn’t any kind of direction to where she was going. It seemed like one minute she was on a plane and the next, she’s deciding to resurrect her old English teacher. It felt as if this goal was a little forced upon us rather than being natural to Portia’s own character. While I did enjoy this little adventure, I think that was the reason I couldn’t find myself deep into this story.

Then the story takes a turn. It was almost as if the resurrecting the English teacher idea was dumped and now decided to concentrate on Portia and Chuck. Chuck’s a great, patient love interest – not really realistic because he seemed too much like the lovesick puppy but Tommy (the metal-headed little boy) made everything better with his combination of natural swag and boyish innocence.



Enter Portia’s moodiness. One minute she’s determined and upbeat to get her English teacher back into the zone, the next she’s determined to write a book and then suddenly it’s her herself in the dumps. Me confused and me slightly thinking she’s a hypocrite.

But the writing was fabulous. Matthew Quick has a unique style that only one can reference as him and him only. He raises some seriously clever questions about change and I absolutely adored his characters. The characters in this book are witty, unique and 100% honest. They’re all different and I never once got confused between them. The thing that this book lacked was that shazam to get me into it and that visible direction to where the story was going.







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