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Book Review – Love Story by Erich Segal

Highly overrated! “I too had a love story” by Ravinder Singh was a real tear-jerker, especially towards the end, although I read it long back and now, having read many more mature novels, I might have a toned down opinion. But still it was much better than this. I read this book because in some of the reviews of “I too had a love story”, this book was mentioned as the better, literary version of a tear jerker. But, I disagree.

I never cried and didn’t even feel strong emotions throughout the book. The characters were extremely unlikable, especially Oliver. Jenny was alright, but still not a very likable character. Oliver’s father was obnoxious, but he wasn’t that bad. He didn’t reject Jenny outright; he merely advised Oliver to wait till law school and if the relationship is true, it will stand the test of time. Is that wrong from a parent’s POV? I don’t think so! Oliver was always so rude to his dad whereas Dad was always polite despite being a tad cold.

Also, I hated the fact that both the “lovers” keep swearing at each other. No-one would call their wife a bitch and their husband a Bastard so regularly. The love between Oliver and Jenny was not developed at all. Not enough back story for us to learn about the traits of the lead characters. Also, there were too many stupid conversations. In addition, irrelevant details like about Hockey stuff was distracting.

The fact that you already know that the girl is dying is also a great dampener. There is no surprise factor anywhere. The fact that you don’t have to say sorry in love is also stupid. Apologizing and admitting mistakes is imperative in healthy relationships.

There are no or very few descriptions of ambiance. It feels like a Chetan Bhagat novel. The end is also hurried. After Oliver reveals the death of Jenny to his Dad, Dad immediately replies ‘I’m sorry’. The author doesn’t even give a pause for him to process the horrifying news!

However, the language is simple and lucid, one of the few good points of this book. The sarcastic comments of Oliver are good and funny sometimes. Only because of these couple of points does this Bollywood Movie Style book deserve 2 stars.

If “The Notebook” is the pinnacle of tear-jerkers, “Love Story” is at the bottom. “I too had a love story” stands at a medium ground (despite the language being ordinary in places at least the last chapter is quite emotional!). Disappointing, indeed!

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