Book Review

Almost Love by Louise O’Neill


When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard.

So it doesn’t matter that he’s twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she’s sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him.

Sarah’s friends are worried. Her father can’t understand how she could allow herself to be treated like this. And she’s on the verge of losing her job.

But Sarah can’t help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew.

And love is supposed to hurt.

Isn’t it?

My Review: 4/5 agonising stars

Oh my goodness, this book is good. The scariest thing about it all is how much I can relate to the main character Sarah; how much she resonates with me.

It makes me think about a past relationship and how terrifying it is to see it again through a fiction, a book; how terrifying is to see how commonly we all make this type of mistake, we all have to have our heart broken this way in order to learn and move on to better things that we deserve in our life.

This book is about a story about Sarah, a struggling artist and a teacher and her story of falling in love with Matthew when she was 24 years old. Matthew was 20 years older than her. He was very clear of what he wanted from the beginning, sex and nothing more. Sarah was ok with it but then she wanted more. The more became an obsession. The story switches between the past and present. The present is Sarah, post Matthew and in a relative new relationship; and the past was her affair with Matthew, and how this past affair still haunts Sarah to this day and gradually ruins every relationship she has and how she ultimately needs to step back and looks at herself and convince herself that she is good enough and deserves better things.

The whole time I was reading this book, it felt so agonising. It is so depressing in the sense that I can see what she is doing wrong and that she is degrading herself to be with someone who never cares about her at all, that she has put him above everyone else. It feels so scary how much I can relate to Sarah, the waiting for the text messages, the phone calls; the world is going to end if he doesn’t text you back after your 10th message; the begging; the self-loathing; the self-doubt; the bitterness towards other people who really care about you; the ungratefulness of everything. Louise has captured them so perfectly and fiercely in Almost Love.

Louise has also written one of the most agonising and frustrating characters of all time! She captured the sensitive, needy, insecure, bitter, jealous, longing, lonely Sarah so well. I want to shake her and scream to her face “wake up”! I want to hug her and tell her “I understand you and it will all be ok”. It really tears me apart to see her hurting like this but what’s worse is to see her in this way from her own doing.

I think most of us have had this type of relationship that is toxic and obsessive and unhealthy. I would recommend you all to read this book to see it from the outside that it is ok to have made mistakes like this, it is ok to feel hurt. The important thing is to pick yourself up and know that you deserve better, and the only way to deserve better is to truly believe that you are enough, you, as your own self, are good enough.

I do want Louise to write a sequel to this! I want more! I want to see how Sarah’s story ends. I want her to find her happy ending the way she deserves!

Almost Love is out now and you can purchase it here.

Thank you so much Riverrun Books for sending me this gorgeous advanced copy!

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