Rosie and Alex are destined for one another, and everyone seems to know it but them. Best friends since childhood, their relationship gets closer by the day, until Alex gets the news that his family is leaving Dublin and moving to Boston. At 17, Rosie and Alex have just started to see each other in a more romantic light. Devastated, the two make plans for Rosie to apply to colleges in the U.S.
She gets into Boston University, Alex gets into Harvard, and everything is falling into place, when on the eve of her departure, Rosie gets news that will change their lives forever: She’s pregnant by a boy she’d gone out with while on the rebound from Alex.
Her dreams for college, Alex, and a glamorous career dashed, Rosie stays in Dublin to become a single mother, while Alex pursues a medical career and a new love in Boston. But destiny is a funny thing, and in this novel, structured as a series of clever e-mails, letters, notes, and a trail of missed opportunities, Alex and Rosie find out that fate isn’t done with them yet.
The trope and the film trailer are what got me to read this book. I love friends to lovers stories but I forgot Ahern writes these gimmick books. I should have remembered what happened with P.S. I love you, which is in part an epistolary novel: I didn’t like it. I hated Love, Rosie.
Rosie’s and Alex’s story is told wholly through letters, emails, notes from teachers and online chats as well as the odd birthday and Christmas card. Except it’s not, because the epilogue is in plain prose. I guess Ahern herself realised just how superficial and emotionally disconnected novel she’d written.
Apart from a certain vocabulary trick, each and every letter writer sounded exactly the same. I also had to suspend my disbelief for a few gutless plot twists that kept the story going two hundred pages after it should have ended.
I laughed at times, but that wasn’t enough to make up for the gratuitous fat and slut shaming.
The frustrating thing about Ahern’s bad books is that I can see them being adapted into good films. I certainly liked Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler better than I liked Holly and Gerry on the page.