THE LOOK OF LOVE by Sarah Jio

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This was a recommendation from one of my library members who knows I enjoy a touch of magical realism now and then. I do, but this book really pushed my limits. Allow me to explain.

The main character is Jane Williams. She has been under the care of a neurologist since she was a young child, making monthly treks to the doctor who had become a second mother to her after she lost her actual mother. Jane’s birthday is on Christmas, and she is turning 29. She receives a mysterious card via her doorman, inviting her to meet a woman she has never heard of, at her home, for tea, so she may explain the gift that Jane has been given.

Jane is nervous and takes her best friend along with her. Turns out that this woman was at the hospital on the day Jane was born, and gave her a gift. This gift is the ability to see true love, and has been passed down for generations from one green-eyed woman to another. She tells Jane that she has one year to identify the six kinds of love and record them in this old book that has been kept by all the women with this gift. If she fails, she will never find her own true love.

So far, so good. I did have a couple of issues then. First, there was no explanation for the six kinds of love, just some odd names. Maybe I was supposed to look those up? I don’t know, they aren’t explained until the end of the book when Jane is recording them. The bigger issue is that her six friends all neatly fall into one of the categories. I really had to suspend my disbelief here. That said, the story was compelling enough to keep me turning the pages.

For every drop of drama, there was a fairly immediate resolution. At the end, I did like the book but felt it could have been so much better had the characters not been so neatly categorized.

10/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE LOOK OF LOVE by Sarah Jio. Plume (November 25, 2014). ISBN 978-0142180532. 304p.

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