Published by Gallery Books on January 23rd, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This is the classic tale of boy meets girl:
Girl…goes home with someone else.
Meet Eve. She’s a dreamer, a feeler, a careening well of sensitivities who can’t quite keep her feet on the ground, or steer clear of trouble. She’s a laugher, a crier, a quirky and quick-witted bleeding-heart-worrier.
Meet Ben. He’s an engineer, an expert at leveling floors who likes order, structure, and straight lines. He doesn’t opine, he doesn’t ruminate, he doesn’t simmer until he boils over.
So naturally, when the two first cross paths, sparks don’t exactly fly. But then they meet again. And again. And then, finally, they find themselves with a deep yet fragile connection that will change the course of their relationship—possibly forever.
Follow Eve and Ben as they navigate their twenties on a winding journey through first jobs, first dates, and first breakups; through first reunions, first betrayals and, maybe, first love. This is When Harry Met Sally reimagined; a charming tale told from two unapologetically original points of view. With an acerbic edge and heartwarming humor, debut novelist Leslie Cohen takes us on a tour of what life looks like when it doesn’t go according to plan, and explores the complexity, chaos, and comedy in finding a relationship built to last.
You need to read this book! I just can’t recommend this opposites attract, slow burn romance story enough. I was intrigued by the blurb because hey, I love angst. But Ms. Cohen delivered so much more. This Love Story Will Self-Destruct is an expertly written, clever, poetic and heartfelt story of a young women coming of age in the early to mid two thousands. From the very opening pages I was captivated. The prologue sets a tone of anticipation and once I started I simply couldn’t conceive of doing anything else with me time.
Columbia University senior Eve is surrounded by a small group of friends who are diverse, at times kindred spirits to her, but most certainly always highly entertaining. Eve’s life is fascinating. She struggles with deep rooted fear all while trying to figure out what she wants out her life. She knows what she wants to do, work as a music journalist, but as you’d expect, she struggles to break into the industry via the NYC workforce of 2007. She experiences laughter and heartache and comes to a realization about the lack of opportunity, so takes a chance and uses a well timed opportunity to rebuild her confidence.
Eve is one of those endearingly flawed characters that you can’t help but root for. She’s very observant and she’s has thoughts that are slightly judgmental. Normally that would put me off a character but as you we get to know Eve, it just feeds into her quirks. She’s introspective and because of her upbringing and her family situation, she’s incredibly guarded and at times, she’s her own worst enemy.
Ben has been in and out of her life, but very much on the peripheral. As the story progresses Ben and Eve are brought together and the timing seems right. Thus we have the start of the love story. It’s an uphill battle for both of them, but Ben is patient with Eve, and he’s incrediby romantic. He just seems to get her and he gives her the stability that allows her to be her quirky and adorable self. But she is impulsive, she lets self-doubt and the fear of rejection get the the best of her, and mistakes are made. I literally gasped “Oh Eve – you silly girl”…
One thing that really makes this story work how Cohen develops her characters, especially with Eve’s backstory. She intersperses flashbacks of Eve growing up and the distress she feels about her broken family, her sister, her mother and even the father that abandoned them. Then there’s a zinger of a connection between Ben and Eve that I would never have seen coming.
One can never know about the editing process, but I thought the author and whomever she works with to craft the plot, did a stellar job. I connected with Eve, I connected with Ben, I even connected a bit with Jesse. The timeline is executed to perfection and became a rare “reading experience” for me. Lest I sound so serious, it is a fun read too. I felt like I was traveling the subway, having coffee and out for drinks with this dynamic group of friends.
I am mightily impressed with Ms Cohen’s words. Eve and Ben wormed there way right into my heart. Ben is just so charming and levelheaded as we got to know him I couldn’t help but think how much I liked him for her. Yes, her. Because Eve really is the star of the story. Her anxiety bled off the pages, making my heart race. I really can’t wait to see what comes next from this outstanding debut author. 5++ Stars and a #MustRead recommendation!!
~Review by Cyndi
Part of me wanted to drive him a little crazy, to see how far I could push before sending him screaming for the hills. Only this was New York City, so by “hills” I mean that minuscule square of green shrubbery outside your apartment building that passes for a front yard. Was I innocent? Not entirely. But let us not judge hastily the actions of the young for fear of neglecting the importance of the journey, said forty thousand fortune cookies, and forty thousand fortune cookies cannot be wrong.
I still pass them by sometimes: the streets, apartment buildings, bars, and restaurants, all a part of this story. And, while they are unremarkable to most, they possess the unique ability to stop me dead in my tracks. I think to myself, somewhat irrationally, What is going on here? I get philosophical, and yes, a tad self-centered. Does an apartment still exist once you no longer live there? Why does a restaurant continue to operate once you’ve paid the bill and walked away, the door swishing closed in your wake? I can’t fully acknowledge that the place has moved on. Without me.
A part of this story will always remain in those places, as if stranded in time. I like to revisit some of them and enjoy the nostalgia. The memories are still so vivid. Others are best left alone, to fade over time. Looking back, I can see how those places were leading us somewhere. We were drawing lines from a series of scattered dots, hoping to see a picture emerge. It took time to put it together. The dots existed all over the city—and not in a way that made any sense or always felt good. But we should have known. And whenever I find myself passing one of these places, I can’t help but think, What took us so long?
“What took us so long?” Did she really just say that? I’ll tell you what took us so long. The ratio of irrational to rational thoughts inside her head was about twenty to one. That was her first mistake (there were others). To get from point A to point B, most people take a straight line. Not Eve. She zigzags; takes several steps backward; loops around; launches into deep contemplation at every turn, twist, and fork in the road; circles; hovers; eventually lands. And I could have walked away from the whole mess. I could have said, Good luck to you, Eve. See you in ten years, when you finally decide what you want. But I didn’t. Because the thing about Eve is, when she does land, she sticks that landing something hard, and suddenly, walking away is the very last thought on your mind.
About the Author
Leslie Cohen was born and raised in New York. She studied fiction at Columbia University, and wrote a weekly music column for a newspaper in Colorado before working in publishing for several years. This is her debut novel.