Book Review: Endless Love

Why I picked it: I saw the trailer for the movie and wasn't able to judge thriller or love story.

If you know me at all my next comment will not surprise you... I have no knowledge of the 1981 movie, starring Brooke Shields. To my defense, I was fourteen, spending hours and hours playing the violin, piano, and I was in Sweden.

It's the summer I discovered The Beatles!  A day I will never forget, I was visiting family a few hours from Vastervik and excited at the opportunity to listen to music in English... Strawberry Fields my first song.

I digress...

Synopsis: Endless Love tells the story of David Axelrod and his overwhelming love for Jade Butterfield.

David's and Jade's lives are consumed with each other; their rapport, their desire, their sexuality take them further than they understand. And when Jade's father suddenly banishes David from the house, he fantasizes the forgiveness his rescue of the family will bring and he sets a "perfectly safe" fire to their house. What unfolds is a nightmare, a dark world in which David's love is a crime and a disease, a world of anonymous phone calls, crazy letters, and new fears — and the inevitable and punishing pursuit of the one thing that remains most real to him: his endless love for Jade and her family.

Quick Take: The writing is stunning and keeps the reader vested.  While reading this book, I kept wondering how creepy it must have been, as a new release, in the seventies.

The first sentence hooks you: "When I was seventeen and in full obedience of my heart's most urgent commands, I stepped far from pathway of normal life and in a moment's time ruined everything I loved---I loved so deeply, and when the love was interrupted, when the incorporeal body of love shrank back in terror and my own body was locked away, it was hard for others to believe a life so new could suffer so irrevocably."

Read the reviews on goodreads and you will find people have a love/hate relationship with this novel.  For me, it was an uncomfortable read, creepy, obsession.  Quite the opposite to Forever (Judy Blume) which I read in 1981.

I struggle reviewing this book, while I'm happy I read it my skin crawls when thinking about the characters.

Check out these comments/reviews from goodreads:
- Scott Spencer blew me away. Depicts first love, er,.. obsession, perfectly...
- Made me feel like my skin was on backwards.
- I have always loved this book. A nice primer on love and sex. It's a great portrait of obsession. 

Here's one that best represents my view: a collection of awkward, characters, none sane enough to function in this world. All slightly askew and strange. David was basically a crazy stalker, so lost and attached to this family that hated him. A family he repeatedly destroyed "by accident". Obsessed with a girl and a love that was completely twisted and in the past. He is so lost and the way he views the world and processes what's happening to him, it's just so strange. I can't say I would recommend it...

Yet... somehow I find myself giving this book 4 stars, while saying 'thank goodness it's fiction'!

Rating: 4 stars
Source: Personal Copy