Saturday, March 2, 2013

Book Review: Out of Love by Hilma Wolitzer

Out of Love
by Hilma Wolitzer
Received for Review
Young Adult 
Released On: December 11, 2012
Published by: Open Road Young Readers
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.5

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

In Teddy’s daydreams, the elevator is never broken and her father comes home every day. But in reality, her dad has a new home and a new wife, Shelley, who is glamorous in a way Teddy’s mother could never be. Still, Teddy holds out hope that one day her dad will come to his senses—and when she finds a shoebox full of faded love letters in the closet, she knows her mother is hoping for the same thing.

In the letters, her father calls her mother “my own true love.” If Teddy can just fix her mom up a little bit, maybe her dad will realize he loves her still. But after exercise classes, a visit from the Avon lady, and a furious campaign to get her mom to stop smoking, Teddy learns that real love is far more complex than those old letters make it seem. And though her parents love and support her, Teddy’s perceptions of her family will have to change.

This ebook features an illustrated biography of Hilma Wolitzer, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received this book for review from the publisher via Netgalley.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I really wanted to like this one and thought it had great potential, but I just couldn't get into it. I don't know if it was because I wasn't the target audience or what, but I just really didn't connect with the story.

The characters were ones that I could easily connect with at the start, but then nothing seemed to happen. I felt like I was constantly waiting for something bigger or something more to happen. It just seemed like there should have been more. I know I'm not articulating this well, but something was missing. 

I did like the premise, however. The premise was this: a girl who's hurting over her mother and father's divorce, who's hurt and wishes her mom would try harder. A girl who believes her mom should move on, lose weight, and get her act together. Her dad got married to someone younger and prettier. To her it seems ludicrous to her that somebody could just fall out of love. 

That had great potential. I was expecting the character to undergo some kind of transformation or growth, but it was just too little a little too late. 

However, the actual writing was really good. I thought she did a great job at drawing me in with her words. The plot was just lacking in my opinion. It was a well-written story; it just couldn't combine all of the elements together to make a great read. 

Because of that I would give Hilma one more shot. I think she has what it takes to be a great writer; I just don't think she got there with this novel. I'll be curious to see if she writes anything else and if it was cheap I would check it out just to see if she could put it together. 

In Summary: Hilma's novel had great potential and on some level I did enjoy it; however, I felt like it could have been better developed. I wanted to like this one. I just felt like it fell flat. 

The Wrap-up: I felt like this novel had a lot of potential, but it just didn't execute. However, if you like books that are more middle grade in scope or books about dealing about divorce, you might like this one. And like I said the actual writing is beautiful.


Danica Page


  1. Great review, these novels are tough because they are coming of age, trails and acceptance.. usually there is some kind of growth ..bummer

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you liked my review and thanks for commenting. I really did want to like this one. And the novel did have elements of trials, acceptance, and coming of age themes, but it just seemed so blah to me.


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