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Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. By Adelle Waldman

*Psst* Click the picture to find a copy

The amount of time I have had to read lately has been extremely limited. But while I was in New York last month I made a trip to Strand (check out everything I got here) and The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. was on the bestsellers table with a great price! I've heard about this book quite a bit and it's a national bestseller, so I decided to go for it.

It's a thin book, but it's packed with a lot more story than you would think! The first thing I noticed was how intelligent the author must be. The characters are without exception extremely complex and intellectual (almost all of them are aspiring writers living in Brooklyn). The whole story follows the dating patterns of the main character, Nate. To be completely honest I kind of hated him, but the insights into the male mind (as written by a female author) were really intriguing. Waldman does a great job at picking on both sexes – no one is safe in this book. She did a great job picking out things women in relationships do that drive me crazy, like sending angry emails post-breakup. But then on the flip side she really digs in on how terribly Nate treats his girlfriend, whether it's getting annoyed with her for wanting to cook him breakfast, or fixating on her under-arm jiggle.

Overall, my dislike for Nate won out. He seemed like one of those people you encounter in college who knows he's intelligent, and won't let you forget it. He was self-loathing and conceited, and I didn't always follow his thought process and got frustrated with his bad decisions. However, I think that was a main reason why Waldman wrote from Nate's perspective. It was an extremely effective way to show the disconnect between the way men and women view relationships, solve problems and deal with heartbreak and rejection. 

I must say that I really liked Aurit, Nate's friend. She seemed to be the wise character who kept the book grounded with her reason. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book; the writing was very well done and intelligent. Fluffy is definitely not a word you can use to describe this book. I don't often read books with male main characters, but I am really glad I bought this one. It examines relationships in a very different way, which was refreshing. I was happy that there wasn't really a "happily ever after". It's more realistic, and a nice change to the formulaic Hollywood romance. 

Love you lots, 

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