Author: Jacqueline Levering Sullivan
Genre(s): Contemporary fiction; Romance
Review: Lovesick is such a lovely novel. It's whimsical, funloving, and smartly written. It begins with Jeanmarie and her best friend Terry. Together, they navigate their high school careers during the 1950s. Jacqueline describes the 1950s era fantastically with the local hotspot diner, milkshakes galore, and appropriate lingo. You will definitely feel like you took a blast to the past when reading this book. Jeanmarie is portrayed as the charismatic and charming best friend to the beautiful and popular it girl, Terry. They balance each other well within their friendship and I found myself reminiscing the days before social media when there was more genuine interpersonal contact. As the story unfolds, readers learn of Jeanmarie's lifelong crush on Chuck, who just happens to be her best friend's boyfriend. Terry and Chuck find their relationship in a precarious position as it appears they are both developing into different people than when they entered the relationship. Jeanmarie is essentially caught in the middle, providing support to her best friend as well as to Chuck. As I was witnessing the dynamic of Jeanmarie's situation, I found myself having a lot of empathy for her. Her character is easy to connect with and she reminded me a lot of myself and my friends from high school. On top of her friendships, Jeanmarie also maintains an interesting relationship with her sister Iris. Iris is the typical young woman who is searching for meaning and attempting to figure out what she stands for and what her values are. In the midst of her own journey, she is accused of being a Communist. Even though there was a complex interplay between all of the characters, Jacqueline maintained order with her writing and I never felt confused or lost within the story. There was excellent character growth from Jeanmarie. If you enjoy coming of age novels with a compelling cast of characters I highly recommend checking out this book!
Book Description: "I'm the best buddy, old best pal, faithful Jeanmarie. That means I keep my mitts off Chuck, even if he has had my heart since we were in fourth grade and he was the only one who didn’t laugh when I threw up my egg salad on rye during choir. It takes about all the willpower I can muster not to blurt out my undying love. I am destined to be one of those plain Janes whose friends are always prettier and richer and who know practically from birth you never ever wear white after Labor Day. It is 1953 and Jeanmarie Dowd is crazy about handsome Chuck Neary, captain of Rainier High School’s hockey team and boy wonder musician. But he belongs to Terry Miller, her best friend, the school’s reigning beauty. But Jeanmarie has a few things going for her, too. She is smart, fun loving, and energetic with a wicked sense of humor. She accepts her role as Chuck’s chief confident, knowing it that might lead to betraying her best friend. She also must deal with her sister Iris, suspected of being a Communist. Can she be loyal to both her sister and Terry without betraying those she loves most?"
I am a lover of the written word. This is my space to pursue my love of reading through book reviews and literary discussions with my fellow readers.