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Love Story (Love Story #1)

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  41,898 Ratings  ·  2,047 Reviews
Lose your heart to the novel that defined a generation then...and now.

He is Oliver Barrett IV, a rich jock from a stuffy WASP family on his way to a Harvard degree and a career in law. She is Jenny Cavilleri, a wisecracking, working-class beauty studying music at Radcliffe. Opposites in nearly every way, Oliver and Jenny immediately attract, sharing a love that defies ever
Published (first published 1969)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 15, 2012 Nataliya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To hopeless romantics that we all are deep down inside

"Love means never having to say you're sorry" is probably among some of the most ridiculous statements ever.

Luckily it's a rare blemish on a simple but beautiful story. Plus it's cheesy, corny, and insanely quotable, so I'll have to give it a pass on that.

A girl and a boy meet and fall in love. Jenny is a poor artistic sorta-Catholic Radcliffe-educated Italian-American brainiac with a razor-sharp tongue. Oliver is a rich WASPy Harvard "Preppy" jock with a slew of Daddy issues and a R
Oct 02, 2008 Greg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read Love Story because I didn't want to see the movie, but I wanted to know what everyone was talking about. While it was an affecting and sentimental little story, even at that young age I felt that it was trying too hard to tug on my heartstrings. It seemed, somehow, too juvenile, even to my then very juvenile mind. In later years, I came to realize that the movie's oft quoted line, "Love means never having to say you're sorry" is a complete falsehood. In fact, love means always being willi ...more
May 30, 2012 TK421 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family-epic
I appreciate a good love story. No, don’t give me THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY—that book was crap. Give me a story where the characters are more aligned with Holden Caulfield or Pookie from Nichol’s THE STERILE CUCKOO. I want smart-assy and witty banter. I want characters that play by their own rules or make them up as they go along. I want the possibility of real life. Enter Erich Segal and LOVE STORY. Published in 1970, this short—133 page—novel is relatively obscure today. That’s a shame. Se ...more
Apr 12, 2012 Nikita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, novel
I laughed. I cried (and believe me. i cried a lot!). I fell in love. I learned. I simply love the book. It was indeed beautifully written and it reached out into the depths of my soul. My heart just poured out as I read the last few pages of the book. Such a tiny book to stir such great emotions in me.

It's a very simple story.A boy meets a girl,they fall in love,but instead of happily ever after, there's a sad ending. But it was the emotions in the book which made it worth reading.

The story is beautiful, funny,emotional,and a bit sad.

As much as I loved the story,it was very simple,and I am giving it 4 stars only because it was very touching,and also because this book was capable of making me read it when it has already told the ending on the very first page. It was a great short read!
Aug 24, 2010 Nan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Shallow, contrived pseudo-tearjerker. I read this many years ago when it came out, and even though I was much younger and not as wise and mature as I am now, I realized how meaningless was the by-word of the book, "Love means not having to say you're sorry." Love actually means being constantly ready to ask for, give, and receive forgiveness.
Sep 25, 2012 Mia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought Erich Segal's "Love Story" would be great. I really did, considering all the hype that has lasted for decades. But...

There was no chemistry at all between Oliver and Jenny--The Couple. The only thing they have in common is they like to swear a lot--which got too old too soon in the book. I mean, Oliver had way more chemistry with Phil, his wife's dad, than with his own wife.

Neither characters were likable or relatable. We don't get to know them at all. All we know is that Oliver is a r
Lisa Vegan
Sep 21, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hopeless romantics?
Shelves: fiction, reviewed, novel
Read this in high school and even though love reading/loved reading stories about dying young, really didn't think much of this. Yes, I admit I was interested in Jenny & Oliver and their love story. But: when people have leukemia or whatever it was she was supposed to have had, they physically suffer a lot more. Thought the way her illness was described was so unrealistic and dishonest. And love does not mean never having to say you’re sorry; I always thought that iconic saying from the book ...more
Apr 01, 2009 Gagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 14, 2015 Bonnie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bonnie by: Beverly J.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Source: Library Checkout

*I plan to discuss parts of this book in detail so spoilers!*

Oliver Barett IV is a rich jock from a well-to-do family. Jenny Cavilleri is a poor, wise ass sorta chick. This is definitely a case of opposites attract with a touch of Romeo and Juliet syndrome; they were destined to fail from the beginning. But they meet; they fall in love, etc. etc. And as the summary so eloquently puts it: “…sharing a love that defies everything yet will end too soon.
Vani Vani
Jul 20, 2016 Vani Vani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oliver Barrett is the scion of the Barrett family and Jennifer a 'social zero'. Theirs is not an ordinary love story. This romance keeps the reader glued till the end, or rather an unpleasant end. The narrative is strong, effortless and edgy. No wonder it became a bestseller of its time and continues to spawn movie and TV adaptations. I can remember so many movies that have the same plot and yet, none has come close to evoking those same feelings as the book. I was literally moved to tears by th ...more
Apr 23, 2008 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romantics
Shelves: romance-love
I found this book in our cabin up on Monhegan Island in Maine. I'm the biggest baby when it comes to romance. We were sitting there playing Scrabble (there's no tv) and listening to Delilah on the radio. I was already almost finished with this book, so I read it between my turns. I just started flat out bawling at the table in front of everyone as I finished. It's such a quick read, but man does this book pack an emotional punch. The characters really come to life. Although their basic descripti ...more
This was a fun, refreshingly charming, quick read. That is, until it reached in, ripped my heart out and crushed it into smush. I adored the book, I adored the characters and their flaws, I adored the relationship between Oliver and Jenny.

Highly recommended, please go read it if you haven't already. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go cry into a pillow.
Feb 17, 2015 Rossy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit I cried at the end.
And I'm sorry but love DOES mean having to say you're sorry.
May 03, 2013 Marvin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my worst enemy
Recommended to Marvin by: My first wife who also recommended Atlas Shrugged.
If 70's writers were teen celebrities, Erich Segal would have been Bobby Sherman or, to use a more contemporary analogy, Justin Beiber. But there is no analogy or scale on earth that would describe how bad this novel is. After reading Love Story in the 70s, I had to go to the bathroom to purge myself. A regular diet of this crap would cause literary bulimia. The movie didn't fare any better having caused me to endure a lifetime hatred of both Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal. You have been warned. If ...more
Sep 14, 2014 Anastasia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2011
Ieri mi è tornato in mente questo libretto di Segal, e ho pensato.."ma perché non recensirlo?".

Okay, l'ho letto nel Febbraio del 2011. Sono un'adolescente, non mi dispiacciono le storie d'amore. Non sono un sasso, se il libro è scritto bene sono capace di commuovermi. questa è proprio una cavolata.

(view spoiler)
Sep 07, 2016 Carmine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Amore significa non dover dire mai "mi dispiace"

Ma nessuno ha mai riflettuto sul messaggio distorto che veicola la frase cult di questa indimenticabile opera?
In ogni caso, "Love story" è quel classico libro capace di far leva sul senso di empatia generazionale grazie ai soliti, triti e ritriti, luoghi comuni ereditati dalla celeberrima opera di Shakespeare.
Intrattenimento fine a sè stesso, ma comprendo le lacrime a fiumi versate negli anni '70.

Oct 28, 2014 Neha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit, romance
I am the kind of person who has never read 'MBs' . yes.. the. 'Mills & Boons' mania. Infact by the age I realised what they are and how essential they were in the growing years of a girl's life, I never even felt like reading them. So you can imagine how I feel about love stories, the candy floss romance, boy meets girl & they start dating & before they knwo they fall in love and then the problems start. So here I have summarised 99% of the love stories written - sometimes the only d ...more
May 06, 2016 orsodimondo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Erich Segal è morto da pochi giorni e mi sono ricordato che anch'io sono uno fra i tanti che ha letto questo libro.

Rimosso per vergogna?

Ma sicuramente, rimosso perché non è più presente fisicamente nella mia libreria: l'ho perso nel corso del tempo e non me ne sono mai accorto.
Secondo me vuol dire qualcosa, giustifica questa singola stella.

Se si aggiunge poi il fatto che dopo aver letto il libro non ho mai avuto voglia di vedere il film, la singola ste
Sep 18, 2015 Plch rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sumando Libros
Oct 16, 2011 Sumando Libros rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Ok, lo confieso: Soy una prejuiciosa...

Hace unos días unos amigos... conocedores de que ni los chocolates ni helados pueden conmigo mas que los libros... me regalaron un libro!!!... imaginarán, me brillaban los ojitos---> ... aún así y porque, que lo sepan; una Yess malvada habita dentro de mí, esta so bruja me decía: jooo que es que no pudieron comprarte un libro con un tiutlo menos rosa? un poquito mas gordo?? y algo mas actual???

Ladies and Gentlemen... que bruja ha sido mi Yess ma
Apr 23, 2014 Ishan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. The Beatles. And me.

Segal starts off by letting us know the end, but still when the end came, it stirred me deeply.
The narration is fresh and sets apart from the other stereotypical love stories.
Although i found the line on the cover page "Love means never having to say you are sorry" ,kind of a cliché. But apart from that i enjoyed every bit of it and it was worth
Sandra Bašić
Dec 25, 2015 Sandra Bašić rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Koliko god puta pročitala ovu knjigu, doživljaj je uvijek isti. Toplina i ljubav, prožeti sjetom, uz najljepši citat: "Voljeti ne znači vječito ponavljati da ti je žao."
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a great movie & a better book. Definitely a tear jerker. The love illustrated is the finest kind, Shakesperian in its depth & tragedy. A wonderful stand alone, but the sequel, Oliver's Story is almost as good. Both are a must read - once. I doubt you'll forget them after one read & they're too heart wrenching to re-read.
Terri Wino
A quick read that's a simple story about two people in love. Sure it was a bit saccharin, but I wasn't expecting Shakespeare, so I enjoyed it. Sweet and sad.
Now I must watch the movie.

(2016 reading challenge category: a book that was published the year you were born)
Inés Izal
Mar 30, 2015 Inés Izal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
"Amar significa no tener que decir nunca lo siento"

Pues a mí me dejó un poco fría, vale que la historia de amor es preciosa, pero noté falta de profundidad.
Jul 24, 2016 Anshu rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, chick-lit
A boy and a girl meet. They fall in love. The girl dies. And we have one of the best romances of all time. SERIOUSLY?! I may as well give it no stars as far as the plot is concerned.
I started it today, I finished it today and I can't decide whether it's a good thing or otherwise. Writing a short novel is fine but why do i feel like I missed the part where I was supposed to feel the love seeping through the pages (?) There's no chemistry between the couple at all.
The characters are not really li
Oct 22, 2015 Weng rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“I was afraid of being rejected, yes. I was also afraid of being accepted for the wrong reasons.”

Love Story is a lovely and timeless romance novel. A rich-boy-meets-poor-girl tale, not one you haven't heard before, but it has a certain charm that's undeniable.

It began that fateful day when Harvard senior Oliver Barrett IV, just minding his own life, crossed paths with a 'bespectacled mouse type' Radcliffe student, Jennifer Cavilleri, who's just minding hers. Appearances do deceive, as h
May 21, 2015 Verónica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelf
Releído en el mes de mayo.
Este libro le he cambiado mi nota drasticamente, antes tenia 4 estrellitas y ahora 2.
No es que no me haya gustado, es que el libro es tan corto y el autor quiere contar una historia a la que le faltan páginas, ¿entonces que queda? Un libro corto en el que las cosas pasan sin ton ni son.
¿De que trata?
Oliver es un chico de una familia muy prestigiosa y él estudia en una universidad de paga, pero le gusta ir a estudiar a otra universidad y allí es donde trabaja Jenni. Es u
Re-read April 11, 2015

I loved this novel when I was growing up. Now as an adult, I can detect some of its flaws. I wasn't around during the 60's (the time period in which this novel was set), but surely there had to have been some "code of medical ethics." (view spoiler)
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Other Books in the Series

Love Story (2 books)
  • Oliver's Story (Love Story, #2)

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“Love means never having to say you're sorry.” 422 likes
“What the hell makes you so smart?" I asked. "I wouldn't go for coffee with you, " she answered. "Listen -- I wouldn't ask you." "That, "she replied "is what makes you stupid.” 226 likes
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