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Love or Something Like It

3.31  ·  Rating Details ·  370 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
A clear-eyed, emotionally honest debut about a thirtysomething woman forced to redefine her entire world after her young marriage falters, Love or Something Like It proves we can grow up at any age.

When Lacey Brennan meets Toby, a sweet and talented comedian, she impulsively moves across the country to be with him in Los Angeles. Lacey is unsure of what she is looking for
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by Random House (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 01, 2009 Jaybirdg rated it it was amazing
OK - full disclosure here... the author, Deirdre Shaw, is my wife. Which may make it seem like I can't really write an objective review. So I'll tell you about when I read the book for the first time, and you can take away what you will...

This is Deirdre's first novel, which she was completing just as we met. When I read the novel for the first time I didn't know Deirdre too well, and was a little nervous to read it... what if I didn't like it and had to find some way to be polite and say nice t

Aug 17, 2009 Shannon rated it really liked it
I loved it! Initially I wasn't sure - Lacey and Toby were both pretty whiny characters - but as the novel progressed I saw that Lacey's whininess was the point. We were supposed to witness her growth and maturation. We were supposed to experience her pain, and to see ugliness and the unflattering light that disappointed hopes shine on us all. As I finished the book I found myself anticipating Dierdre Shaw's next novel.
Apr 12, 2009 Courtney rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Karen; Alison
Shelves: fiction, borrowed
I was nervous about this one after seeing that it takes place in Hollywood. I was afraid it was going to be a story about rich, stuck-up actors and actresses in the business. However, I was completely taken back by this fantastically written book. The characters were struggling writers and were trying to figure out in what direction their lives were going. This is a great first novel and I can't wait to read more from this author.
Marissa Kennerson
May 26, 2015 Marissa Kennerson rated it it was amazing
This book was so heartfelt and smart and deftly written. The main character is so vulnerable and smart. It's a great romp around LA with a character that grows and changes in truly believable ways. Read this book!
May 27, 2009 Corey rated it it was ok
This novel seemed to take a very long road to tell a very basic story. Often wrote in 1st person than switching to 3rd it was a bizarre read. One I finished but not one I'm very likely to pick up and read again.
Apr 21, 2009 ST rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Just as wonderful as I thought it would be. Disclaimer: this book evolved out of a short story featured at the New Short Fiction Series Emerging Voices Group Show '05 - its even more wonderful than its beautiful source.
KB Wayne
Nov 28, 2013 KB Wayne rated it really liked it
Reading this thoughtful, detailed story made me think "well here's the difference between a self-published author and one from a publishing house!" Not that I don't love many of the loving-hands-at-home books I've downloaded -- yes, yes, I do -- but in general they are just not as well-written, as well-constructed, as introspective, as mature as this fantastic novel.

Truthfully and embarrassingly, I put off reading this because I found the author's photo to be pretentious and self-aware, and I fe
Jan 16, 2012 Ann rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a nice, easy-to-read novel about a couple of formative years in a young woman's life. Lacey leaves NYC to be with her boyfriend Toby in Hollywood. Toby is nice, funny, loving, and the fact that he moves on the periphery of Hollywood's celebrity culture is a nice perk. Lacey herself, after a boring newspaper job, starts working as a writer's assistant on a sitcom. Then Toby loses his job. They get married anyway, but things start going downhill immediately, as Toby becomes passive and wit ...more
Mar 03, 2009 Kate rated it it was amazing
Deirdre Shaw is my dear friend. I want to say she's my friend because she is thoughtful, witty and the sharpest of observers. She is these things, but she is my friend because she is INSANELY talented. Years ago, the first time I met Deirdre, I heard her read one of her stories, and I said to myself, that woman is going to be famous, so go make her your friend, ding-dong. And now, low and behold here is that book, that book that is going to make you all know her name!

If you have ever loved some
Dec 17, 2016 Dawn rated it really liked it
This book was published in 2009 and has been on my TBR list since about then. I finally decided to go for it, and I'm glad I did! It is an extremely well-written story about the impact of deep-seated family issues and the challenges of a young marriage. The main character, 30-something Lacey Brennan, is newly transplanted in Los Angeles as a result of her new marriage. She begins a career as a writer in the television industry. The author, whom I understand to be a TV writer herself, delivers an ...more
Oct 09, 2008 Deirdre rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
"Raw, realistic...anyone who's ever had to deal with the death of a relationship (and isn't that pretty much everyone?) will appreciate Shaw's honest, vividly written take."
- People Magazine, 5/4/09, (3 1/2 out of 4 stars)

"A thoughtful, well-written story about a young woman prevailing over a difficult past...wryly funny, refreshingly honest...Shaw writes convincingly, with insight and wisdom."
- The Boston Globe, 4/12/09

"Piercingly insightful... Shaw's graceful prose and razor-sharp observation
May 25, 2009 Liz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who has loved someone they had to let go
Recommended to Liz by: people magazine
Lacey grows up in a rocky-split family. Her mother left at a young age, leaving their father to take care of lacey and her twin brother sam. Lacey decides to leave for a boarding school at 14 yrs old, and Sam decides he cant take it anymore and ventures out on his own. He gets caught up in skiing and drugs. The whole time Lacey feels she is at fault for leaving him behind.

Lacey ages and gets married to Toby. Their marriage doesnt even last one year. She feels she is once again is at fault. She h
Mary Kruft
May 23, 2009 Mary Kruft rated it liked it
I think it's hard to relate to the Hollywood part when I've only visited- but it was interesting to see the lifestyle of someone from the East Coast trying to find their way in such a different way of life. I really liked how the author brought the dysfunctional family together to help clear the air- how amazing it would be if every 30-something had the courage to do that. The world would be a much better, happier place!!! The couple Lacey & Toby befriended at the beginning, I believe that p ...more
Jun 07, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it
I had seen this book in the library under the new novel section and went on a waiting list to read it. I was not disappointed by the wait.

Shaw gives us an insightful look at a 30 something newlywed trying to redefine her life as both her personal and professional life take an unfairytale like turn. What you get is vivid detailing and a no so rosey view of young Hollywood which unfurls into a smart storyline which one cannot stop reading!

This real story of LA is a promising debut from Shaw. If
Jan 31, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it
Maybe I wasn't in a terribly discriminating mood, but I really liked this semi-coming-of-age story. I say "semi" because a woman in her 20s-30s is, for all intents and purposes, already Of Age. Lacey's journey from childhood (divorced parents, runaway scapegrace brother) to marriage (to a Peter Pan type) to living on her own and finally being ok with that resonated. Not because I've had similar experiences, but because the archetypes felt real - I understood her journey.

One major quibble: impact
Mar 03, 2009 Eileen rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written first novel by my talented sister-in-law [full disclosure:] that I would love whether or not I knew the author. She writes about her characters with wit and care during difficult transitions in their lives - particularly the life of her main character, Lacey Brennan. The novel explores hazy LA, dysmorphic Hollywood-types, scars leftover from childhood wounds, and the malaise of heartbreak and uncertainty without becoming melancholy. It's moving and honest and I laug ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it
Shaw's book was beautifully written and very heartfelt - it seemed like she took one of her characters' advice and wrote about subjects she knew well - the disintegration of a marriage, and difficult, but well-meaning families. Shaw is also clearly a short story writer - almost every chapter would work on its own. The book was a little slow to start - by not beginning at the "beginning" not eveything worked, but it grows on you quickly.
Apr 24, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
A random library find. The title seemed to remind me of something - a review from a friend? but seeing how new the book is (the binding is still stiff!) I realized it hadn't been.

Love or something like it is a good weekend read. I think what I'm left with is the feeling that the book is believable. The characters, the relationships, the situations, and the process. And to borrow a quote from the book, it's about coming forward, straight and true.
Jun 04, 2009 Aimee rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised at how well this story was told. After reading the synopsis, I was thinking it might just be another shallow chick lit book (which don't get me wrong--I do enjoy from time to time). Lacey, the main character is portrayed in a very real and touching way. Basically, the book is about a woman's short lived marriage and the aftermath as she picks herself up again while also doing it in a completely different place from where she had grown up.
Ellen McGinnis
Apr 30, 2009 Ellen McGinnis rated it it was amazing
I read this the day it was released: I was up all night with allergies and a cold. Thank goodness I had this book! This is not the typical pop novel you might assume from the cover. The author's voice is unique and compelling. I keep hearing Lacey in my head, weeks after I read it. I think I need to read it again, to discover more about her (with an unfogged head).
(Full disclosure, the author is my sister-in-law, but very talented, nonetheless!)
Definitely a book that falls into and appeals to a certain demographic - thirtysomethings who are reflecting on their lives and the choices they've made.

Starts off with an immature and rather annoying main character and ends with the same main character not only growing up but turning into someone you want to root for. Recommended for any thirtysomething woman who is at a crossroad in her life.
Jun 20, 2012 Lana rated it it was ok
"Love or Something Like It" is a story about a single woman, alone in a big city (L.A.), sort of searching for love, but really Lacey is just plain searching, and she's no Bridget Jones. At times, this novel's chapters read like independent short stories rather than parts of a cohesive whole. By the end, you'll feel like Lacey is one of your friends, and you'll be proud of what she's accomplished over the course of these 250 pages.
Jun 12, 2009 Nette rated it really liked it
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this, because it's about a pretty woman from a wealthy family who bounces between interesting jobs and hot boyfriends and is still sort of unhappy. Man, if she led my boring life she would have hung herself at 32. Snap out of it, girl! But it was so well written, and the characters were so believable, that I gulped it down in two days and wanted it to be longer.
Sep 30, 2009 Carrie rated it liked it
I really do "like it" for most books. There is generally something I like about each one that I finish. This character moves from NY to LA and works in Hollywood. It's a little dark about love & loss. Someone living in each of those areas would really appreciate it. I wouldn't recommend it really, but I was engaged enough to finish and interested enough to want to.
Mar 05, 2009 Katharine rated it it was amazing
With a wry wit and great insight, Deirdre Shaw completely captures what it means to be a 30 (something)woman trying to make a good life for herself. Pardon the cliche, but it really IS laugh-out-loud funny, and yet so spot on that I found great comfort (and relief) in the universality of the story. Great LA scenes too.
May 28, 2009 Leonard rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, deep, heartfelt story. Captures the feelings and emotions of the characters very well. It is an inspiring story of how when life throws limes at you, pick yourself up and make limeade. The book is a page-turner right up to the very end. Shaw has a great ability to weave together different storyline threads in a very compelling, readable way.
Jessica Mccubbin
Mar 31, 2014 Jessica Mccubbin rated it really liked it
Anyone who has been through a divorce will identify with Lacey, the main character in this book. I read several negative reviews by people who thought this book was a downer, or simply didn't get it. But as someone who has been through a divorce, I loved it; it is relieving to know I'm not the only one who has thought and felt the things Lacey does.
Aug 20, 2009 Dawn rated it liked it
Story is about a 30ish woman who followed her husband from NYC to LA for his career. Marriage ended after one year and she has to figure out who she is. She has commitment issues stemming from childhood when her mother left the family to marry someone else. Can she resolve those and find happiness?
Mar 02, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I'm not family nor am I a professional book reviewer, but my library was sent an advanced release copy of this book and it instantly caught my eye. The title is excellent. I wouldn't say it is one of my favorites, but it was really good. I loved the writing and will definitely read any forthcoming books by this author.
Apr 29, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it
This book just got better and better the further into I got. It's about Lacey who impulsively moves to L.A. with her boyfriend, but after they get married their relationship starts to fall apart. She can barely believe it when they get divorced and kindof goes into a tailspin in her own life. But, eventually she picks herself up and begins to re-create her life. A very well-done book!
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Deirdre Shaw's first novel is LOVE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT (Random House, April 2009). She grew up in New York and now lives with her husband and young son in Los Angeles, where she writes for television.
More about Deirdre Shaw...

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“... I could feel a nostalgia for the evening already setting in, a longing for the existence of this night building before my eyes.” 5 likes
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