The Opposite of Love
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The Opposite of Love

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  2,541 ratings  ·  413 reviews
With perfect pitch for the humor and heartbreak of everyday life, debut author Julie Buxbaum has fashioned a heroine who will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has loved and lost and loved again.

When twenty-nine-year-old Manhattan attorney Emily Haxby ends her happy relationship just as her boyfriend is about to propose, she can’t explain to even her closest friends...more
Paperback, 303 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Dial Press Trade Paperback (first published January 1st 2008)
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Kelsey
Just finished reading this first novel and really wasn't that crazy about it. It's the story of a 29 year-old lawyer, Emily, struggling to find herself (fix her relationship, her job, her family).

Best part of the book: First line of chapter 1: "Last night, I dreamt that I chopped Andrew up into a hundred little pieces, like a Benihana chef, and ate them, one by one." Also, I liked the cold relationship she has with her father.

Worst parts of the book: The extensive use of cliches throughout the n...more
Allison
Nov 18, 2007 Allison rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes smart women's fiction
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of this book - due to hit stores in January 2008 - and I wasn't disappointed. An honest, believable portrayal of a 29-year old woman who is paralyzed by life and who has to find the nerves and strength within herself to literally move forward. Very touching, smart and well-written. I expect this will be a huge book come 2008.
Jenie
Jun 20, 2008 Jenie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I was leery of reading another voyage of self-discovery book after the self-involved garbage of Patti Callahan Henry's Between the Tides, but Buxbaum gets right every single thing Henry does not, with none of the missteps and narcissism. Her heroine, Em, is someone you could know and like in real life. She has flaws and quirks and the capacity to care for others, even when she is being bitchy. Which isn't that often. Here is a woman I felt actually modeled on real life, who breathes through pros...more
N.T.
Jun 22, 2008 N.T. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mothers, daughters, grandpa lovers, elderly, 30somethings, lawyers
This book really got me, brought me in -- where a title like that can rarely get my attention.

The characters, and main character Emily, were endearing, funny, their own voice, brought to life, and surrounded and engulfed Emily in a way that rang true.

There were many heart tearing moments, surprising me constantly, and a deep exploration at other moments that left me blushing or feeling as if it hit very close to home.

There has been a theme of leaving or losing on purpose (or forcefully) an unhe...more
Jill
Mar 14, 2008 Jill rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jill by: tommy
I'm not sure I've ever had this same experience where I'm reading a book and thinking, "how does this author know exactly what my life is like?" But the truth is, it doesn't matter that many of the details aren't exactly the same-- what matters is that Ms. Buxbaum captures so many universal feelings in a realistic, true and contemporary way. At first I thought, I have to make sure all my girlfriends from law school, the firm, and after read this; but truth be told, this is a great, engaging, hea...more
Sarah
Not my genre of choice, but it is a fine choice for a beach read/travel book...meaty chick lit. Very funny characters, and surprisingly realitstically writen. If I met the author, I can safely assume I won't see someone wearing pink and carrying around bridal magazines.
Michael Rusk
Put Down the Keyboard and Touch Somebody

Absolutely captivating description of the angst and redemption of a young professional person.


The book became a cherished companion and the character a friend to comfort and console. I wanted to read slowly, a chapter or two at a time, and then carry the words around with me until I could read again.


Each character is skillfully crafted, dialogue and situations are very realistic, and I found myself feeling the same tension and nervousness as Emily. I looke

...more
Angeld01
I randomly picked this up at the library and it was so good. Some of the themes were definitely covered territory.

A successful lawyer uncertain of her relationship, her career and her sense of family. But I really enjoyed Buxbaum's writing. She was gentle and compassionate in her story of Emily.

Of course too, I really enjoyed Emily's relationship with Grandpa Jack. It was really special and caused other supportive relationships in her life, such as the one with Ruth.

I look forward to the career...more
Carol
This is a debut novel that got a lot of attention in review journals, etc so I have had in on my TBR list for a long time. I wasn’t disappointed. Emily is a 29-year old lawyer frustrated with her job as a litigation attorney. Her relationship with her father is strained, her beloved grandfather is ill and she has just broken up with the perfect boyfriend. Emily’s comments often made me smile and I even had a few tears during reading this book. Definitely a step above the chick lit/single women's...more
M
Proving yet again that you can choose a book by its cover, I was drawn to this as it had a great photo of the Flatiron building on the cover (a much underrated building, in my opinion.).

I was expecting chick-lit, but instead found a dark, grief-riddled story which really resonated with me. Like Emily, I lost my mother to cancer and some of Emily's observations were profound, and brought tears to my eyes.

Talking about her mother's funeral:
"It seems odd to me now, but I remember instead of focusin...more
Julie
I thought this was an amazing debut novel. Lots of interesting, complex characters and relationships. At the beginning of the book, Emily makes a rash decision that she later realizes was terribly wrong, but she can't quickly make it right again - with the help of some good friends, relatives and therapy she learns to grow and make positive changes in all parts of her life. A great example of more serious chick lit that's touching and humorous at the same time.
Rachael
I kept waiting for something to happen-- and yet, nothing. The prologue was bland and didn't tie into the rest of the story, and I think the main character wasn't likeable and quite boring. When things got bad, she drank too much (often) and also relied on the wisdom of the very old a little too often to be believable.
Karen
Dec 25, 2007 Karen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: llovers of women's fiction
I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me a little of Lolly Winston or Sarah Dunn, but with its own distinct voice. I like books that are funny (without being too biting) and wise, and this one fit the bill.

There is has been a lot pre-pub buzz surrounding this novel and it definitely lives up to expectations.
Sarah
It's the end of the school year and it's time for me to start frequenting the awesome Casey Public Library again! And I mean that. They do a wonderful job of weeding the old titles in their small space, and I love the selection of audiobooks. Just right to entertain me in my vehicle during the summer![return][return]This adult novel intrigued me by the cover, but it almost needs a more chick lit-ish one. Emily Haxby is a power attorney, dealing with a boss who sexually harasses her, an important...more
Lindsay
I love smart chick lit books. They are the ones that don't scream chick lit, but really they still are. The cover isn't pink and girlie, and the main character actually has a brain and doesn't need to rely on a guy or endless shopping to make her happy. This is one of those books. Even though it is about love and realizing that you had the right person when you no longer had them.


Emily breaks up with her boyfriend Andrew when she gets the feeling that he's going to ask her to marry him. Andrew...more
Leah
When Emily Haxby suddenly dumps her boyfriend of two years Andrew, just as he’s about to propose, she can’t explain why to anybody, not even to Andrew or her close friends, not really. Once Emily realises her mistake, though, it’s too late and her life soon begins falling apart. She’s fed up of working for a lecherous boss, particularly when he assigns her to a case she doesn’t feel right defending. Then the biggest blow of all comes, her Grandpa Jack, the man she adores most in the world, appea...more
Elii Vela
¡Pañuelos desechables por favor!

He llorado como no se imaginan con esta novela, sufrí con Emily, con Andrew, me divertí con Jack, en fin…

Emily es abogada y odia a su jefe (yo lo odiaría también), es hija única, huérfana de madre, con su papá no tiene una comunicación muy buena que digamos. La persona a la que más quiere es a su abuelo Jack, que por si fuera poco, está muriéndose…

Un día, Emily se da cuenta que no puede seguir adelante con la relación que lleva con Andrew, su novio. Aunque ambos s...more
Amanda
I picked up The Opposite of Love after first reading and enjoying Julie Buxbaum’s sophomore novel After You.

I try not to compare novels when I read them but I am in awe of Buxbaum’s ability to write about death and self-doubt while still keeping things relatively light and enjoyable; it’s sort of like the teacher whose class is so fun you don’t realize you are learning.

I found myself longing to have coffee with Emily and trade stories about our parental misadventures. The similarities in our fam...more
Drew
Emily Haxby is lost. She breaks up with her boyfriend of two years because she thinks he is going to propose (she's right, he was about to). Her job at a prestigious law firm is far less than satisfying, especially after one of the partners makes unwanted sexual advances. Her mother died when she was fourteen and she's never had an open relationship with her father (lying to each other about life is just what they do). The one person in life who has always been there for Emily is her Grandpa Jac...more
Annabelle
Feb 17, 2008 Annabelle rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Marion Keys and Shannon Olson
After raising my testosterone levels with Five Skies, I craved something more girly. This has been billed as "smart chick-lit," actually a pretty accurate description. While the framework is stale--a 29-year-old New York lawyer who just dumped her boyfriend and hates her job has a quarter-life crisis--I thought the writing had surprising depth. The main character is haunted by her mother's death, struggles with her grandfather's illness and is believably conflicted about her relationship with he...more
Paul
i liked this book. didn't love it. there is some fine writing along the way and the first sentence is killer, as they say. but i found the plot less than compelling. the book flips the modern chick lit book on its head and for that, it's to be commended. instead of a nyc woman trying to get it all -- the guy, the career, the apartment -- the protagonist here (emily) has it all and throws it away in a fit of ennui. well, okay, she does not ditch the apartment -- she's not completely crazy. there...more
Ginny Marie
I've read a lot of books written by graduates of law school, and they all seem to be good authors. Why is that? Is it because they have to write thousands of pages for research, motions, briefs, and all those other lawyer documents? Or is it because they have a feel for good dialogue due to taking depositions? Whatever it is, this book was very enjoyable. My favorite line from the book is in a description of Emily's pregnancy: "now that I got to play my part as a Russian nested doll," reminding...more
jjStaq!
apparently the opposite of love is neither hate nor indifference. rather, it's a hollowness; the inability to allow oneself to feel.

the main character of the opposite of love, emily haxby (love that name, btw), suffers through a particularly taxing time in her life fraught with personal and professional upheaval. although initially debilitating, the overall effect of these travails is one of catharsis as they force emily to examine her actions, choices and motivations. she realizes her difficul...more
Johari
I like books about 29 year olds who get it wrong and don't know themselves as well as they think they do. ( Hmmm...maybe I identify.) I would recommend this one.
Erin
Ugh, why do contemporary writers feel that to be contemporary you must use the 'f' word anywhere it fits and most places it doesn't.
Karen
How could I not read this book? The author and I went to the same school as undergrads, then we both went to law school, and she places her main character in NYC as a 5th year associate at a large law firm. Buxbaum did a beautiful job at capturing the feeling of working at such a firm - the camaraderie between certain associates; the dread of working with certain partners, and the mind-numbing hours.



I also loved her writing style. Her use of language was lovely, and I found myself re-reading so...more
Beth
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Roberta
Non è solo una storia d'amore, ma la storia della vita di Emily, giovane avvocatessa di New York che decide di lasciare il suo ragazzo Andrew dopo due anni insieme, perchè lui stava per chiederle di sposarlo. Dopo questa decisione Emily viene coinvolta in un grosso caso nello studio per cui lavora, un caso che la fa pensare alle sue priorità, ai suoi obiettivi nella vita e anche alla sua moralità. Fra i tentativi di riavvicinarsi a Andrew e i tentativi di sopravvivere alla mentalità da predatori...more
B. Hale
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Pam Rivera
What is the opposite of love? Is it hate? Is it apathy? Is it indifference? Emily Haxby, a 29 year old attorney, has spent much of her life pondering that question. Her mother died when she was 14, reminding her that love doesn't last forever. Add to that a distant father and her beloved Grandpa Jack's descent into Alzheimer's, it's no wonder she struggles with this question. What no one can comprehend, however, is why Emily ends her happy relationship with Andrew just as he is about to propose?...more
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South Jersey Book...: good book 1 16 Oct 06, 2011 07:53AM  
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Please check out my two novels, THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE and AFTER YOU, both now out in paperback.

Please check out my website www.juliebuxbaum.com for more information about both books.

Or to follow my recent shenanigans, please check out my blog, JULIE HAS WRITER'S BLOG, at www.juliebuxbaum.com/blog/

One of my favorite things about being a novelist is the opportunity to talk to reading groups. If you...more
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After You

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“I miss the way he used to kiss my shoulder whenever it was bare and he was nearby. I miss how he cleared his throat before he took a sip of water and scratched his left arm with his right hand when he was nervous. I miss how he tucked my hair behind my ear when it came loose and took my temperature when I was sick or when he was bored. I miss his glasses on my nightstand. I miss watching him take Sunday afternoon naps on my couch, with the newspaper resting on his stomach like a blanket. How his hands stayed clasped, fingers intertwined, while he slept. I miss the cadence of his speech and the stupidity of his puns. I miss playing doctor when we made love, and even when we didn't. I miss his smell, like fresh laundry and honey (because of his shampoo) at his place. Fresh laundry and coconut (because of my shampoo) at mine. I miss that he used to force me to listen to French rap and would sing along in a horrible accent. I miss that he always said "I love you" when he hung up the phone with his sister, never shy or embarassed, regardless of who else was around. I miss that his ideal Friday night included a DVD, eating Chinese food right out of the carton, and cuddling on top of my duvet cover. I miss that he reread books from his childhood and then from mine. I miss that he was the only man that I have ever farted on, and with, freely. I miss that he understood that the holidays were hard for me and that he wanted me to never feel lonely.” 167 likes
“I don't even want to spend the rest of my life with me.. how do you explain to someone you love that you can't give yourself to them because if you did, you're not sure who you'd be giving? That you aren't sure what your own words are worth? You can't tell someone that, especially someone you love. And so you don't.

Instead, I do the right thing. I lie.”
45 likes
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