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Love Will Tear Us Apart: A Novel

2.85 of 5 stars 2.85  ·  rating details  ·  222 ratings  ·  42 reviews
A bittersweet, darkly comic novel from a lyrical new voice, Love Will Tear Us Apart tells the story of six childhood friends reunited at a wedding where secrets are revealed, hearts are broken, and new meaning is given to the phrase “You can’t go home again.”

High school sweethearts Lea and Dan are getting married–and no one’s surprised. After all, they’re both perfect–so p...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Dec 17, 2009 Brittany rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People born between 1975 and 1985
How I Came To Read This Book: I spotted it at the library and decided to give it a whirl.

The Plot: It’s high school sweethearts Lea and Danny’s wedding day, and they’ve gathered all their family, neighbours, and former friends – including four of their formerly nearest and dearest school pals. The story encompasses snippets of the wedding (including a few ugly showdowns) that trigger flashbacks in the four friends lives to their interactions with each other, and the happy couple, going as far ba...more
79 pages in and I cannot stand to read another sentence about these messed-up, self-centered, high-ons and waste-oids--maybe when I was 21 and screwing up in college I would have loved this book...who knows.

79 pages in I still don't know much about Lea, the one getting married, and so it's hard to say whether I feel bad for her because she has a bunch of suck-ass friends or that maybe she is just like them and deserved friends like them.

As for the music. Ahhh, I'm not getting it. The back copy o...more
The title caught my attention, the chapter headings sold me, I went in with low expectations... and I ended up loving every word! Hilarious and heartbreaking, this one kind of hit home. Maybe it's just that I grew up during the same era as the characters, maybe it's that I too was part of a Gifted & Talented program, fourth grade through twelfth, and had many very similar experiences. Even if the characters aren't good people, I feel like they are all old friends from back-in-the-day. A litt...more
nice quick read. nothing that special, but did have some truths/characters that reminded my of my own life. :) oh, and the chapters were song titles & some of them were actually really good songs! hahaha
Garrett Zecker
For some reason I expected a great deal more from this book. I had read a review of it somewhere that it was a modern, Hornbyesque approach to applying a story to the songs and lyrics of my generation. What I seemed to get, however, was a rather bland and self-indulgent narrative whose main characters seem to just name drop a great deal of the pop culture references within, and I suppose the thing that made me a little disappointed in it was the approach. I recently read Ready Player One, and th...more
Ashley Churbock
Technically, I would give this book about a 2.5 if I could. There were parts/chapters of this book I really enjoyed and others I did not. The first 50 or so pages were not so good but by the middle of the book, I started to get into the characters more. I think the way Sarah Rainone ties music (great music) in with the development of the characters is interesting and unique. I did not like how every character is pessimistic, unmotivated, and generally an awful person. It's kind of a "whoa is me"...more
It’s a good read filled with shocking revalations and good one liners but it didn’t win me over completely which is not the fault of the author who is good.

I applaud the inventiveness of the book revolving around a wedding of two characters who never really speak for themselves but through the testimonials of the other characters. Describes there love story and there wedding while the same various characters reveal a lot about themselves and how there past may have shaped them to how and who th...more
It’s a good read filled with shocking revalations and good one liners but it didn’t win me over completely which is not the fault of the author who is good.

I applaud the inventiveness of the book revolving around a wedding of two characters who never really speak for themselves but through the testimonials of the other characters. Describes there love story and there wedding while the same various characters reveal a lot about themselves and how there past may have shaped them to how and who th...more
Ethan Cramer-Flood
I'm giving this book a four instead of a three because I know Sarah and I like her, so she's getting the nepotism boost. Also I suspect that for people who like this genre it may genuinely be a four star novel. The kind of story Sarah recounts in Love Will Tear Us Apart is not my cup of tea, but my gf read it and loved it, and I can concede that it has legit entertainment value. Sarah's got a real talent for crisp zingers, and she infuses her female characters with impressive depth and truth. He...more
Admittedly, I initially picked up this book solely for the title, as I have a soft spot in my heart for the Joy Division song of the same name. The cover blurb compared this work to Bret Easton Ellis and Nick Hornby. Uh, no. (And not being a fan of Hornby's, we can count ourselves lucky there!) There's a similar bleakness to Ellis. Similar drug use. However, this book has a semblance of a plot (she's got you there, Bret!). It's a fun read, particularly if you grew up, as I did, listening to the...more
i really enjoyed this novel... written by a friend of a friend...

this is an excellent "coming-of-age"-type story plus there's the great idea of making the novel a "mix tape" of sorts with each chapter representing a different song from the 90s... the characters are fairly well conceived and most of them plenty multi-dimensional... the writing is quite good, too. the only thing that detracted, in my opinion, was her dispensation with the convention of quotation marks... she begins all dialogue wi...more
I loved how this book was set up. Like a playlist, like making a mixed tape for a friend. Utterly unique. It beautifully captures generation X ( hee ) a great find and a great read.
I read Sarah Rainone's Love Will Tear Us Apart. I mean, how could I not after it was described as a cross between Nick Hornby and Brett Easton Ellis? And that's exactly what it was, minus Hornby's music literacy and Ellis' moderate depravity (not including the completely depraved Glamorama and American Psycho). In my mind, the best music-driven book ever written is Hornby's High Fidelity. This is no High Fidelity. Love Will Tear Us Apart is a decent book - at no point did I consider putting it d...more
with chapters titled by stand out 80's songs, I secretly had high hopes. but, damn, I couldn't stand these people and, although told from different characters' perspectives in a group of party friends who've grown apart since high school, they all sounded like the same a**hole that always drank one too many beers and intrusively hit on everyone who walked or told stupid braying jokes that they later forgot. sigh. I guess the author did a great job at creating this character and there were defini...more
A tale of sex, drugs, depravity, music, and young adults who refuse to grow up. It was a passable imitation of vintage Irvine Welsh, but nothing special.
This book was pretty cool. The story is about 6 friends that met in a 4th grade gifted class and were basically set apart from the rest of their classmates because of their IQs. They come together years later for a wedding where 2 of them get married. The story is told from the other 4s points of view. Each chapter is a title of song from their youth (80s/90s songs) and how the song was a big part of certain points in their lives. It was pretty cool and a quick read.
This story was dumb. I'm actually not sure why I kept reading it. The characters are amazingly selfish or self-centered. There are a lot of music references but it doesn't really add to the plot all that much. It mostly seems like a gimmick (and it doesn't really work). There is also rampant drug use (perhaps why all of the characters are so screwed up?) and some pretty strong language. I can't think of anyone I know who I would recommend this book to.
I think people ages 30-38 will enjoy this book more than I did, but still I thought it was a good read with well-developed characters, given the brief opportunity we have to meet each one. The story centers around the wedding of two people in a group of friends who knew each other from a gifted program in school, but now they've all SORT of come of age and have gone their own ways, but the wedding brings them together again, for a day anyway.
Terrible, self important, not interesting, faux-deep. Of course, I didn't manage to finish it, either, but I generally give books about music and popular culture obsessions extra love and attention and a generous grading curve. Too many cookie-cutter characters, too much fake drah-mah. Maybe it gets better, but halfway in, I didn't care and wanted them all to just go away and stop liking the same stuff I liked.
This is such a good book!!! For most people, this may be a regular book, but for some people like me, it's like wearing X-ray glasses and seeing a whole different world, where people just hang out and talk, and not just play basketball all day or work at the library all day like I do. It also kind of reminds of "Never Let Me Go" by Ishiguro with all the focus on miniature changes in emotions.
I was initially intrigued by the writing style, with each chapter being told through one of the characters' thought process. However the characters weren't defined enough to make the system work. I found myself often having to look back to see what the character had done in past chapters. Relatively quick and interesting read, but found myself disappointed at the end.
A story of 7 Rhode Island people brought back together for a wedding. Their friendship from grade school is told from the point of view of 4 of them. Unfortunately these "gifted" children grew up to be a bunch of losers. A lot of drugs, some sex, and a little bit of rock & roll. I thought this book had a cool title, unfortunately the book was not as cool.
Dani O.
One review I read of this book hit the nail on the's Nick Hornsby-esque. The story is from the POV of four different wedding guests and how one wedding brings them back to their formative years. In the end, things are explained but there is no real real conflict is even presented.
More like a series of vignettes than a fully crafted story, but some of those vignettes read very well. Some in particular reminded me a lot of Rachel Vail and Bret Easton Ellis. It's sort of a young adult book for an older audience.
I picked this up because it caught my eye at the library, but the writing style and the characters just weren't for me. Usually I don't stop reading a book until it's finished, but I had to give up on this one after about fifty pages.
Kathy V
It was interesting having this story told by four different characters. The ways that they are all connected is this deep tangled mess but I totally understood it. I really enjoyed how much music played a big role in this book.
Loved all the musical references throughout the book, especially the title, but...geez...holy depressing flashback to high school, Batman. P.S. Lots of language, so brace yourself if that sort of thing bugs you.
Each chapter is narrated by 1 of four or five characters - all gathered for their 'perfect couple' friends' wedding. I liked the bouncing around, and the characters are all more interesting and more depressing than me.
Perhaps a writer's excerise in "what's the worst book I can write, and could it double as a screenplay?."

Only suffered it through 170 pages because I fatally selected it for the bus ride to New York.
Crap, crap, crappity crap!! I got to page 21 before the pot and shroom references became too much, can't imagine it getting any better and my "to read" shelf is chock full! I don't care if she is from RI!
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This was exactly like my high school! 1 14 May 04, 2009 10:09PM  
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Love Will Tear Us Apart: A Novel Love Will Tear Us Apart

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