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Modern Lovers

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  40,915 ratings  ·  3,389 reviews
From the New York Times‒bestselling author of The Vacationers, a smart, highly entertaining novel about a tight-knit group of friends from college—their own kids now going to college—and what it means to finally grow up well after adulthood has set in.

Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and star
Hardcover, 353 pages
Published May 31st 2016 by Riverhead Books
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Heather You are not the only one. The timeline drove me to distraction-literally. I was constantly stopping to do age math.
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Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  40,915 ratings  ·  3,389 reviews

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Jessica Jeffers
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I really like writing book reviews, and I’d like to think I’m not so bad at it. But I think I struggle the most with reviews of three-star books. That’s because they tend to be very average books that leave me with very little emotion one way or another. I’m not so excited about them that I have to tell everyone to read them right now, but they didn’t piss me off enough that I have anything to rant about. And that’s exactly how I feel about Modern Lovers. It just didn't leave an impression with ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hate-read
Wow was this terrible! Why did I think Emma Straub was an amazing writer all this time? I think I was fooled by her classy author photo, she looks fantastic.

These people drove me fucking crazy. They are the most annoying caricatures of Oberlin students you could possibly imagine. And I don't care if that was Straub's intent, it literally pained me to think I was respecting them by giving them my attention. Their problems were so boring and were tied up so neatly. (I actually cannot decide who ha
Dan Damaska
Hipster mid-life crisis and teen love, not exactly riveting material. Some funny moments, but mostly one great big white people problems blog post.
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novel examines the nature of friendship, relationships, sex and love, as they affect two families living in Brooklyn, New York. Elizabeth, Andrew, Zoe and Lydia met in college and together formed their band, Kitty's Mustache. They were the height of cutting edge cool. Zoe is a lesbian, Lydia kept her distance from the others, whilst Elizabeth and Andrew became a couple. The band fell apart, Elizabeth and Andrew got married, and Lydia forged a separate successful career.

Now Andrew and Eliza
reading is my hustle
privileged brooklyners experience middle-age ennui.
Larry H
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
If as The Beatles said, "All you need is love," then why does it make everyone so crazy? Emma Straub's tremendously enjoyable Modern Lovers looks at love and sex and relationships among two intertwined families, and how we sometimes let our past history affect our present and our future.

Zoe, Elizabeth, and Andrew met in college, and the three of them, along with another fellow student, Lydia, formed a band called Kitty's Mustache, which gained some notoriety while they were at Oberlin. Eliza
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

My face the entire time I was reading Modern Lovers . . . .

(Aren’t I adorable?)

Let’s just snag a little quotey quote from the book in order to explain what you’re getting into with this one, shall we?

“The novel will be inspired by the tropes of classic love stories such as Romeo and Juliet and Tristan and Isolde, set in modern-day Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, with two neighboring families falling in and out of love simultane
♡ Kim ♡
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaway-wins, arc
Yay! I won! :) Thank you Goodreads First Reads!
Apr 20, 2017 rated it liked it
3 stars

If you strip Emma Straub's novel Modern Lovers down to its essence, you're left with a contextually similar midlife crisis novel as her earlier The Vacationers, with a little less humor, and a much less enchanting locale (I've nothing against Brooklyn, or the gentrified, artsy section of Flatbush known as Ditmas Park, but it can't possibly compare to the exotic surroundings of Mallorca.) This is not to say I disliked this book; I was just hoping for something a little more substantive th
Jul 03, 2018 marked it as didn-t-finish
Shelves: boooring
Calling it quits on this one! I really didn't expect to dislike it but gosh, these characters are dull. And you know what? Just once I'd like to read about someone who's happy in their marriage. Is it an impossible story-line? Anytime I pick up a book depicting characters in their forties they're always having a midlife crisis that revolves around their significant other and tedious suburban life. Yawn. Poor you. Next!

Éimhear (A Little Haze)
At some moments in our life it's just our right to be completely irrational right??? I mean I know in my heart and soul that this book deserves more than one star.
I know it.
The author invested so much time in writing it, there were developed characters, a plot, good writing..... Surely I should award this two stars at least and be on my merry way???

But there's just one teeny, tiny little problem....
I hated it.

Okay. So maybe I didn't completely hate "it" but more the whole reading experie
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really a 4.5 star book.

I've been a huge fan of Emma Straub's writing for a while, and this one is her best yet. Set in a Brooklyn that's so recognizable to me that I actually checked to see if some of the restaurants exist in real life (not that I can tell), this story of teenage love and married parents manages to be both funny and deeply true about love and relationships. I simultaneously wanted to be the teenagers, with their understanding but deeply involved parents, and the adults, with th
Diana Pasgas
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it
The thing about this book is it is largely about adults reminiscing on how much cooler they were when they were young. I found myself wishing I were reading a different book, one about their younger years, so I could better understand how each of them became so self-centered and insufferable. Especially Andrew. Yet I still read it to the end. Have no idea whether I loved or hated it, but I finished it, so that's something. ...more
May 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Please note that I gave this book 1.5 stars and rounded it up to 2 stars on Goodreads.

Something nice: I liked the cover and the first few chapters of the book actually flowed together okay. That said, this book was too all over the place for me to ever get a handle on while reading.

I am going to try to quickly summarize and apologize in advance if nothing makes any sense. Three longtime friends (Elizabeth, Andrew, and Zoe) all were part of a college band that wrote a hit song that their now dea
Apr 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
I'm just not sure about these manufactured stories of things that never happened to Emma. For me, even fiction should be kind of based on some authentic experiences and I think that's what's lacking in Emma's books - the wisdom conveyed from authentic experiences in real life, then translated symbolically into fiction. Things ring hollow in this book, much like in her other books.

But I suppose the main reason Emma has a book contract and attention fawned on her is due to her famous poppa, Peter
Jul 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
I honestly can't believe the amount of glowing reviews and recommendations for this book.

The characters, the plot, all of it - completely uninteresting. I had no feelings towards the characters. Both they and their stories were underdeveloped, despite being overwritten by Straub. At times I was shocked at how juvenile some of her writing was. One of the narrator's inner thoughts: "it was funny. But not ha-ha funny." ???

Very repetitive passages as well. How many times did we need to have the sam
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Modern Lovers is a good, fresh, fast, funny, perfect summer beach or pool read if you can overlook the unnecessary crudeness and overuse of profanity - which I mostly can. Straub definitely has a talent for creating smooth plots that carry the reader along with her flawed and muddled characters. In this novel I don't think she quite hits the sweet spot like she did in The Vacationers, but you know what - I continued reading and I cared and I wanted to see it through to the end so she obviously m ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I’m marking this as Enough Already (DNF) because after 150 pages I still can’t figure out why I continued to read it. It’s written well enough and the narrative is fine, though a bit dull, but mostly I just couldn’t care less about these characters. I didn’t like or dislike, I just flat out didn’t care. As I considered plodding on I asked myself, do I care what happens to these people? And the resounding answer was no though I do wish them well and hope they resolve their issues.
Nusrah Javed
Jun 08, 2016 marked it as abandoned
Straub's writing induces absolutely NO empathy in me. ...more
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Modern Lovers is a beautifully nuanced story about friendship, love, and meaning that follows the curves of adolescence, young adulthood, and middle age. Elizabeth, Andrew, and Zoe are former college roommates who have lived next door to one another throughout their adult lives. They have watched each other marry, shuffle through careers, and try on selves over many years. As their children, Ruby and Harry, move into the twilight of adolescence and towards the adulthood that waits beyond it, Eli ...more
Jul 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Just an okay book. I was never able to get invested in any of the characters, other than wanting to strangle Andrew.
Jun 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
I get that this is a summer read. But a dog named Iggy Pop? Gratuitous discussion of NYC real estate? Significant plot developments affected via newspaper excerpts? An entire cast of Oberlin graduates?

Whoever voted on this for book club should be excommunicated.*
This book was bad in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.
Literary world without end.

* I have a copy, if you want to borrow it let me know.

Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ahh! New Emma Straub! Ahh!
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I wasn't sure if I would finish-but Emma Straub writes really well. As I spent more time with her characters I began enjoying that time more fully. It entertained in a pleasant way and kept me listening. It's not going to knock your socks off-it was -well-nice.

PS I liked the articles at the end that told where the characters were in their lives-that too was..."nice"
Amber’s reading
A fun and entertaining audiobook that had a little bit of everything that happens in life. Emma Straub explores how marriages evolve, how friendships from youth change over time, the struggles of raising a teenager, coming to terms with aging, and still never finding your “calling” or “higher purpose.”

I laughed, I cringed, I related.

The characters felt authentic, experiencing real life situations that readers or listeners will identify with. The plot doesn’t have a big climax or crazy unexpecte
Kelsey Marie
*****Check out my full review at Darling & Co. please.*****

Modern Lovers was the first book I received from my Book of the Month Club. I was so excited when I saw that it was one of the books for this month, because I had hoped it would have been selected for another book club I am a part of, but it wasn't. The cover intrigued me, the way Morgan Jerkins described it sold me, I knew I needed to read this book. However, upon finishing the book, I feel like I have been let down. I feel like there w
May 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
1/5 stars

This is the second book I've read by Emma Straub. I read The Vacationers last summer. I didn't love that novel either but it was okay and I cared about some of the characters. Although now, I can't recall any of their names. I gave Modern Lovers a try because I don't like judging an author's work from one novel alone.

Modern Lovers was worse. Throughout all 300-some pages the novel was trying too hard. Trying to be pretentious, trying to be smart or witty. It didn't quite hit the mark.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
this is a potato chip book, meaning i stayed up all night reading it from beginning to end and then i felt like i kind of ate a bunch of potato chips and they were salty and pretty good and i had a headache and felt stupid

so anyway i think what i'm trying to say is that i liked it and i'm never gonna read it again
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure how many stars to give Modern Lovers, but decided on 4 because I liked the witty writing and it made me laugh a little. Plus, there wasn't a point that I wanted to stop reading. The reasons I wanted to rate it 3 is because it seemed like a tired storyline and not much really happens. There's just enough juicy content that I wanted to stick with it.

Andrew, Elizabeth, and Zoe form a band in their college days. As they suddenly find themselves in their 50's and living in neighborhoods
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Play Book Tag: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub -- 4 stars 2 25 Sep 03, 2016 07:00AM  

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Emma Straub is the New York Times‒bestselling author of the novels All Adults Here, Modern Lovers, The Vacationers, Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, and the short story collection Other People We Married. Straub's work has been published in twenty countries, and she and her husband own Books Are Magic, an independent bookstore in Brooklyn, New York.

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