Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Forever is the Worst Long Time

Rate this book
From acclaimed author Camille Pagán comes a wry, heartfelt exploration of love and loss.

When struggling novelist James Hernandez meets poet Louisa “Lou” Bell, he’s sure he’s just found the love of his life. There’s just one problem: she’s engaged to his oldest friend, Rob. So James toasts their union and swallows his desire.

As the years pass, James’s dreams always seem just out of reach—he can’t finish that novel, can’t mend his relationship with his father, can’t fully commit to a romantic relationship. He just can’t move on. But after betrayal fractures Lou’s once-solid marriage, she turns to James for comfort.

When Lou and James act on their long-standing mutual attraction, the consequences are more heartbreaking—and miraculous—than either of them could have ever anticipated. Then life throws James one more curveball, and he, Rob, and Lou are forced to come to terms with the unexpected ways in which love and loss are intertwined.

284 pages, Hardcover

First published February 7, 2017

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Camille Pagán

12 books1,564 followers
I’m the #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author of ten books, including Good for You, I'm Fine and Neither Are You, and Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, which was recently optioned for film. My novels have been translated into twenty languages.

I've written for Forbes, The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Parade, Real Simple, Time, and many others. I'm also a master certified coach and the founder of Even Better Co.

When I'm not at my computer, you'll find me with my nose in a book, running after my two kids, or talking shop with other writers. Be the first to know about my new releases and other updates by signing up for my newslettter at camillepagan.com/subscribe.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
2,704 (36%)
4 stars
2,929 (39%)
3 stars
1,412 (19%)
2 stars
271 (3%)
1 star
70 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 719 reviews
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
780 reviews12.2k followers
March 22, 2017
Forever is the Worst Long Time is a love story that spans 18 years. It focuses on the love between friends, romantic love, and most significantly, a father’s love for his daughter.

In 1998, James Hernandez meets his best friend Rob’s girlfriend, Lou, and instantly falls in love. He believes Lou is the perfect woman and pines for her from afar. James’s belief that Lou is his ideal taints his future romantic relationships and eventually leads to the destruction of his friendship with Rob. As the years pass, their relationships change, but all three unite when one of their lives dramatically changes.

I wasn’t prepared for how emotional this book made me--I cried my face when I finished the last page. I thought that it was a simple love story about two friends, but it’s so much more.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Regina.
1,136 reviews2,850 followers
February 2, 2021
I read the final page. Wiped my tears. Then turned back to page one to read the beginning all over again.

Forever is the Worst Long Time has been lingering on my To Read shelf since its publication in 2017. I honestly have no idea why I put it on there in the first place. Yet somehow it managed to survive periodic purging over the years, just waiting to be picked up and adored like the shyest puppy at the shelter. And oh how I found myself loving it in the end.

You can read the publisher’s synopsis if you must, but I wouldn’t.

I could tell you the details of the plot, but I shouldn’t.

You might predict how the character’s relationships will unfold, but I couldn’t.

All you need to know is that this is a story about a man, James, who is in love with his best friend’s wife. Somehow Camille Pagan has crafted a love triangle that’s multi-faceted and unpredictable. Readers see life through James’s eyes over the span of 18 years, and I wish it had been 81. I’m taking that “wanting more” feeling as a great sign I need to read Pagan’s other novels. Here’s hoping they move me the same way this one did.

Forever is the Worst Long Time is currently available on Kindle Unlimited and includes WhisperSync for those who may prefer the audio format. (As of 2/2/21.)
Profile Image for Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill.
523 reviews620 followers
January 1, 2023
***** On my TOP 10 of 2022! Highly recommend!

Guys… this book destroyed me!! ❤️ In the best possible way of course…😉… I have five other books that I should review but this is the one I NEED to talk about!! ❤️I finished this up today… and I can count the number of times I have ugly cried from a book on one hand… umm I ugly cried 😭sooo hard with this book! When a book is that powerful… you have to tell someone.. 🤷‍♀️ You all are my someone.

When Rob brings his newest girlfriend to meet his oldest friend… well it’s instant attraction..🥰… Unfortunately it is James.. aka Jim falling head over heels 👠 for Lou… too bad Rob found her first..🤨 Oh my gosh the tension!! 😂 I was on edge wondering… What is Jim going to do?? Let his true love get away?? 😟 Wreck his lifelong friendship??? 😳 I wanted to scream what are you going to do Jim???!! 😬😂

I know why I got soo worked up.. 🤨 This is my second book I have read by @camillepagan .. and just like the last one… I fell in love with this story… the characters.. I was so so so invested…. they felt real to me… she truly has a gift with being able to make her characters jump off the pages and into your life! ❤️

I am totally late to the party 🎉 with this one… it is from 2017! If you have not read it yet.. I highly recommend it!!! More than 7,000 reviews and still going strong with a 4.07!! ❤️ Definitely one to pick up!! 5 cry my heart ❤️ out stars… I absolutely loved it!

Do you have a favorite book by this author that I need to pick up next? Do tell...
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,921 reviews35.4k followers
February 25, 2019
Audiobook...( Kindle Unlimited)...read by Timothy Andres Pabon

This is the 3rd Audiobook/ and or sync with ebook... that I’ve read by author Camille Pagan

My first read - and favorite was “Women Last Seen In Her Thirties”.... I rated it 5 stars.
My next book was -
“Life and other Near-Death Experiences”. I liked it... but not ‘as’ much. I rated it 3 stars

This 3rd book - I’m rating 4 stars.
All these Pagan books are engaging Audiobooks- even ‘if’ I roll my eyes and talk back at the tape. There is something about her writing that is ‘easy-as-pie’ to stay interested in. They all have a unique*Camille Pagan* style that is just her own.
All her books are grounded in love- loss- friendship - relationship conflicts - choices - obstacles- regret - anger - sadness - guilt - betrayal - forgiveness -

The full-range scale of human emotions in these compelling stories are like a warm coat on a chilly day, and a tank top of a sunny one. They dress our souls appropriately. These ‘like-real’ human-connection- stories nourish a primal need..... even when we didn’t even realize our own hunger.
A little before halfway, it seemed to me that the author found her rhythm... or perhaps my taste went down a notch: either way- I WAS HERE TO SEE THIS BOOK TILL’S IT END...

Situations came up that I did not expect!!!

Two guys and a girl ... Rob, Lou, and James...are the focus characters.
Friendships & Heartbreaks...

I admit to ‘feeling’ the emotional curveballs -
I am not crazy about the title of this book but I’m amazed with how impetuously my eyes watered with real gut feelings. Sneaked up on me.

The interesting choices - and consequences were really thought-provoking and heartfelt!

I like this author! Comfort audiobook companion- every book!!!

Profile Image for Suz.
1,073 reviews547 followers
March 29, 2018
What a lovely book to come across! With thanks to my friend Kelli for recommending this book, as I don’t always love receiving requests having almost 2000 on my list of books to be read. I suggested this for purchase, my public library being awesome added it straight away. Happy to help my fellow library patrons.

Love is enticing, love is intoxicating and love sometimes occurs at the wrong time. Most of all I found love to be cyclical here. That may sound clinical, but the cycle of love, marriage, pregnancy, child rearing and the love between friends did go round and round here.

James loves Louisa, a beautiful poet, but Louisa is engaged to his best friend. It’s angsty, it’s messy, it’s sad watching James agonise over everything. This is a lovely cycle of love, angst, dreaming, loss and a continuance of life.

I let go of the doorknob and ran to her. Then I kissed her once, twice, and again for good measure and left before I could change my mind. Bad enough that I had ruined everything. Worse that I was tempted to do it again immediately.

There is simply nothing to be done but accept and endure. Not necessarily in that order.

I cried at the end, it is quite a short book so I do recommend it – a rewarding little dose of love and loss, but also a love that lives on.
Profile Image for Scott.
1,709 reviews117 followers
August 8, 2020
"I don't care if lovers swear it to each other and the devout sling it around as a future reward for their faithfulness. As far as I'm concerned, forever is the worst long time. At least with adversity and illness, there's a general idea of what to expect. We don't know a damn thing about the uncharted horrors of eternity . . . " -- protagonist James, at the start of chapter 26

I'm glad I went into Forever is the Worst Long Time without knowing a single thing about the book, other than I simply wanted to read more of author Camille Pagan's work after much enjoying her breezy This Won't End Well the previous month. Forever . . . is more serious in nature - although it has its moments of humor - and focuses on James, who is in his mid-20's and just a few years out of college in autumn 1998. What happens is that aspiring writer and single guy James stumbles onto what he thinks is the love of his life when meeting poet Louisa a.k.a. 'Lou' . . . although said woman is engaged to his childhood best friend Rob (!). The plot then unfolds over the next 15+ years as the typical rollercoaster nature of modern life happens to this trio of characters, with some unforeseen developments (including one that realistically caught me off-guard and brought the anguish) causing additional drama. Pagan excels at capturing a certain tone - such as in James' wry observation "That September . . . I turned forty. But 'how could I possibly be forty?' I wondered on the morning of my birthday, 'when I was just twenty-five a few days ago?'", which is a thought I happen to agree with - and has penned an unusual and sometimes melancholy but otherwise involving love / loss story.
February 7, 2017
While visiting Rob and and his fiancee Lou in New York City, James is asked to be the best man at their wedding. Rob and James have been best friends since childhood and went to college together in Michigan. James stayed near home working as a professor when Rob left to develop his career. An attraction is evident between James and Lou but neither pursue anything.

For many years Rob’s and Lou’s relationship flourish as does Rob’s career in finance. Meanwhile, James career path stalls when he isn’t successful at teaching or at finishing his novel. Any attempt at settling into a serious relationship is weakened by his thoughts of Lou.

I don’t want to spoil this terrific book for future readers so I am limiting the details. It is perfectly narrated in a male voice and I had to remind myself that it is written by a female author. The many different emotions shown by the characters are expressed flawlessly. It is a realistic depiction of friendship and how it changes as we move through time.

1 copy giveaway on my blog until 2/7 https://www.facebook.com/suzyapproved...
Profile Image for Amy.
1,831 reviews1,862 followers
February 7, 2017
All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com


This book made me cry. That’s a pretty big deal for me you guys, I’m not really a crier, sure I have my moments but for the most part I’m pretty stoic. To say that this was an emotional read is an understatement and if you want a read with characters that are flawed, yet able to pull on your emotions, get this book!

James is the narrator here and I found hearing from a male perspective to be a really refreshing experience. He’s writing to his daughter, Emerson which was really sweet and if you’re worried that he may sugarcoat things because of this, don’t be. He’s brutally honest about his life and the mistakes he’s made and though he has many regrets, he’s unapologetic in a raw way. It starts in 1998 when his lifelong best friend introduces him to his new girlfriend, Lou. James immediately feels a strong connection to Lou but knows there is no way he can act on it. Right? As the time goes by and Lou and Rob face their own struggles, Lou and James continue to bond. After giving into temptation for just one night, Lou and James discover that a series of seemingly small choices have the impact to change their lives forever.

I don’t want to say much more about the plot as this is another book that I feel is best experienced on your own. I was totally enraptured by Pagan’s writing style and finished this one rather quickly. The characters were all extremely well developed and proved that even if you don’t always like or agree with choices they make, you will still feel a deep connection and understanding about why they behaved the way they did. This would be a perfect choice for a book club as there is SO much to discuss; love, loss, how the decisions we make, however small, can have life changing consequences, family, forgiveness, the beauty of unconventional relationships, I could go on and on. It really was a beautifully told story of one man’s journey that spoke to me on many levels.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,474 reviews19.2k followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
November 3, 2021
DNF @ 9%: I'm not very far in, but I can already tell that I don't like either of the main characters and life is too short to let this put me right back into the reading slump I just got out of. Onto the next!
Profile Image for Brandie.
706 reviews221 followers
March 15, 2017
This book made me cry and hug my husband tight last night. I wasn't expecting such an emotional read - this story surprised me in all the best ways.
Profile Image for Sherri Thacker.
1,213 reviews234 followers
April 7, 2018
This is my 2nd book written by Camille Pagan and I really wasn’t sure what to expect of this book. But I’m so glad I read it. I really enjoyed it! The ending gave me goose bumps and that rarely happens! Highly recommend this one!!
Profile Image for Kate Olson.
2,130 reviews724 followers
March 26, 2019
Oh my goodness. My second book by Pagan in less than a week and I'm HOOKED. This one is very different from the last one I read of hers, but equally excellent. Narrated by a man named James Hernandez in the format of a book addressed to his daughter (she is the "you" he is writing to), this is a story of friendship, love and fatherhood, and so much more. There is grief, yes, but it's not overwhelming, I promise. I don't want to write too much about it because I want you to experience it "cold" like I did! Highly recommend for fans of domestic fiction. This book was amazing on audio - I love that it was available on Kindle Unlimited Read & Listen!
Profile Image for Lucy.
410 reviews68 followers
February 8, 2021
This is a story about love, friendship, loyalty, and hope. It's beautifully written and I'm so glad I've finally read this one. I didn't read the book blurb before reading the book, and I'd suggest you do the same. Just know the story is told from the POV of James Hernandez, in the form of a book written to a child. I know this is a story I'll think about in the future and possibly read again in a few years.

I've enjoyed other books by Camille Pagán, and this one is no exception. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.
Profile Image for Renee (itsbooktalk).
394 reviews404 followers
January 4, 2019
My 2019 has started with a bang with this couldn't-put-it-down story. One of my favorite storylines is a love triangle so right off the bat I had high hopes for this book. The story is narrated by James from a time in the future which I thought was a perfect way to not only get to know (and like) him but to also get to know Lou and Rob through his eyes. James and Rob had been friends since they were kids and I loved how Pagan incorporated the sentimentality of that type of friendship along with growing up in a small town. If you're James, what do you DO when you've fallen in love with your best friend's fiancé?

What I especially loved about the way Pagan told the story is that everyone felt like real people making what often ended up being stupid decisions. They were flawed in just the right ways that what they did or didn't do made sense even if I didn't agree with them.  I have to say, throughout the story, I had no idea what was going to happen with these characters because twists happened early on.  Plus, it takes place over a time period of about 18 years so we really get involved and invested in the drama of their lives. And the drama was good! And perfectly paced. In the end, things happened I never anticipated and there may have been crying on my part. Seriously, I wasn't prepared for how emotional this story ended up being and I loved every bit of this surprising one sit read! This is my first book by this author but it definitely won't be my last.

you can find all my reviews and more at www.itsbooktalk.com

Profile Image for Letty.
601 reviews
February 7, 2017
Fabulous book! I really, really loved this book and it's going on my "Favorites" list for 2017! First of all, the title itself is amazing. The book was humorous in parts and heartbreaking in others with characters very likable and well developed. A story about the power of love, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness! This book had me captivated from the very beginning and was so hard to put down. If life hadn't gotten in the way, I probably would have read it in one sitting!! The writing was so very well done. I'm actually a bit sad that I'm done reading it as I wanted it to continue!! I highly recommend Forever is the Worst Long Time!!

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy.
Profile Image for Katie(babs).
1,806 reviews541 followers
February 23, 2017
Forever is the Worst Long Time by Camille Pagan is an appropriate title since this book is the worst. The characters are entitled and constant moaners abut how horrible their lives, specifically the male protagonist James who acts as if the sun rises and sets on him. This book spans over 15 years from the POV of James who constantly lusts after his best friend’s wife, Louisa, another entitled person who tries playing the role of a poet. She is just as bad as James but her personality is so lacking she could be a ghost. What’s worse is that James ruins his long term friendship with his best friend by sleeping with Louisa, and then getting her pregnant, leading to a sappy ending that is purposely manipulative just to make the reader have an emotional response.

James wants to be a published author but he barely works on his writing. He acts like he is writing, but he doesn’t. He’s lazy and dull, and goes through life with no real purpose. Through James’s eyes we see how he reacts to the world around him, specifically his oldest friend Rob, and his oh so perfect wife Louisa, who acts like some tragic figure even though her husband adores her and gives her whatever she wants. Louise can stay at home and write her poetry, which she does for almost 10 years, even though nothing comes of it because she’s like James- lazy and boring.

Perhaps James and Louisa are perfect for one another because their entitlement and lacking personalities and boredom of the world around them bonds them to one another. Even when they finally engage in an affair, it’s underwhelming and anti-climatic. The consequences of their actions don’t rock the boat or lead to any shocks or excitement this book needed.

Forever is the Worst Long Time was such a dull read with no real purpose. It’s very one-dimensional with it’s story, plot and characters who are so empty they were more like specs of dust in the sunlight.

Give this one a pass.
Profile Image for Catherine McKenzie.
Author 25 books4,561 followers
December 31, 2017
From the beginning of this novel, you know that the narrator, James, is narrating the book for someone, a child. Who that child is, what his relationship is to her and why he's writing this novel are the central mysteries of the book. This is a book about many things: friendships, love, parenthood, growing up, and loss. The final reveal - what prompted James to write in the first place - is heartbreaking but also fitting. A fast-paced novel that is well worth the read.
Profile Image for Kelli.
179 reviews6 followers
January 22, 2018
Loved this book! Beautifully written and deeply moving. I just love when a book allows you to feel as though you are listening to an old friend.

"It was one of those moments when you feel unbelievably lucky to have been placed on the planet at the same time as the people in your life." THIS. This quote is everything. Page 8. It is the exact moment that I knew my romantic heart was lost on this wonderful story.

I immediately added other books by this author to my book queue at the library.
Profile Image for Hristina.
512 reviews77 followers
January 1, 2017
This was a decent read. The story is intriguing, told unusually, and I really like Mrs. Pagán's way with words.
But I didn't like the characters as much. I couldn't connect to anyone, especially not to the two characters I share a career-goal with. I found them both infuriating.
I thought I would like it more, I wish I did.

Pre-review note:
This was my last read for 2016 (go out with a bang). Review soon.
Profile Image for Noemí (Mysticnox).
364 reviews48 followers
September 23, 2018
Me ha llegado al corazón de una forma que no esperaba.
Solo diré que no es una historia romántica aunque se hable de amor en el sentido más amplio de la palabra.
Profile Image for Petra.
814 reviews76 followers
November 16, 2018
I'm torn how to rate this. I was expecting a simple story about a love triangle, but it turned into much more than that. Certainly a lot more emotional than I had expected. By the end I had tears in my eyes. The best thing about this was the father - daughter relationship. The thing I really couldn't get my head around was why the two male protagonists, James and Rob, felt the way they did for Lou. What was it about her? Beats me. I also didn't get James' relationship with another significant female in this story. Don't want to spoil the plot, so can't explain. But I felt the author could have developed this better.
However, Camille Pagán definitely managed to pull me into this story and I was fully engaged throughout. In fact, I was still thinking about it long after finishing it, which has to be a sign that it deserves 4 stars despite of my reservations about the whys.
The narration was ok, but I ended up reading half of it.
Profile Image for Carmen.
756 reviews62 followers
September 24, 2018
Una historia que se ha quedado conmigo, que he sentido como un alegato maravilloso a la verdad sobre la vida, sobre el dolor, sobre el amor, sobre la amistad y sobre la familia; una vida que nunca es como esperamos que sea pero que hay que aceptar como viene, porque en eso está el secreto.

Opinión completa en el blog
Profile Image for Lisa Steinke.
Author 12 books607 followers
November 1, 2016
FOREVER IS THE WORST LONG TIME is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. I fell in love with the characters, the writing, the plot. . . EVERYTHING. This is by far Camille Pagan's best yet. It reminded me of Frederik Backman's writing--that ability to make you absolutely root for and love even the most fallible people. Bravo, Camille!!!!
Profile Image for Karlita | Tale Out Loud.
109 reviews78 followers
April 7, 2018
“This story ends with loss.”

When you read a bunch of romance novels getting the same hype, characters, plot, ending and so forth, and read a book that was entirely different from what you were used to, you started to appreciate (which is an understatement by the way) the minds behind these great novelas. As clever and brilliant as it is, Forever is the Worst Long Time was one of those where the story was carefully thought, created in such a way the result was nothing but absolute perfection! An art, a masterpiece!

Was it really love? This is a story between three people, Rob, Lou and James, who's lives intertwined by one life choice that changed everything. Complicated by love, the reality of its course, the implications and foundation or lack thereof. Could they learn to live by their choices? Could anybody really move forward?
“In truth, it was a series of choices that snowballed into a much bigger decision, which then became an outcome that none of us saw coming.”

I was drawn to it, opening myself in a much bigger perspective. A sense of understanding that life was always never been about rainbows and unicorns. It was mainly an outcome of the series of choices we made not just how you want to live by it but how you stand for it and never gives up. It is not my typical go-to read, using my imagination to fully create a picture of what was going on in the story. Because this book was so real you never have to think. Camille Pagán made me felt like it's my own, putting my mind, heart and soul to these great characters. What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't even felt like a fiction! This book gave me the chills and broke my heart all at the same time. A great portrayal that in every loss, there is hope and in hope there is love to keep you from going even in the midst of life's adversities.
“Because there's no such thing as life without heartbreak.”

I honestly couldn't sum up my feelings in to this. As invested as I am, sometimes the best books were the once that I find hard to come up with a much better review. Not because they were not good but for the same reason that they were too good! I can envision a film adapted from this and just thinking about it made me really excited!

***Thank you NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing, and Camille Pagán for providing me an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
Profile Image for Tracy .
743 reviews12 followers
April 28, 2019
I cannot remember ever actually sobbing when listening to or reading any book. Often, I am moved and left pondering for a while after, but not bawling. This novel touched me so tremendously, I was sobbing. It was relatable, authentic, and really gives readers reason to think seriously about what is important and to not take the little things for granted. Relationships are what matters and how we treat each other.

Thank you, Ms. Pagan for this important and much-appreciated reminder. Your remarkably beautiful and poignant lessons and life-affirming messages are what we all need reminding of as human beings to live our best lives.
Profile Image for Elaine.
1,515 reviews1 follower
May 17, 2018
Be prepared to read a story about loss, including: loss of a friend, loss of a great love, loss of a friendship and loss of family members but Forever is the Worst Long Time is also about the love triangle between three good friends and their rocky road through adulthood, life and forgiveness.

I won a Kindle copy of Forever is the Worst Long Time from a Goodreads Giveaway.

I wasn't sure what to expect since this is the first book I've read from Ms. Pagan but I had several issues with Forever is the Worst Long Time, namely the characters.

Wishy-washy, whiny, indecisive, almost cowardly people who could never make a decision or when they did, did not have the courage of their convictions to stand by the good (mostly poor) choices they made.

James wasn't a bad guy, more Charlie Brown than I would have liked, an earnest and struggling writer with a troubled childhood (no shocker there) and unable to deny his attraction to Louisa, also an artistic soul (a poet! Ye Gads!) and might explain her weak and passive personality, who is engaged to Rob, his BFF (a soon to be cliche workaholic in finance who becomes an adulterer, natch) and the status of their relationship is ultimately decided when a fling between James and Lou ends in an unexpected pregnancy.

Forever is the Worst Long Time vacillates between Louisa and James struggle to come to terms with how they feel for each other over the years, how their relationship grows and ebbs when each encounters personal obstacles and demons to overcome and how, in the end, maybe their attraction was meant to be brief, just not forever.

I didn't hate James, Lou or Rob; I just didn't like them as people. Perhaps I could have empathized better if I liked them slightly more or maybe it was just too much on-again, off-again that drove me crazy, the constant hemming and hawwing, which is not unlike real relationships, I know, but I was young once and I hated on-again, off again then and I still do now.

I didn't see the love between Lou and Rob, couldn't see how they ended up together or why, nor did I fully understand the attraction between Lou and James. Was it lust at first sight? If it was, no problem, I definitely believe in that but it was more and Ms. Pagan tries to demonstrate their shared interests and similarities but I still couldn't feel the love, or maybe because they were both survivors of an unhappy childhood and their passive behavior found a mate in each other. Who knows? Who cares?

The ending was sad but you had a hint of what was to come from the first line and when the reader is told that James is narrating his story for someone very special to him.

Overall, not a terrible book, just not for me.
Profile Image for Lisa Montanaro.
Author 2 books132 followers
June 9, 2017
Great book! It is told from the perspective of a male protagonist named James who falls in love with his best friend's girlfriend/wife. At turns heartbreaking, funny, poignant, and heartwarming, it follows the lives of the characters as they make mistakes, fall apart, come together, fall apart, realize dreams, give up on goals, etc. But through it all, they are real, flawed, and lovable. I would probably characterize this as a romantic drama, but because it is told from a male perspective, it doesn't feel sappy. This is my first book by Camille and I'm thrilled that I got an early copy to read. I just purchased her other book Life and Other Near Death Experiences (she has the best book titles!). I'm now looking forward to reading other books by this author!
Profile Image for Barbara.
645 reviews48 followers
February 7, 2017
This was such an interesting story. As I started, I wasn't sure what was going to happen, but the story kept building until I was emotionally wrapped up in it. I really LOVED James Hernandez. I would date James Hernandez! He seemed like such a wonderful friend, colleague, boyfriend, and lover. I think that's why I felt so upset about the things that happened to him. Much of story is about unconventional relationships. James is an English major/aspiring novelist from Ann Arbor Michigan where he still lives and works, his best friend Rob is in finance, and is living in NYC on the path to making it big. While on a visit to NYC to see Rob, James meets Lou, Rob's girlfriend. James sees Lou as the epitome of everything he's looking for in a woman. She's perfect, but she's Rob's girlfriend and soon James finds out she'll become Rob's wife. James struggles in his relationship back in Michigan with a fellow professor. They are happy, but there's no spark, there's no racing heart. Rob's job begins to erode his marriage and soon he and Lou separate. Lou turns to James for understanding and sympathy, but soon they find they have made matters worse. I have to say that Lou frustrated me, but I know sometimes having a character you dislike can make the story even better. At this point it seems that nothing is working out for James, his novel is stalled, his job is unsatisfying, and he's alone. Something unconventional happens to shake up James world and I was completely surprised how it helped James become whole. I cried, no I did not just shed a few tears, I was sobbing after chapter 26 and I continued to cry off and on until the end. Often the tears blurred the words on the page, but the unconventional life was James' savior in a sense. He found all the things I wanted for him and felt he deserved and the funny thing was, they were there all along. Thank you to the author and publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sue .
1,612 reviews98 followers
November 1, 2016
This was a fantastic book and I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to read about characters so well written that you feel like you know them working through situations that you feel like you've been through; if you want to read a book that will make you laugh and cry and if you want to read a book that will stay with you long after the last page has been been read - then this is the book for you to read.

When Jim meets his best friend's girlfriend Lou, he falls in love with her. She is everything that he has ever wanted in a woman and she affects every relationship that he gets into because in his mind, no woman can live up to her perfection. The rest of his life is a struggle too - he has problems with his teaching career and he just can't get started on the novel that he had planned to write. When Lou and Rob have marital problems, she turns to Jim for counsel. What happens next totally changes the future for Lou and Rob and especially Jim.

This wonderful book is about love and friendship and family. It's about struggle and rewards that come when you don't expect them and how the sum total of one's life is made up of the family and friends that love you.

Thanks to the author for an arc of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Kathleen Crowell.
1,250 reviews1 follower
January 5, 2018
so conflicted about how to rate this book. let me start by saying I was totally confused by page one, line one and had to go back and forth for a few pages to get myself oriented. could be just me and my state of mind lately! that was how my read started. I was swimming along for about 1/2 of the book and started thinking this isn't going anywhere except from year to year and while I LOVE James--I'm really not fond of Lou and Rob is pretty one-dimensional. Then BANG! Everything changes and it's almost a different book in what I consider "Part 2" It got weird and OMG: SAD! fast. I was crying at the end...reading on to find out how the story would end was imperative. Stream of consciousness over.

James' character was nicely fleshed out, but his backstory was cursory and I never really believed he had this awful childhood. Lou and Rob were flat and their back stories were sort of thrown in quickly to explain why they were either great friends or troubled, whatever need explaining at the moment. Characters came and went to further the narrative. I was so annoyed by the ending because I wanted an HEA for James--didn't really matter to me about anyone else--he got such a raw deal. I was crying at the end. It still makes me so sad. That's where my conflict about rating this comes in. Does a book get a rating based on entertainment value or it's ability to make you feel something? To say I LOVED CP's Life and Other Near Death Experiences is an understatement. I wanted so badly to love this book as well. I didn't love the story, but some parts of her writing were so well done they made me feel serious emotion--how do I rate that?!!!!

I'm giving this a 3. I can't seem to get past my frustration with how the story was arcing and then suddenly changed course. James was such a real character for me, I feel so defensive on his behalf. Enough said. I never write this much--this must've been a good book then, right?!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 719 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.