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Love May Fail

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  5,638 ratings  ·  873 reviews
Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself transported back to South Jersey, where things remain largely unchanged from her unhappy childhood. In need of saving herself, she sets out to find and resurrect a beloved high school English teacher who has retired after a horrific scandal. Will ...more
Kindle Edition, 398 pages
Published June 16th 2015 by Harper (first published June 4th 2015)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,638 ratings  ·  873 reviews

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Emily May
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, contemporary, 2015
When you catch your husband screwing a girl half your age, you are permitted to be bitchy, even when talking to adorable nuns on airplanes - nuns who buy you vodka, even.

If a mid-life crisis took book form, I believe it would look something like this. Not surprisingly, it's boring, and it's also about people who hate their lives, get drunk and - eventually - find themselves.

Love May Fail is my least favourite Quick book to date. Usually, I love the whimsical (but surprisingly dark) nature of
Apr 07, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I've deleted my original review of this book. In short, I didn't like it and I didn't finish it.
Will Byrnes
Matthew Quick deals in damage control, from the very nervous Pat Peoples in Silver Linings Playbook to the probably autistic Bartholomew Neil in The Good Luck of Right Now, to a crate of bruised produce in his latest novel, Love May Fail. Portia Kane made a bad choice when she was younger, going for what glittered instead of substance, in her case her writerly yearnings. After confronting her cheating pornographer hubby, Ken (not a doll) in flagrante with another chicklet half her age, Portia ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Dear Matthew Quick:

Houston commercial photography

Portia Kane’s life is falling apart. It’s bad enough she married a disgusting pornographer, but when the scumbag continually cheats on her, she’s left with one choice – hide in the closet and blow his brains out . . . or maybe not. Realizing that spending her life in prison for murdering a philandering P.O.S. would be a waste, Portia instead decides to return to her hometown in an attempt to re-find herself and
"Love May Fail" by Matthew Quick is a contemporary novel about some serious mental health issues like: OCD, anxiety, depression, drug abuse, alcoholism, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts. But I like that Quick has some light-hearted and quirky moments as well to balance all the "heavy stuff". I enjoyed the first half much more than the second half though. I thought the Chuck Bass chapters made this novel feel a little too long for me. The story started to drag by this point. I much preferred Portia ...more
Kristina Horner
I liked this book okay plot-wise, but I got very tired of Chuck's fragile masculinity. The amount he obsessed over not being to buy Portia "brand name clothes like her rich shitty ex-husband" was literally the most boring character flaw I could possibly imagine.

I was also very confused every time they mentioned "Portia's feminism" because it was really only referenced as an annoying thing that the men in her life had to deal with, or something she "put aside" in order to enjoy the problematic
Raven Haired Girl
Gotta say the characters in this book did absolutely nothing for me, zero connection.

Portia was a poor example of a feminist. In fact the whole feminist rant was out of place and all wrong in this narrative. It was all bark and no bite. What was portrayed as feminism was poorly executed. Don't get sucked in by the pro feminist hype this book claims to deliver, all wrong.

To be blunt the narrative was a mess. Stays on course and suddenly veers off track in a big way. Messy would be kind. The
Portia Kane is a woman who used to have big dreams of being a published author but is currently experiencing something akin to a mid-life crisis. We’re first introduced to her character as she hides drunk in her bedroom closet with a handgun watching her porn-producer husband cheat on her with a much, much younger woman. As sad as it sounds, Quick made this introduction memorable and hilarious, as unlikely as that seems. Deciding that going to jail for shooting her husband and his lover she dubs ...more
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While Love May Fail begins with Portia Kane leaving her lying, cheating husband, the story actually starts years earlier, in her high school English classroom, where the teacher, Mr. Vernon, sparks something in his students that continues to have great impact for many of them. Quick (Silver Linings Playbook) has an amazing talent for creating characters that have every reason to see the world’s cup as half-empty but manage to see it as half-full instead. A novel about the joy and consequences of ...more
Love May Fail is the story of four people, all connected, and each with their life in a certain state of instability.

We have Portia Kane, who just caught her porn king husband sleeping with a girl barely half her age. She’s going home to try and figure out the next step.

I say the word wang several times and describe Ken’s tiny penis at great length before I think better of using such vivid sexual imagery while conversing with a nun, but she seems fascinated – riveted.
She squints and smiles when
Maya Panika
May 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I’m just a little over halfway through this book and I’m afraid I just can’t finish it.
The book is in four parts; each concerns a different character. The first is Portia Kane. Portia is such a ridiculous, badly-drawn and tedious character. I struggled through her story (the high school flashback is particularly slow, drawn-out and tiresome) and began skimming when Portia’s old school friend, her nauseatingly cutesy and precocious child and gauche brother Chuck entered the tale and the cloying
Aug 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick and enjoyable read, but something feels a little forced when I read Matthew Quick. I like his characters, particularly the neurotic Portia Kane, but the plot feels manipulative. I prefer more subtlty or nuance in my books.
This was never getting more than 3 stars after the Albert Camus business near the beginning, but I was interested enough in the story to continue, even after that plot decision. I saw what the author was doing with it, but I do not forgive.
Matthew Quick, in my short experience with him, strikes me as a fan of the redemptive tale, and since I too am a fan, I enjoy what I've experienced so far. I really liked the ending of this book. It made me cry, and I do love a good book cry.
The audio book
Straight up, Love May Fail did not fail to captivate me. It’s a beautiful book about the impact we have on the lives of others. Read the rest of my review here
Katy Noyes
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed all of Matthew Quick's other books in the past - on the surface, they look like fairly light reads, but every time, there's always a darker heart and a strong message about personal responsibility, of taking control of your life, that makes his name one to watch.

Love May Fail reads a lot like several stories in one. Various characters come to the fore to narrate chunks of the story, leaving others in the background for a while, but the flow does bring the plot together for the end
I loved Love May Fail. It felt a little manipulative and easy which is why I gave it three stars (although 3.5 would have been more accurate) but on the other hand, it worked. I choked up and was moved all the places I was supposed to.

Portia Kane has been betrayed by her pornographer husband and has returned home to her hoarder mother. She needs to rethink her life. Taking her mother out to dinner (in a funny and sad scene), Portia runs into a woman she knew in high school and finds out that the
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Review to come when I feel like it. ;)

I finally feel like it so here you are:

Love May Fail

...and it does. Like how I felt while reading this book. Initially I thought I was falling in love but about halfway through I realized that my new feelings were more akin to annoyance that was quickly followed by a disappointment filled dislike. It reminded me of a younger boy I chased after in my later years of high school. I flirted, he flirted and it was all sweet and fun until I realized his
Kim Howard
This book started out promising but then it just went south for me. I enjoy Matthew Quick's writing style. His writes his characters as ordinary people facing life's challenges, but something was missing with the characters in this story.

This book was told in a multiple character perspective which for me didn't work that well. His characters were not very likable and somewhat depressing. The first 2/3rds of the book look like it was going to lead us somewhere but the last third was just went off
Ginny Harple
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love you Matthew Quick.
I don't care what other people say. Your quirky, crazy, damaged people give me hope.
From winning a dance contest to writing a novel to visiting the Cat Parliament, their crazy adventures make me smile. They persevere. They find their own kind. And they find happiness.
And all the craziness that makes the magic... Well I just love it.
Thank you.
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, 2014
Quirky novel about second chances. I liked how each section was narrated by four main characters and explored the story further. The ending totally made me cry. Read it to have your faith restored in humanity.
Karen Barber
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
'Love May Fail' is an unusual book. The title suggests a book about taking a chance, having the courage to take a risk and hope that it all works out. The main characters are all, in some way, flawed but their lives intertwine and allow us to catch glimpses of the way we can influence those we come into contact with.
There are a number of stories within this novel, some of which are more interesting than others.
The main character is Portia Kane, a rather irritating woman with a good heart who
Amanda Patterson
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Portia Kane leaves her cheating mega-wealthy husband in Florida and goes home to Philadelphia. She meets Sister Maeve Smith on the plane, where she confesses her drunken mess of a life to the bemused nun. Portia, in the depths of misery, thinks about the one man she knows was good, Mr Vernon, her English teacher. When she arrives, she finds her crazy mother - an agoraphobic hoarder who barely leaves the house – has not changed.
Portia meets and falls in love with the lovely Chuck Bass. Chuck, a
One thing I got from this book: hesitate to give a bad review! However... This wasn't a bad book, but I've enjoyed other works by Quick more than this. Possibly it was because I didn't feel that there was anything really unique about the characters, that they were just "types" (Jersey girl, somewhat embittered teacher, porn king turned do-gooder) and thus not people to get excited about. It also seemed rather random at times, as though the author had several good stories in mind, and rather than ...more
I feel like I'm supposed to really love Matthew Quick, but this is my second novel of his and I'm not feeling it. The beginning of the book hooked me. I loved Portia, who had just discovered her disgusting husband was cheating on her. She was hilarious and her section of the book was awesome, but as the POVs changed, I got less and less interested in these weird adults who were connected by their high school teacher. Portia really dissapointed me by the end and her backwards feminist shtick got ...more
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: would-read-again
I was quite impressed by this one, considering its lower rating. It was my third Matthew Quick and was consistent with the familiar writing of his novels. This one involved Portia Kane, a woman trying to bring her former high school English teacher back to teaching. The book is separated into 4 portions for 4 different people involved with each other in various ways. There were lots of emotions going through me as I read, which is just what I like in a book.
Kevin English
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
I always find myself forging a connection with the teachers in Quick's books. They inspire and challenge. They offer hope and a greater good.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every time Matthew Quick releases another novel into the world, I feel like it's Christmas or maybe even my birthday. I wasn't too sure where Love May Fail was taking me when I began it - this author is instant-read for me and it had been a while since I'd read the summary - but this is where I get to trust the author and enjoy the ride. I love this and it paid off. By the end of the book, I found myself working hard to stay at my emotional baseline (I failed) and truthfully I ended the day much ...more
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Say you're married to a successful director of porno movies. And say you happen upon your porno directing husband rocking the headboard with a girl young enough to be shopping for her prom dress. And say you decide that this is it, you've had it, you won't be betrayed again, it's over.

What do you do?

If you're Portia, you head back to your suburban Jersey roots and move in with your hoarder, slightly (okay, extremely) nutty mother, reconnect with an old friend, and kind of sort of begin a romance
Mar 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What the hell? Nobody should read this book unless you’re interested in a detailed description of a dog committing suicide.
Mridu  aka Storypals
Matthew Quick is easily one of my favorite authors of all time. His books, his stories not only bring certain joy in my life but also the kind of interaction/ dialogue I wish to have with people.
His writing is like butter on hot toast, so smooth, he will make you laugh, he will make you cry and then he will teach you a lesson or well talk about what he learned and then it's up to you if you want to follow it or not.
I love how the details of each one of his stories, how he
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Matthew Quick is the New York Times bestselling author of THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, which was made into an Oscar-winning film; THE GOOD LUCK OF RIGHT NOW; LOVE MAY FAIL; THE REASON YOU’RE ALIVE; and four young adult novels: SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR; BOY21; FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK; and EVERY EXQUISITE THING. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages, received a PEN/Hemingway ...more
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“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” 11 likes
“Portia Kane, Official Member of the Human Race! This card entitles you to ugliness and beauty, heartache and joy—the great highs and lows of existence—and everything in between. It also guarantees you the right to strive, to reach, to dream, and to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be. So make daring choices, work hard, enjoy the ride, and remember—you become exactly whomever you choose to be.” 10 likes
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