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I Love You Too Much

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  816 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Set in the heart of Left-Bank Paris, this is the story of Paul, a lonely, quiet boy who makes an astonishing discovery and confronts that brutal turning point in adolescence when he learns he must leave the privileges of naivety behind.

Thirteen-year-old Paul is a lovable but unloved boy on the vulnerable cusp of manhood. Paul lives in Paris, in a world of privilege where b
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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 ·  816 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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Nat K
Loved! Bittersweet.

"Everything was extravagant and elegant and I cried then because I knew it would always be this way. Paris will never change, not for you, not for me. Paris doesn't care that you are dying inside; it will always be beautiful, untouchable, aloof, unmoved by you and your pathetic fate."

Paul is a shy and sensitive teen whose parents have recently separated. He seeks solace by comfort eating, and feels somewhat responsible for their split. He is also very observant and notices ma
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2018
I don’t remember how I came to request this book from the library many moons ago....when it finally came in months later, I had no memory of it. The title threw me; it didn’t sound like something I would like. I checked Goodreads and only one of my friends had read it. Where did this obscure book request come from?

Doesn’t matter - in spite of the cheesy title, this debut novel packs a punch. It’s the poignant story of a lonely thirteen-year-old boy living in Paris, the city of eternal love and m
Janelle Janson
I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH by Alicia Drake - I’m so incredibly grateful to Little, Brown and Company for providing my free copy - all opinions are my own.

Paul is thirteen, lives in Paris, and is constantly shuffled back and forth between his self-absorbed and insensitive parents. His mother is narcissistic and only pays attention to her boyfriend and their infant daughter. His father has an explosive secret that unfortunately gets revealed in a traumatic way. Paul is unwanted and unloved, so when he m
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing

“Paris will never change, not for you, not for me. Paris doesn’t care that you are dying inside; it will always be beautiful, untouchable, aloof, unmoved by you and your pathetic fate.”

I Love You Too Much was very sad, very tragic, but also very moving. This is a coming-of-age story about a lovable boy growing up in a cruel world.

The pain and loneliness he felt reached from the page and grabbed my heart. This book is so well-written, I actually felt like Paul was a real boy telling his o
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, library
2.5 rounded down

It's hard to muster much enthusiasm to write reviews when 7 out of the last 8 books you've read have been 2 or 3 star ones. Am I in a rut or do I start all books with expectations that are way too high? Who knows!

I Love You Too Much is Alicia Drake's debut fiction offering, and is a love story (of sorts, I guess) set in contemporary Paris. Paul is a miserable 13 year old from a well-off family. His parents hate each other and borderline neglect him, his mother's boyfriend is an i
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow. This one kind of punched me in the gut and didn't let go. It's taken me awhile to even write about it as most of the characters were so despicable I had trouble not throwing the book across the room. Thirteen-year-old Paul lives in Paris and is shuffled between two selfish and self-absorbed parents--his father, who harbors his own dark secrets, and his mother who is concerned only with her new infant daughter and her much younger lover. Paul feels unloved--as well he should as neither of hi ...more
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Beautifully written, but heart breaking story of a young man who is only wanted by his parents when it is convenient to them.

Set in Paris, Paul feels although he is lost and unloved. His mother has had a new baby with her younger boyfriend and his father only seems concerned with his work, Paul's grades and what he is eating. Paul is constantly criticized and overlooked.

School is no better. Bullied for his weight and taunted with gender slurs, Paul feels alone and helpless.

I feel funny saying I
Jami Murphy
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, that was brutal. But beautiful. A stellar debut and the writing is so, so good. The author has captured the conversational nuances of the French language perfectly while writing in English. She has also managed to capture a very specific sense of place with amazing attention to small details, and oddly enough, food. AND, she writes convincingly in the voice of Paul, a young boy, and also the main character of, I Love You Too Much.

That said, this book made me sad. Because it is told from t
Andy Weston
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will look at as few reviews as possible once I add a novel to my tbr list, but will look at a few after finishing it. I’ve just seen this given the tag ‘unrelentingly bleak’ by one reputed review site. Perhaps the sort of thing that may put a reader off, and a good reason not to read too much prior to the book.
I think that tag is unfair.
It is like those cliched sports commentators say, ‘a game of two halves’. The first half of the book is the protagonist and narrator, 13 year old Paul, descr
Donna Hines
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Can love exists in a 'closed city' once known for the romance now saddened by turmoil, hatred, anger, violence, and rioters?
Paul a shy, unloved, 13yo teen uncovers the truth about his own family -- one that is built upon a wall of lies-- Without a true solid foundation it's only a matter of time before he goes searching for answers and finds what he seeks.
Seeking peace of mind with classmate Scarlett he tries to make sense of not only his family but his surrounding neighborhood that has seen bet
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
This is the story of Paul, a teen living on the Left Bank of Paris, lost, confused, alone. His family is very rich, and that is oddly isolating. His parents have split up and moved on with new relationships, and Paul is left out. There's no one he is close to at school either, and Paul doesn't do well there academically either, another reason he is a disappointment. Paul finds some consolation in food, and he spends a great deal of the story eating foods he has been asked not to eat.

The story i
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Paul is 13 and is growing up amidst conflict at home, at school, and inside himself. His self-absorbed Parisian parents use him for their own pleasure and gratification, and toss him aside when he's no longer necessary. His school life is deteriorating, and he can't seem to bring his math grades up to where his family (again, being demanding of something for their sake rather than for his) want them. In addition, he forms a friendship with a girl in school who may be using him for her own purpos ...more
Brittany | thebookishfiiasco
‘That’s us, Paul,’ Scarlett said. ‘You and me. Two wounded hearts. No matter what they do to you, you still keep wanting them to love you. And then you hate yourself for thinking that way.’

I had been warned before getting into this book, but it still broke my heart, anyways. This book was kindly shared with me from Little Brown, and I’m grateful I had the chance to read this one.

For starters, it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I pictured almost like, a memoir-y reflection kind of s
Kaytee Bole (glitteringeyes418 on Instagram)
Heartbreaking coming of age story set in Paris.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ylenia by: Instagram
Shelves: 2018-reads
UUUUHHHH I am pissed off. I really am.

There I was, minding my own business, when this book came out and someone told me it was set in Paris and followed a young boy discovering a tremendous secret. It even says that in the synopsis:
Always overlooked, it’s only a matter of time before Paul witnesses something that he’s not supposed to see.
As you guys (probably) know I am obsessed with Paris and I miss it terribly every single day so I am always happy if a book is set there so I can relive the ex
Tracy (The Pages In-Between)
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Lauren at Little Brown Books for sending me an ARC of this book, in exchange of an honest review.

So, I came across this book on Netgalley while I was window shopping, and knew that I had to request to review it. Something about it just grabbed me. Luckily Lauren said she would send it, and she did, the very next day. Score! 

So I finished up some prior reading and jumped into this book, which is considerably small, at 214 pages. I am confused with my thoughts on this one. Paul is 13,
Heather Boaz ( mlleboaz.bibliophile)
Thank you to Little, Brown and Company for this copy for review! All opinions are my own.

Do you know Francoise Sagan? This book starts out a bit like Bonjour Tristesse - a young person on the verge of a sexual awakening, a first crush, a distracted parent... but it quickly takes a dark turn. Though this was a very speedy read, it took me some time to digest and process afterwards.

Paris, as a character is so perfectly captured in this story - the curiosity around every corner, the self-involved
Pamela Scott

I’d never heard of the author before and decided to read this because I like the cover and title and the novella is set in Paris, my favourite city in the world. I really enjoyed this book so it was a good call. The Paris depicted here is much darker than the Paris I knew. I see the city with rose-tined tourist eyes. This book humanised the city of lights. Paul is a great character. My heart really went out to him. His parents are awful; neglectful and sel
Kevin Tindell
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rattled through this in no time and loved it. Initially I thought it was too short and that the story could have been expanded, but actually it's probably just right - a perfect nugget!. The atmosphere of a sometimes oppressive but beautiful Paris is perfectly conveyed. I wouldn't necessary recommend it if you are looking for something to cheer you up during lockdown. The adult characters, with the exception of the Filipino maids, are totally grotesque and the overall theme is quite bleak. How ...more
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely coming of age book about a young boy named Paul growing up in Paris amid the divorce of his parents, a social life that is heavy with struggle, and an unlikely friend who is ridden with even deeper problems that Paul. I loved that it was set in Paris, and the author was generous with her rich descriptions of city and culture.

I Love You Too Much felt is a well written story about seemingly real characters you find your self rooting for, hoping they find their way.
Paris the eternal city of love. A city I have come to love ever since my first visit in the early 1980’s watching young couples in love walking hand in hand by the River Seine. What images this memory conjures.
I Love You Too Much is the debut novel by Alicia Drake (Picador) and the main character is Thirteen-year-old Paul who is somewhat shy and through his eyes we see his world and those adults who inhabit Pauls world. An extraordinary novel set to an extraordinary backdrop.

Paul’s parents are
miss claire mcnish
Really dark and sad story of a teenagers difficult life in Paris. I loved it!!!! Very different from my normal reads.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really amazing debut novel, a secret Paris you never see as a tourist, the real story behind the chic privilege. The details are so so interesting but it's the emotion of it, the profound story of a little boy that makes it top tier -- it wrecked me yet left me with the exaltation, the sheer satisfaction of a great tale told. ...more
Justine Anweiler
I absolutely loved this book!!! And right after I finished it I gave it to my mom and she devoured it too. Paul is such a lovable character in an unfortunate environment. I love that the reader is taken on a journey of discovering Paul’s world, through Paul’s eyes, and is able to slowly unpeel the f*cked up layers of those around him; making the reader and Paul discover how special he really is.

Incredibly well written. Fantastic character development. I can not rate this book high enough. I rea
Talia Carner
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A 13-year old in Paris forever fails to live up to his parents’ expectations. He never has the scholastic abilities to enter into the school of their choice—a choice that will make them socially proud, nor the physical beauty both his parents possess. His father, always training for a marathon, can’t accept his clumsy, overweight son.
Lonely and unloved, Paul eats. He gobbles sweets and cookies and the special rice dishes his mother’s Filipina housekeeper, the only one who seems to care for him,
Kia Knight
I wanted to love this book ... but I didn't.

I went in to this open minded as it wasn't something I'd usually pick for myself, but I'm always ready for a surprisingly good read. There's always three crucial things I need in a story to keep me; a character I adore, I character I hate and a character I love AND hate. Unfortunately, I didn't get either, so despite it being a rather small book that I could have read in one sitting, I ended up spacing out my reading over a week because I just wasn't
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I picked this book up initially because of the cover, but after reading it I am not even sure which characters of the book could be on the cover. This book was a series of sad experiences Paul, a 13-year-old boy, goes through during a period of his childhood in Paris. As I read this book, I waited for something to happen. But nothing did and I struggled to understand the point of the story. Fifty pages from the end I realized that there was not going to be a solution to Paul's problems and I was ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Poor Paul!

This is a rather dark, sad read, but it's also very well done and quite difficult to put down.

I was very quickly invested in the characters and wanted to know where the story would go and where/how they would all end up. It's all rather tragic, but Paul and his mother, along with Paul and his relationship with Scarlett, were such interesting relationships that they would have held my interest alone, but everything else was pretty fascinating, too, in a train wreck, I-can't-look-away
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
If you want to be depressed and hate French people this is the book for you. I hope these are lazy stereotypes, but the author lived in France for 18 years so there must be some tidbits of truth. It's amazing there are Mother and Fathers Days, with parents like the main characters has. (Maybe they don't have those holidays in France). Paul is a lovable 13-year-old surrounded by truly terrible people. There is one nice person in his life that gives a ray of hope to him. However, his parents, gran ...more
Jackie Law
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I Love You Too Much, by Alicia Drake, is a powerful tale of the loneliness of unrequited love. Set in contemporary Paris, its protagonist is Paul, the only son of materially successful beautiful people whose lives revolve around their quest for superficial perfection. Paul’s maman is Séverine who travels the world for her design company. His papa is Philippe who makes his money through financial deals. Both had high hopes for their son, moving house that he may get into a school they could then ...more
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