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The Opposite of Love

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  4,772 ratings  ·  587 reviews
With perfect pitch for the humor and heartbreak of everyday life, debut author Julie Buxbaum has fashioned a heroine who will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has loved and lost and loved again.

When twenty-nine-year-old Manhattan attorney Emily Haxby ends her happy relationship just as her boyfriend is about to propose, she can’t explain to even her closest friends
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Paperback, 303 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Dial Press Trade Paperback (first published January 29th 2008)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  4,772 ratings  ·  587 reviews


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Kelsey
Dec 02, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just finished reading this first novel and really wasn't that crazy about it. It's the story of a 29 year-old lawyer, Emily, struggling to find herself (fix her relationship, her job, her family).

Best part of the book: First line of chapter 1: "Last night, I dreamt that I chopped Andrew up into a hundred little pieces, like a Benihana chef, and ate them, one by one." Also, I liked the cold relationship she has with her father.

Worst parts of the book: The extensive use of cliches throughout the n
...more
Allison
Nov 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes smart women's fiction
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of this book - due to hit stores in January 2008 - and I wasn't disappointed. An honest, believable portrayal of a 29-year old woman who is paralyzed by life and who has to find the nerves and strength within herself to literally move forward. Very touching, smart and well-written. I expect this will be a huge book come 2008. ...more
Rachael
Apr 24, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I kept waiting for something to happen-- and yet, nothing. The prologue was bland and didn't tie into the rest of the story, and I think the main character wasn't likeable and quite boring. When things got bad, she drank too much (often) and also relied on the wisdom of the very old a little too often to be believable. ...more
Leah
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2010
When Emily Haxby suddenly dumps her boyfriend of two years Andrew, just as he’s about to propose, she can’t explain why to anybody, not even to Andrew or her close friends, not really. Once Emily realises her mistake, though, it’s too late and her life soon begins falling apart. She’s fed up of working for a lecherous boss, particularly when he assigns her to a case she doesn’t feel right defending. Then the biggest blow of all comes, her Grandpa Jack, the man she adores most in the world, appea ...more
Scribblegirl
Jun 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I was leery of reading another voyage of self-discovery book after the self-involved garbage of Patti Callahan Henry's Between the Tides, but Buxbaum gets right every single thing Henry does not, with none of the missteps and narcissism. Her heroine, Em, is someone you could know and like in real life. She has flaws and quirks and the capacity to care for others, even when she is being bitchy. Which isn't that often. Here is a woman I felt actually modeled on real life, who breathes through pros ...more
N.T.
Jun 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mothers, daughters, grandpa lovers, elderly, 30somethings, lawyers
This book really got me, brought me in -- where a title like that can rarely get my attention.

The characters, and main character Emily, were endearing, funny, their own voice, brought to life, and surrounded and engulfed Emily in a way that rang true.

There were many heart tearing moments, surprising me constantly, and a deep exploration at other moments that left me blushing or feeling as if it hit very close to home.

There has been a theme of leaving or losing on purpose (or forcefully) an unhe
...more
Jill
Mar 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jill by: tommy
I'm not sure I've ever had this same experience where I'm reading a book and thinking, "how does this author know exactly what my life is like?" But the truth is, it doesn't matter that many of the details aren't exactly the same-- what matters is that Ms. Buxbaum captures so many universal feelings in a realistic, true and contemporary way. At first I thought, I have to make sure all my girlfriends from law school, the firm, and after read this; but truth be told, this is a great, engaging, hea ...more
Sarah
Nov 20, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my genre of choice, but it is a fine choice for a beach read/travel book...meaty chick lit. Very funny characters, and surprisingly realitstically writen. If I met the author, I can safely assume I won't see someone wearing pink and carrying around bridal magazines. ...more
jessica
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
ughhh. im so sad to say that i wish i had never read this. i absolutely adored both of julie buxbaums YA novels - they were both 5+ star reads for me. which is why i was desperate to read more of her work. but this particular book just fell below average for me. the writing is decent, a little overbearing at times with all the superfluous descriptions, but it wasnt terrible. and the plot itself was okay. i really liked the idea of sometimes having to wreck the entire foundation of a life in orde ...more
Annabelle
Feb 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Marion Keys and Shannon Olson
While the framework is stale--a 29-year-old New York lawyer who just dumped her boyfriend and hates her job has a quarter-life crisis--I thought the writing had surprising depth. The main character is haunted by her mother's death, struggles with her grandfather's illness and is believably conflicted about her relationship with her former boyfriend. There are some one-dimensional side characters and, like most chick-lit, the upbeat ending is somewhat forced. But there were quite a few genuinely ...more
Carol
Jan 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a debut novel that got a lot of attention in review journals, etc so I have had in on my TBR list for a long time. I wasn’t disappointed. Emily is a 29-year old lawyer frustrated with her job as a litigation attorney. Her relationship with her father is strained, her beloved grandfather is ill and she has just broken up with the perfect boyfriend. Emily’s comments often made me smile and I even had a few tears during reading this book. Definitely a step above the chick lit/single women's ...more
Angeld01
Jul 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I randomly picked this up at the library and it was so good. Some of the themes were definitely covered territory.

A successful lawyer uncertain of her relationship, her career and her sense of family. But I really enjoyed Buxbaum's writing. She was gentle and compassionate in her story of Emily.

Of course too, I really enjoyed Emily's relationship with Grandpa Jack. It was really special and caused other supportive relationships in her life, such as the one with Ruth.

I look forward to the career
...more
Julie
Feb 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an amazing debut novel. Lots of interesting, complex characters and relationships. At the beginning of the book, Emily makes a rash decision that she later realizes was terribly wrong, but she can't quickly make it right again - with the help of some good friends, relatives and therapy she learns to grow and make positive changes in all parts of her life. A great example of more serious chick lit that's touching and humorous at the same time. ...more
Jen
This book stressed me out. The main character just kept making bad decisions even though she knew she was . . . dnf'd at about 40%. ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
2.5 STARS

I’m a big Julie Buxbaum fan, but this wasn’t my favorite. I prefer her YA books.
Natasa
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-york
The Opposite of Love, by Julie Buxbaum, is a terrific read. It is an emotional book that goes to the edges of feelings and relationships. At times humorous in its raw honesty, at times sad as her protagonist, Emily Haxby, struggles with discovering herself, one in which she is capable to put herself in a position to love, a position of vulnerability. 
Julie
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Tell Me Three Things last week, I decided I wanted to read another book by this author. I really enjoyed. It was about a woman who needs to step back from things she and others deemed important in order to move forward. I feel that the title is a bit misleading, it is not really a romance. More or less it's about the journey of one woman's self discovery by addressing issues she had not confronted. Looking forward to more by this author. ...more
Karen
Dec 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: llovers of women's fiction
I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me a little of Lolly Winston or Sarah Dunn, but with its own distinct voice. I like books that are funny (without being too biting) and wise, and this one fit the bill.

There is has been a lot pre-pub buzz surrounding this novel and it definitely lives up to expectations.
Karin Mika
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did not really care for this book in the beginning, but it really hit home on a lot of levels ... from grief, to loneliness, to dealing with the deterioration of an elder, to trying to do it all, to being emotionally dysfunctional, to even being an attorney in a difficult and competitive environment. I could relate to the main character in pretty much everything she did, from the reasons for her self-sabotage, to her desire to try to carefully commit the details of our fleeting lives (and the ...more
Nicole
Apr 16, 2017 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF at page 106. I just couldn't get into this one. ...more
Livia Rabelo
This was a really wierd reading for me, it had one great moment surrounded by some unsettling ones..... Overall it had potential but it didn't really work out for me. ...more
Kathleen Vallejo
I liked Tell Me Three Things, but this one was just ok. It just didn't flow for me and I was frustrated with the main character. ...more
Amanda
Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beach-reads, 2009
I picked up The Opposite of Love after first reading and enjoying Julie Buxbaum’s sophomore novel After You.

I try not to compare novels when I read them but I am in awe of Buxbaum’s ability to write about death and self-doubt while still keeping things relatively light and enjoyable; it’s sort of like the teacher whose class is so fun you don’t realize you are learning.

I found myself longing to have coffee with Emily and trade stories about our parental misadventures. The similarities in our fam
...more
Cynthia
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick read and I enjoyed the story. Parts of it were very relatable to my own life before marriage and career. The major characters were all likable and fun to get to know throughout the book. I felt like I grew with Emily as the book progressed.
Drew
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emily Haxby is lost. She breaks up with her boyfriend of two years because she thinks he is going to propose (she's right, he was about to). Her job at a prestigious law firm is far less than satisfying, especially after one of the partners makes unwanted sexual advances. Her mother died when she was fourteen and she's never had an open relationship with her father (lying to each other about life is just what they do). The one person in life who has always been there for Emily is her Grandpa Jac ...more
Lindsay
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love smart chick lit books. They are the ones that don't scream chick lit, but really they still are. The cover isn't pink and girlie, and the main character actually has a brain and doesn't need to rely on a guy or endless shopping to make her happy. This is one of those books. Even though it is about love and realizing that you had the right person when you no longer had them.


Emily breaks up with her boyfriend Andrew when she gets the feeling that he's going to ask her to marry him. Andrew
...more
Amelinda
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Emily Haxby is a twenty-nine-year-old lawyer in Manhattan. She has her own apartment. She has good friends. She has a happy relationship with her long time boyfriend, Andrew Warner. But when Andrew pulls her toward a window display of engagement rings, she knows what she has to do: she must break up with him.

And this is exactly what she does. Breaking his (and her own) heart, Emily ends their relationship, and spends the following months trying to convince herself that she did the right thing. I
...more
Sarah
Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's the end of the school year and it's time for me to start frequenting the awesome Casey Public Library again! And I mean that. They do a wonderful job of weeding the old titles in their small space, and I love the selection of audiobooks. Just right to entertain me in my vehicle during the summer![return][return]This adult novel intrigued me by the cover, but it almost needs a more chick lit-ish one. Emily Haxby is a power attorney, dealing with a boss who sexually harasses her, an important ...more
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I feel like passing it onto all my girlfriends. I got completely caught up in it and I was rooting for the heroine to find happiness. It's about Emily, in her late 20s and working crazy hours as an associate in a prestigious New York law firm. She has been dating perfect Andy for two years, but when she senses that he's on the verge of proposing she gets cold feet and breaks up with him. Almost immediately she wonders if she's made a terrible mistake, especially when Andy seem ...more
Abbie
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! It was a light, fluffy chick-lit and exactly what I needed. It did take me a while to read it, which probably affected me not giving it a higher rating, but nevertheless it was nice. I thought reading from Emily's perspective was very refreshing she's definitely not your typical narrator but in a good way. Just the way she sees the world is fantastic. I really enjoyed the fact that the author was previously a lawyer as well, so despite the wide use of large vocabulary ...more
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South Jersey Book...: good book 1 24 Oct 06, 2011 07:53AM  

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Julie Buxbaum is the New York Times best selling author of Tell Me Three Things, her young adult debut, What to Say Next, Hope and Other Punchlines, and Admission (pubs 5/5/20). She’s also the author of two critically acclaimed novels for adults: The Opposite of Love and After You. Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Julie’s writing has appeared in various publications, includ ...more

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“I miss the way he used to kiss my shoulder whenever it was bare and he was nearby. I miss how he cleared his throat before he took a sip of water and scratched his left arm with his right hand when he was nervous. I miss how he tucked my hair behind my ear when it came loose and took my temperature when I was sick or when he was bored. I miss his glasses on my nightstand. I miss watching him take Sunday afternoon naps on my couch, with the newspaper resting on his stomach like a blanket. How his hands stayed clasped, fingers intertwined, while he slept. I miss the cadence of his speech and the stupidity of his puns. I miss playing doctor when we made love, and even when we didn't. I miss his smell, like fresh laundry and honey (because of his shampoo) at his place. Fresh laundry and coconut (because of my shampoo) at mine. I miss that he used to force me to listen to French rap and would sing along in a horrible accent. I miss that he always said "I love you" when he hung up the phone with his sister, never shy or embarassed, regardless of who else was around. I miss that his ideal Friday night included a DVD, eating Chinese food right out of the carton, and cuddling on top of my duvet cover. I miss that he reread books from his childhood and then from mine. I miss that he was the only man that I have ever farted on, and with, freely. I miss that he understood that the holidays were hard for me and that he wanted me to never feel lonely.” 177 likes
“I don't even want to spend the rest of my life with me.. how do you explain to someone you love that you can't give yourself to them because if you did, you're not sure who you'd be giving? That you aren't sure what your own words are worth? You can't tell someone that, especially someone you love. And so you don't.

Instead, I do the right thing. I lie.”
49 likes
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