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Love Story

(Love Story #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  56,880 ratings  ·  3,175 reviews
Oliver Barrett IV, a wealthy jock from a stuffy WASP family on his way to a Harvard degree and a career in law . . . Jenny Cavilleri, a sharp-tongued, working-class beauty studying music at Radcliffe . . .

Opposites in nearly every way, Oliver and Jenny are kindred spirits from vastly different worlds. Falling deeply and powerfully, their attraction to one another defies ev
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 8th 2002 by HarperTorch (first published February 14th 1970)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  56,880 ratings  ·  3,175 reviews

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May 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To hopeless romantics that we all are deep down inside

"Love means never having to say you're sorry" is probably among some of the most ridiculous statements ever.

Luckily it's a rare blemish on a simple but beautiful story. Plus it's cheesy, corny, and insanely quotable, so I'll have to give it a pass on that.

A girl and a boy meet and fall in love. Jenny is a poor artistic sorta-Catholic Radcliffe-educated Italian-American brainiac with a razor-sharp tongue. Oliver is a rich WASPy Harvard "Preppy" jock with a slew of Daddy issues and
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
I read Love Story because I didn't want to see the movie, but I wanted to know what everyone was talking about. While it was an affecting and sentimental little story, even at that young age I felt that it was trying too hard to tug on my heartstrings. It seemed, somehow, too juvenile, even to my then very juvenile mind. In later years, I came to realize that the movie's oft quoted line, "Love means never having to say you're sorry" is a complete falsehood. In fact, love means always being willi ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Love Story, Erich Segal

Love Story is a 1970 romance novel by American writer Erich Segal. The book's origins lay in a screenplay that Segal wrote, and that was subsequently approved for production by Paramount Pictures. Paramount requested that Segal adapt the story into novel form as a preview of sorts for the film. The novel was released on February 14, 1970, Valentine's Day.

Love Story is romantic and funny, yet tragic. It is the tale of two college students whose love enables them to overcom
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family-epic
I appreciate a good love story. No, don’t give me THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY—that book was crap. Give me a story where the characters are more aligned with Holden Caulfield or Pookie from Nichol’s THE STERILE CUCKOO. I want smart-assy and witty banter. I want characters that play by their own rules or make them up as they go along. I want the possibility of real life. Enter Erich Segal and LOVE STORY. Published in 1970, this short—133 page—novel is relatively obscure today. That’s a shame. Se ...more
Aug 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: chick-lit
Shallow, contrived pseudo-tearjerker. I read this many years ago when it came out, and even though I was much younger and not as wise and mature as I am now, I realized how meaningless was the by-word of the book, "Love means not having to say you're sorry." Love actually means being constantly ready to ask for, give, and receive forgiveness. ...more
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, novel
I laughed. I cried (and believe me. i cried a lot!). I fell in love. I learned. I simply love the book. It was indeed beautifully written and it reached out into the depths of my soul. My heart just poured out as I read the last few pages of the book. Such a tiny book to stir such great emotions in me.

Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It may be that you need "Super Sad True" in the title, for this is the only way the tale could be made relevant & contemporary in the year 2017. The jock-&-Italian-girl thing may of once been deemed, you know, sultry. As exotic for this WASP-y crowd as anything else. (Right now, 20-yr olds getting married seems a bigger, more exotic, waaaay rarer occurrence.)

Snarky and sexy teens? ALWAYS in vogue. & tales of new-but-doomed love? Hella DITTO.
Sep 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
I thought Erich Segal's "Love Story" would be great. I really did, considering all the hype that has lasted for decades. But...

There was no chemistry at all between Oliver and Jenny--The Couple. The only thing they have in common is they like to swear a lot--which got too old too soon in the book. I mean, Oliver had way more chemistry with Phil, his wife's dad, than with his own wife.

Neither characters were likable or relatable. We don't get to know them at all. All we know is that Oliver is a r
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
'On the water too?' she asked. (c)
Don't bullshit me, Preppie.' (c)
'What the hell makes you so smart?' I asked.
'I wouldn't go for coffee with you,' she answered.
'Listen — I wouldn't ask you.'
'That,' she replied, 'is what makes you stupid.'
Let me explain why I took her for coffee. (c)

The Waning of the Middle Ages is the opener here. Both for the exam and for the relationship in question.

The MCs are initially off on all the wrong notes:
And she was taking some pretty snowy courses: Comp. Li
Sonia Gomes
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All romantics out there...
Read this book when I was 16 and was completely overwhelmed by it. But what do you expect when you are sixteen, live a simple life in a village with your parents and have dreams of a great romance.

But 30 years later, am much more cynical and realise that love is not a simple 'not having to say sorry' .

At sixteen however, I thought it was the greatest and with that in mind I do cherish the idea that 'love is not having to say you are sorry'.
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oliver is a wealthy heir to the Bartlett fortune and a Harvard student. He meets intelligent, sharp and witty Jennifer, a music student at Radcliffe, at a library. Instantly attracted to her yet intimidated by her rude and confident retort, he asks her out as a bet.

These two young people fall deeply in love which costs them a lot since their worlds are completely different. They are opposite in nature but highly likeable, their dialogues are funny and interesting (and a little too sweet)!
It's a very simple story.A boy meets a girl,they fall in love,but instead of happily ever after, there's a sad ending. But it was the emotions in the book which made it worth reading.

The story is beautiful, funny,emotional,and a bit sad.

As much as I loved the story,it was very simple,and I am giving it 4 stars only because it was very touching,and also because this book was capable of making me read it when it has already told the ending on the very first page. It was a great short read!
Chaplain Walle
Feb 07, 2022 rated it liked it
I was not overly impressed.
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
'Love means never to have to say sorry.'
well, my soulmate and I tell each other often sorry but they are such minor matters and the love is always there.

Loved this book very much!
Dora Koutsoukou
3 ❤️❤️💔🌟s❣️

Love Story was the first english book I read in my early teens and I wanted to read it again someday.
Since it was written in 1970, my pov will be biased due the decades that have passed by.

The opening paragraph held so much strength and emotions that had stayed with me ever since.

“What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died?
That she was beautiful and brilliant?
That she loved Mozart and Bach, the Beatles, and me?” Oliver

Being told by Oliver’s pov was thrilling for b
A boy and a girl meet. They fall in love. The girl dies. And we have one of the best romances of all time. SERIOUSLY?! I may as well give it no stars as far as the plot is concerned.
I started it today, I finished it today and I can't decide whether it's a good thing or otherwise. Writing a short novel is fine but why do i feel like I missed the part where I was supposed to feel the love seeping through the pages (?) There's no chemistry between the couple at all.
The characters are not really li
Lisa Vegan
Sep 21, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hopeless romantics?
Read this in high school and even though love reading/loved reading stories about dying young, really didn't think much of this. Yes, I admit I was interested in Jenny & Oliver and their love story. But: when people have leukemia or whatever it was she was supposed to have had, they physically suffer a lot more. Thought the way her illness was described was so unrealistic and dishonest. And love does not mean never having to say you’re sorry; I always thought that iconic saying from the book was ...more
Aug 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vani Kaushal
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oliver Barrett is the scion of the Barrett family and Jennifer a 'social zero'. Theirs is not an ordinary love story. This romance keeps the reader glued till the end, or rather an unpleasant end. The narrative is strong, effortless and edgy. No wonder it became a bestseller of its time and continues to spawn movie and TV adaptations. I can remember so many movies that have the same plot and yet, none has come close to evoking those same feelings as the book. I was literally moved to tears by th ...more
Bluetiful Hadeel
it's an emotional roller-coaster.
Wasn't much into it actually. Even the movie, it wasn't a favorite of mine. But the book was a gift from one of my friends and I thought I should give it a try. One of my main reasons of reading this book is my previous reads of other novels that were made into movies. Although those movies weren't that good, the books were absolutely amazing.
As for this case, the movie and the book hold 2 stars in my humble opinion.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love means you never have to say sorry.

That line makes famous from this book. I am quite surprise how short is this book. Even it is short, it is a very beautiful love story. I can see Nicholas Spark takes some leaf from this book. Beautiful honest and not so dramatic.

Love it. I wish I can see the movie now.
Apr 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Sunshine Always Makes Me Cry

Published in 1970. I read in in 1971. It was a tearjerker: A woman was dying of cancer and decides to tape record messes for her daughter, so when her daughter grows up, she will remember her mother. Get to know her.

I can’t think of this book without thinking of the song, “Sunshine on My Shoulder,” which was sung by either Bill Bryson or John Denver. Just that I have an image of Bill Bryson sitting it in a bar in Australia. But the voice in my head says that it was J
This was a fun, refreshingly charming, quick read. That is, until it reached in, ripped my heart out and crushed it into smush. I adored the book, I adored the characters and their flaws, I adored the relationship between Oliver and Jenny.

Highly recommended, please go read it if you haven't already. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go cry into a pillow.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I admit I cried at the end.
And I'm sorry but love DOES mean having to say you're sorry.
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bonnie by: Beverly J.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Source: Library Checkout

*I plan to discuss parts of this book in detail so spoilers!*

Oliver Barett IV is a rich jock from a well-to-do family. Jenny Cavilleri is a poor, wise ass sorta chick. This is definitely a case of opposites attract with a touch of Romeo and Juliet syndrome; they were destined to fail from the beginning. But they meet; they fall in love, etc. etc. And as the summary so eloquently puts it: “…sharing a love that defies everything yet will end too soon.
Ivana Books Are Magic
I enjoyed Love Story. I found it interesting and easy to read. I didn't quite like it as much as I imagined I will, though. The novel opening lines are among the most dramatic in the history of literature ("What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful. And Brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. And the Beatles. And me."). So, I was expecting an emotional tale. Did I get emotionally involved while I was reading it? Not at all.

However, there are many th
May 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Today I got to watch the movie and the characterization and the setting was gorgeous, and the love was simple and special between Oliver and Jennifer.

I first read this book when my college friend asked me to read it and gave her copy. She was a voracious reader and somehow had read a lot. She did introduce me to a new reading world in a way. Although she was quite snobbish about it so I may not admit to her. I read sporadically but with her it became the frequent go to and we shared books, I ha
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very easy to read classic story.
Apr 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romantics
Shelves: romance-love
I found this book in our cabin up on Monhegan Island in Maine. I'm the biggest baby when it comes to romance. We were sitting there playing Scrabble (there's no tv) and listening to Delilah on the radio. I was already almost finished with this book, so I read it between my turns. I just started flat out bawling at the table in front of everyone as I finished. It's such a quick read, but man does this book pack an emotional punch. The characters really come to life. Although their basic descripti ...more
May 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: my worst enemy
Recommended to Marvin by: My first wife who also recommended Atlas Shrugged.
If 70's writers were teen celebrities, Erich Segal would have been Bobby Sherman or, to use a more contemporary analogy, Justin Beiber. But there is no analogy or scale on earth that would describe how bad this novel is. After reading Love Story in the 70s, I had to go to the bathroom to purge myself. A regular diet of this crap would cause literary bulimia. The movie didn't fare any better having caused me to endure a lifetime hatred of both Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal. You have been warned. If ...more
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Erich Wolf Segal was an American author, screenwriter, and educator. He was best-known for writing the novel Love Story, a bestseller, and writing the motion picture of the same name, which was a major hit.

Other books in the series

Love Story (2 books)
  • Oliver's Story (Love Story, #2)

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“Love means never having to say you're sorry.” 472 likes
“What the hell makes you so smart?" I asked. "I wouldn't go for coffee with you, " she answered. "Listen -- I wouldn't ask you." "That, "she replied "is what makes you stupid.” 241 likes
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