Monday, 5 September 2016

Review: Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Leave Me by Gayle Forman
Publisher: Algonquin Books 
Publication Date: 6th September 2016.
My rating: 3 stars. 

For every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, for every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention--meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who's so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn't even realize she's had a heart attack. Afterward, surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: She packs a bag and leaves. But, as is so often the case, once we get to where we're going, we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is finally able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from those she loves and from herself. With big-hearted characters who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing our fears. Gayle Forman, a dazzling observer of human nature, has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head-on.

Unfortunately for me Forman’s latest books haven’t been able to leave that deep meaningful impression with me that her previous books have done in the past (If I Stay, Where She Went and Just One Day). I adore the gritty books that Forman writes and the heartache she causes along the way, you could say whilst her latest books have dealt with tough emotional issues, they haven’t overwhelmed me as much as I’d hoped.

Despite this however that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy her latest book Leave Me. Forman did really go out there with her take on things. I honestly didn’t expect Maribeth to just up and leave her family one day. But the more time I spent with Maribeth, the more I could perfectly understand her reasons for doing so. She’d just had a heart attack which led to further complications, she was meant to be recovering, but really with her mother and Jason her husband it seemed like she was being a burden for even asking for healthier meal options. And then when the lice incident happened I seriously wanted her to punch her mum in the face. So despite walking out on her kids, I think the space and the me time was exactly what Maribeth needed. Things could be quite scary, upping and leaving everything you’ve known and the long schedule you’ve followed. But this temporary reprieve although it was full of unknowns and so many unanswered questions, it was a journey Maribeth needed to experience to come to terms with herself as a person. I enjoyed the characters that she met on the way; they definitely contributed to the character that she became in the end. Janice was definitely one of my favourites. And with the revelations that were made along the way, you could say I was thinking that things would go a certain way for Maribeth, I was pleased with all that she had found out and how far she had come, but that ending was sort of unexpected to me.

Leave Me really left me with mixed sort of feelings, on the one hand I enjoyed following Maribeth on her journey in search of herself and her time in Pittsburgh, but there were some aspects which let me down, I guess you could say that emotional attachment to the story and characters was lacking for me and hence I wasn’t able to enjoy this book as much as I’d hoped.


  1. I've never really connected with her books, as hard as I tried, so I don't think this one would be right for me either. I'm sorry you were disapponted, I understand why you expected a lot from this.

  2. I have yet to read one of her books. I've seen them at the library but I just never want to read them. This one doesn't look like my cup of tea either. Great review!

  3. Things haven't been the same since Where She Went, to be honest. Sigh. I was looking forward to reading this book, but now, I'm not so sure.

  4. I know a lot of readers were underwhelmed by Forman's last YA novel, but I did actually enjoy it quite a bit so I'm looking forward to this one. I'm sorry it didn't impress--I've been hearing that from a lot of readers--but I hope Forman can recapture the magic with her next book. Thanks for such a wonderful, honest review, dear! :)

  5. You know I haven't actually ready anything by Froman, but I'm not sure they would be for me to be honest. They always looked far to sad and emotional which hasn't been what I wanted when I pick them up. Sorry they haven't been consultant in her writing with previous books though. Great honest review!

  6. Huh. It seems like the Forman craze is fizzling out? I admit, I've read nothing by her, and I don't think I will - her books just don't seem to be for me! Still, that's so disappointing, when a book just isn't living up to the quality of its predecessors (related or not). I'm sorry you didn't love this one, Jasprit!

    Wonderful review. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  7. I haven't read many of Forman's YA novels, just If I Stay and Sisters in Sanity I think. I really loved this one though. Sorry it wasn't LOVE for you.

  8. Great review! The description of this one just didn't appeal to me at all and now I really don't think I'll read it -- I agree with you re: her last two just not having that same spark as her other works. I loved Just One Day (and companions) but this sounds like it misses the mark!


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