Adelaide – A Fresh Literary Look at Relationships

There are parts of our hearts we give away. Not lend, but sacrifice entirely. And there are some people to whom we give these pieces, knowing we’ll never really get them back.

Adelaide Adelaide Wheeler

My Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

In Summary of Adelaide

“For twenty-six-year-old Adelaide Williams, an American living in dreamy London, meeting Rory Hughes was like a lightning bolt out of the blue: this charming Englishman was The One she wasn’t even looking for.

Is it enough?

Does he respond to texts? Honor his commitments? Make advance plans? Sometimes, rarely, and no, not at all. But when he shines his light on her, the world makes sense, and Adelaide is convinced that, in his heart, he’s fallen just as deeply as she has. Then, when Rory is rocked by an unexpected tragedy, Adelaide does everything in her power to hold him together—even if it means losing herself in the process.

When love asks too much of us, how do we find the strength to put ourselves first?

With unflinching honesty and heart, this relatable debut from a fresh new voice explores grief and mental health while capturing the timeless nature of what it’s like to be young and in love—with your friends, with your city, and with a person who cannot, will not, love you back.” –Goodreads Synopsis

READ IF YOU LIKE: literary fiction; reading about the struggles of millennial women; somber, moody books

Trigger Warnings: suicidal ideation

Extremely well-developed charactersPacing – quite slow; if you don’t like slow burns, this might not be a fit
The friendship dynamics are beautiful and strong
Presents a fresh look at what relationships can really entail

“She knew that not all love felt the same, of course, but she tended to experience love (be it romantic, platonic of familial) in all-consuming, dizzying proportions… She dove in headfirst. It was the only way she knew.”

Adelaide – Genevieve Wheeler

The Review

Oh, Adelaide – what a timely, relatable novel for millennial women, or anyone just wanting to be loved.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a romance. Adelaide provides a contemporary, literary lens that explores toxic “love” while emphasizing the true love that comes with friendships and finding self-worth.

We all want to be loved, but finding someone that loves us well and in the ways we deserve is the hard part. Unfortunately for Adelaide, she doesn’t quite understand yet what she deserves in terms of connections and treatment.

I’ve read critiques of this novel say that “Adelaide is too whiny” and “why doesn’t she just ditch Rory and move on?” Well, folks, it’s just not that easy.

I get it. I’ve been Adelaide.

Which is why I think Adelaide could be a great discussion piece for a book club or between reader friends. It provides a fictional perspective on attachment styles in relationships and a refreshing emphasis on self-love and female friendship support in rough times. Additionally, this book can help young adults feel seen; it’s easy to write someone off as being “too needy” or “desperate” when really they have emotional/relationship needs that are valid and deserve to be met.

Adelaide is my new best friend, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to sit with her story. She sees and understands, and that’s what literature is all about.

Adelaide Book Information

  • Published: 2023
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • ISBN: ‎ 9781250280848
  • Format: Hardback
  • Length: 304 pages

Learn About & Support the Author – Genevieve Wheeler


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