Love Story

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 everything they have ever believed--as they share a passion far greater than anything they dreamed possible . . . and explore the wonder of a love that must end too soon.

The story is just what the title says it is: a love story, and a cliched one at that. It's the rich boy-poor girl angle everyone seems to be tired of already, but it still appealed to me. Maybe because I'm a sucker for cliched love stories.

The plot of the story is fairly simple: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy marries girl, then something tragic happens. All that happens in less than 140 pages. Reading the book felt like getting little glimpses in the lives of Oliver and Jenny. Nothing is over complicated. One chapter, they're on a date, the next they're talking about getting married. Sometimes, I just wanted to shout "STOP WAIT A MINUTE LET ME CATCH UP!" but I realized that this wasn't a normal reading experience; it was listening to someone recount his love story. When someone tells you a story, they don't go into every detail, they just tell you the ones they remember, the significant parts. That's what Love Story is. Someone telling you a story as if you were his friend. They don't recite each scene of their lives, they don't say what they had for breakfast or what they said to each other word per word. It was a refreshing read, actually.

Except the tragic ending.

Which I made the mistake of reading in school. If I wanted to, I could have read it in two days, but I didn't want it to end yet. Before Calculus class, I only had like a few chapters left to read so I figured I could read it before the professor comes.


Oliver and Jenny goes to the doctor to find out why they can't get pregnant. Instead they find out something else. Jenny has leukemia. I literally had to clutch my chest and mutter "oh god oh god oh god", which earned me weird looks from my classmates. Jenny was going to die, I know for sure. I couldn't wrap my head around it. WHY?! Why did someone have to die!? This was a love story! They're too young, damn it! That chapter hit me square in the face like that stray volleyball in gym class a few years ago: unexpected and fucking painful. And yes, like that time in gym class, I cried.

And Jenny wasn't even dead yet.

Why did  I care so much about two characters who anyone would think would be impossible to know in less than 140 pages? I don't know too. It was pretty crazy, if you ask me. But it just pained me to know that thes two people aren't going to have a happily ever after.

Thanks Erich Segal. For breaking my heart.

Anyway, let me address something that a few people would consider a minor flaw in what would otherwise be a flawless book: the line "Love means never having to say you're sorry." Although I also don't agree with it, I thought that maybe the author just worded it wrongly. Maybe his point was if you love each other and understand each other very much, you don't need words like "Sorry" because I guess you just know ... you know? Ugh. I suck.  I can't explain it properly, but I tried oh well.

Also, this was turned into a movie and I only found out yesterday! The movie was in 1970. Pretty old, but apparently a tearjerker, according to IMDB User Reviews. I downloaded it. Heh.



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