Cover Image: How to Fall Out of Love Madly

How to Fall Out of Love Madly

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

How to Fall Out of Love Madly tells the story of three women and the men in their lives, plus a couple of other people in their orbit. The writing and pacing is very consistent, and I think there are some really poignant lines that Casale has crafted, however there's also a lot of lines that make tonal sense, but I found to be a little bit aggravating to read (see: discussion of cellulite, for example).

This is marketed as a millennial book, and I do think that distinction is very correct. I am on the generational cusp between millennial and gen z, and I did find that this book would probably be at its best if you're a true millennial. I also think this book would work best if you find the characters relatable, which was something I hadn't quite anticipated. I did find this book to be very straight and, as a queer person, many of the concerns and observations/revelations/etc just did not land with me. A lot of the book is just that one meme where the tarot cards spell out DUMP HIM because the men are so incredibly mediocre. Arguably, though, I think people who place a lot of value in romantic relationships will probably see a little bit of themselves in this book. The women all felt very real and their concerns are ones I am tangentially familiar with (which is to say their concerns are not ones I personally have experience with, but I know many people who do have those concerns). 

This didn't quite work for me, and I don't think it's a book that will work for everyone. All in all, I think this book was fine, but would be great if the characters resonate with you.
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(3.5) A fun read, and well-written. Very relatable and human. A novel about three women whose love lives are in varying stages of disarray, and the men who are the sources of their problems. Joy and Annie are best friends; their lives change when they are forced for financial reasons to find a third roommate, who turns out to be Theo, an extremely hot guy. Joy falls for him quickly; Annie moves out, but has her own troubles with her long-time boyfriend Jason. Soon enough, Theo’s girlfriend (the story’s third narrator) enters the picture, a woman named Celine who is ridiculously beautiful. 

Casale can be really funny: “Sexy was something you were anointed, like being a princess or winning the Nobel Prize,” Joy thinks. Later, Celine recalls an interaction with her mother: “‘You don’t even remember the eighties, shut the hell up,’ her mom had once said, and sometimes Celine felt like that tenor was the basis of virtually all their interactions.” 

Sometimes Casale's prose really sparkles, and those are the moments that kept me hooked in. “She could fold and unfold who he was into every pocket of herself. It was madness, but it felt like fire. She was in love with him and every facet of herself newly cut through his prism was exalting.” 

To be honest, I found the form a bit confusing, though it is interesting; primarily, the perspective is third-person limited, but in each large section of the book there are brief first-person interludes from each of the main characters (barring one exception, the fourth section of the novel, which is narrated in the first-person by a fourth character). 

Sometimes, I found it a bit heavy-handed; continuously, we see Joy, Annie, and Celine trip over themselves to please men, undercutting themselves in ways that are increasingly extreme (especially in Joy’s case). It’s not that I don’t find this believable: unfortunately, as is the point of the book, I think culture teaches women to behave this way, and it is abhorrent. It’s just that these self-sabotaging behaviors are very often remarked on by the narration (not verbatim, but comments like “Why was she doing this?” etc.); for this reason I as a reader felt like I arrived at the conclusion far, far before the characters did. 

I was satisfied with the conclusions to Joy and Annie’s stories, but felt a bit lost with Celine—she was interesting to read about, but less engaging to me than Joy and Annie, and her story has a bit less direction than the other two. 

Just because it’s my preferred kind of book, I’d love to see a novel from Casale focused more on prose and language as a medium (e.g. specifically being poetic). I think she has a talent for it, but it didn’t seem to be her goal with this book. I’d be willing to check out her previous novel, too; I haven’t read it.
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This book was not for me. I had a hard time getting into it and it felt a bit like millennial fluff. I also had a hard time connecting with the characters
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4.5 stars. This is a great novel about friendship and feminism and love and figuring out your life.  Joy and Annie are roommates and the rent goes up and so they need to find a new roommate to help with the bills so they finally settle on Theo and the story takes off from there. It's told through different points of view.  Annie and Joy are both dealing with their own issues with self worth and once Theo enters the picture the plot moves forward and ultimately the characters change in a very satisfying way.  The novel asks if two people of the opposite sex can be platonic and what happens when one person falls in love and the other takes advantage.  The writing is very good. 

When Annie is at a wedding she doesn't want to be at here is an interaction with the Bride and Annie when the bride talks about how blessed she feels: 

 "I’m so blessed.” Blessed. Annie felt the word sitting in the air. It always rubbed her the wrong way how women used it. Blessed implied luck, but it never seemed that when women said it they meant luck. It always seemed that what they meant was better. Annie once went over an Instagram page of a friend of hers from high school who had three kids and her teeth bleached regularly, and took every single #blessed and turned it into #betterthanyou. “Took the kids to pick out a Christmas tree #betterthanyou” “Happy Anniversary, “Family vacay #betterthanyou”

Here is a quote from Celine, a character that appears half way through: 

"Each guy she hooked up with was a little bit more of something. A little flash of self-worth to get her through to the next moment of her life." 

A quote from Joy: "Maybe, she thought, I would be a totally different person if I was able to cross my legs twice."

And here is a stream of consciousness from Celine when she becomes aware of her behavior regarding men:

"All day I’d check my phone hoping he’d reach out. And he did, he texted “thinking of you” at around 3:00 p.m., and when I got that text, I felt completely elated. I felt wanted, or maybe it isn’t just wanted, maybe it’s needed too, and I hope it’s loved, but I’m not sure that it is. But it is wanted. That’s why I was with Theo, that’s why just a few days later I was on a dating app hoping to meet someone else. I can see the problem, I can touch, and feel, and know the problem, but it’s one thing to know the problem and it’s another to fix it. It’s been so long of this. My whole life really. When I was twelve years old hoping for a boy to choose me, when I was fighting for the love of a horrible man, when I stood in that bathroom making that video even. It was there. Always, it was there. And I know now that it’s ruined my life. That’s a strong word, ruined. People don’t like to say it because people like to feel hope, but this feeling of needing men to approve of me, it’s ruined my life so far. I want it to stop because I can see myself just hurting myself like this over and over."

Just a good story about the life of three women and how they define themselves and how friendship can work or not and how relationships show us a bit of ourselves.
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I loved Jana Casale's debut novel, but I couldn't enjoy this. The characters were so unlikeable, even from the start. Their problems and constant whining came off tedious. Also, I think I'm starting to lose interest in this certain genre, so I'm in the minority. I can understand why a lot of other reviewers enjoyed this novel. I felt like the synopsis gave too much away. It's better to go in this story blind. Jana Casale is talented, but I recommend her debut, "The Girl who Never Read..." instead.
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Every single one of these girls seriously needs a therapist. They all were so hate-able yet so relatable at the same time, especially Joy.
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I love a book packed full of angst and discomfort. Gives me all the feels. This was a great novel and I can’t wait to read future books by them!
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Goodreads review:
This book was full of female millennial angst and I loved it, it's perfect for fans of Sally Rooney or similar authors in the genre. How to Fall Out of Love Madly follows the stories of three women: Annie, Joy, and Celine, who are all in their early 30s.

Joy and Annie are friends who move in together but end up needing a third roommate in order to cover expenses, so they end up renting out the extra bedroom to Theo. All three get along and spend time together, but Annie soon moves out to live with her boyfriend Jason. Meanwhile, Joy is harboring a crush for Theo that turns into full blown obsessive love. She starts arranging her schedule around his so they can spend more time together, cooking with him, and generally thinking about Theo all the time. After months go by like this, she is shocked when he brings home his girlfriend Celine that he had never mentioned before. This doesn't deter Joy however, who ramps up her efforts to make Theo happy, basically taking care of everything for him including the cooking and cleaning.

Annie and Joy still see each other from time to time and Annie doesn't really understand why Joy is so obsessed with Theo, but she has her own things going on. Her relationship with Jason is rocky, with her unable to be her authentic self around him for fear of driving him away; Jason is incredibly moody and prickly and Annie is trying desperately to keep their relationship going. At the same time, she finds out a secret at work and is trying to decide how to handle it.

Celine seems like she has everything she could want. She is beautiful, has a decent job, and has Theo. But her beauty is also her curse - she needs love and attention from men in order to feel validated. She also has some dark moments in her past that she is trying to come to grips with and that have had a lasting effect.

What I really enjoyed about this book was how normal and yet complex each of the female characters were. Like any real person, they are complicated and not just one thing. Annie is strong and stands up for someone else at her job, but can't stand up for herself in her relationship with Jason, whose unchecked emotional reactions to everything have Annie constantly walking on eggshells. Celine is stunningly beautiful and you would assume that has made her life easy - but the constant attention for her looks have become a crutch for her, a validation she needs and is constantly seeking. Joy is caring, kind, and a great person, but has awful self esteem and thus lets Theo take advantage of that kindness. While none of them have extraordinarily difficult lives they all do have issues, struggling financially, mentally, and emotionally, sometimes burdened by events in their past. I felt like I was reading characters that reflected me and my friends and our experiences as millennial women in our workplaces, in our relationships with each other, and in our relationships with men.

Note that there are some content warnings, including descriptions of sexual assault.

Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for the ARC of How to Fall Out of Love Madly! This book will be published on August 2, 2022.

Instagram review:
This book was full of millennial angst, told from the perspectives of 3 women in their early 30s. Perfect for Sally Rooney fans.

Book 📚: How to Fall Out of Love Madly by @janacasale
Genre 💖: Contemporary adult fiction
Rating ⭐️: 4/5
Spice 🌶: No on page scenes, brief mentions of off page

This book comes out August 2, 2022!

Synopsis: Joy and Annie are two friends who live together but need a third roommate to help cover expenses, so they rent out the extra room to Theo. Shortly after, Annie moves out to live with her boyfriend Jason. Meanwhile, Joy, who has crippling low self esteem, is harboring an intense crush on Theo that spirals into full blown obsessive love. She arranges her schedule to spend time with him, does the cooking and the cleaning, and thinks about Theo all the time. So she is shocked when he brings home his girlfriend Celine.

Annie doesn’t understand Joy’s obsession with Theo but has issues of her own. Jason is incredibly moody and Annie has to walk on eggshells around him. She also finds out a secret and work and needs to decide how to handle it.

Celine is beautiful but that beauty has also been her downfall. She craves attention and validation from men and is grappling with dark moments from her past.

Review: what I really enjoyed about this book was how normal and yet complex each woman was, just like real women are. While none of them have extraordinarily difficult lives they all do have their own issues, struggling financially, mentally, and emotionally, sometimes burdened by the past. I felt like I was reading characters that reflected me and my friends and our experiences as millennial women in our workplaces, in our relationships with each other, and in our relationships with men.

Thank you @netgalley and @randomhouse for this ARC!
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This was a quick read! Enjoyed it but definitely not something I'd want to read again. I'd be curious to read more from the author! Thank you netgalley & the publisher for the ARC!
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How to Fall Out of Love Madly follows three women struggling with the unpredictability of relationships and the constantly changing nature of adulthood. Best friends Joy and Annie just had a third roommate, Theo, move in to help with the rent, but before long, Joy falls utterly in love with him. When Annie moves out to live with her boyfriend, Joy's hopes are high that something can develop between her and Theo, that is, until he brings home the effortless beauty, Celine. 

The majority of How to Fall Out of Love Madly trades off between Annie, Joy, and Celine's perspectives, offering the reader a chance to examine their interactions from different angles. However, the depth b0ttomed out here. Each character was trapped inside of stale trope, and while tropes become stale out of mass shared experience, Joy, Annie, and Celine treaded water for most of the text. While every situation doesn't have to resolve, it's key that it evolves, as do the characters along with it. No one really got wiser, more likable, or less likable. Everyone just sort of...existed without much of a catalyst driving the narrative or the characters. Admittedly, this might work for some readers, but I found myself wanting something that it didn't quite deliver.
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Fans of Jennifer Close and Sally Rooney will love this one! I loved the multiple perspectives, and each character felt so true to life. Genuinely funny and also moving.
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This was a mess but a very entertaining mess. I actually didn’t connect or *love* the characters but I was still thoroughly interested in watching how both the plot and their lives unfold.
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I haven’t corrected so much to a book in a long time. Even though each of the women in the book were vastly different, I found a way to connect with each of them. I normally get very annoyed while reading “millennial women’s literary fiction”, which is how this was presented to me, but instead I found that it was poignant and easy to relate to. The intermix of the three women made me reflect on my own friendships but also the different parts of myself. I really hope this book get the attention I think it deserves.
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It would be hard for a book to live up to this  beautiful cover, but this novel by Jana Casale is equally as beautiful.  How to Fall Out of Love Madly follows 3 women in their early 30s whose lives haven't lived up to their expectations professionally or personally.  Each character's lives intertwine with each other as they reflect on how they got into their situations and what to do next.  How do they make the best of things as they are?  Are their lives as good as they could be or are they settling?  I found myself connecting and almost commiserating with these 3 women.  This novel is slow and thoughtful and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it.  Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in return for an honest opinion.
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I really enjoyed this book! It was a really quick read that was more focused on the characters than the plot, which was a nice change of pace for me. I don’t always like romance, but this was so cute, I couldn’t not enjoy it!
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I'm usually not a big romance fan but this was a cute and believable novel about three young millennials who desperately want to find "the love of their lives." Joy and Annie are roommates but when Theo moves in, the dynamic changes--as of course it does when you introduce a male into a female home. And so we see how their friendships change, how they cope with outsiders, and how they sometimes let their feelings get in the way of logic. That's just life, isn't it? We do get a POV from each so it's important to see how appearance vs. reality usually works. In love, out of love, none of these characters were as lovable by themselves as they wanted to be, but we can recognize the appeal of that "special someone" when we are young and hopeful. 
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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I was given a free ARC from the publisher through Netgally in exchange for my honest review.

Joy, Annie and Celine are three woman all experiencing life and love in their 30s. This book jumps between the perspectives of each woman. The characters and the issues they face are very real, their stories are relatable, and they all grow a lot by the end of the novel.

I actually started reading this right before my own life went into turmoil. I started out liking the book, then it lulled for a long time and I almost gave up on it multiple times. I'm glad I stuck it out though because I absolutely loved the end of the book. I was sitting at about 2.5-3 stars until about the last 10-15% of the book which I enjoyed so much that it bumped my rating up to 3.5-4 stars.
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If you like character-driven fiction, you might like this book; unfortunately, it didn't work out for me. 

"How to Fall Out of Love Madly" follows three young women (Joy, Annie, and Celine) whose lives intersect with each other in various ways as they deal with the trials of their everyday lives. It was character-focused in the extreme; I usually like character-driven stories, but in this case, I felt like the characters weren't driving much of anything until maybe the last ~10 percent of the book. They - and the plot, along with them - were stagnating. (This doesn't actually seem like it's *not* what the author was going for! But it made it really hard to feel engaged in any way with the story.) I spent so much of the time hoping that something would happen, and very little did. The characters were also, in my opinion, difficult to get emotionally invested in, which I think added to my discontent with the book overall when so much of it was about the characters. 

The plotlines also felt unbalanced in a way which is difficult to explain. It felt like Joy's POV dominated and Celine's was somewhat neglected, though I don't know if that's actually true; Annie's work-related storyline felt like it should have been more intense or urgent-feeling, but it lagged behind for me, too. (The single exception was the anonymous first-person narration section about that particular plotline, which was *excellent.* I wish the whole book had felt like that did.) 

Ultimately, I probably should have DNFed this when I realized it wasn't my cup of tea, but I kept on with it because I was hoping it would get better. The final ten percent of the book helped redeem things a bit; things picked up significantly and a lot of character growth was squished into a very small part of the book. And, as mentioned before, the anonymous first-person narration section that fit into Annie's storyline was excellent. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this in exchange for my honest review.
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Get angry. Get even. Get free. That is the crux of this book- female rage. It is about the rage that we as women keep inside of us, the rage that builds whenever someone mistreats us and, instead of remarking on this mistreatment, we apologize. It is about the what it's like to be female, alone, and broke in a city that does not respect you and in a culture that was not built for you. It's about utterly flawed and unlikeable women who are still no more flawed and or unlikeable than the men even thought they're treated as such. It's about wanting domestic things- the baby, the man, the house- and still being a feminist. This reads like a more self-aware version of "Girls" set in a post me-too era where everyone is deeply flawed and unable to grow up. This book is a stifled scream.
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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was cute, nothing life changing, but a cute read.
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