Cover Image: I Love You So Much It's Killing Us Both

I Love You So Much It's Killing Us Both

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Member Reviews

The writing was very moody and dark. This is for the reader who doesn't mind a thought-driven novel by a character making irresponsible choices.

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Music lovers may enjoy this deep dive into punk through the characters’ life soundtracks. Unfortunately, I did not fair as well with this one. A bit too in the weeds for my taste.

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You had me at Black punk protagonist, best friendships, attachment issues, race, sexuality, yearning, and complicated relationships. This is a beautifully written book - literary above all. Thanks for the ARC, I highly recommend I Love You So Much It's Killing Us Both.

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Immersive, compelling, and beautifully written. A recommended purchase for collections with an overlap in lit and WF's popularity.

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"I Love You So Much It's Killing Us Both" by Mariah Stovall is a thought-provoking, emotional exploration of the interplay between relationship attachment styles and the complexities of love and friendship. Set against the backdrop of Los Angeles and New York City, this coming-of-age narrative introduces us to Khaki, a complex protagonist perpetually trying to disappear into something – be it a codependent friendship, an ill-fated romance, or the punk music scene. She definitely disappeared into Fiona and almost lost herself so it was quite entertaining as a reader to meet Khaki on the cusp of a reunion with Fiona.

At the heart of this story is the deeply complicated, decade-long friendship between Khaki and her former best friend who she's in love with. Both women grapple with avoidant and anxious attachment styles, and this book is an astute exploration of how these styles clash. Khaki and Fiona's platonic love is intense, confusing, and encourages their worst impulses. Yet, their bond is undeniable, and it's this tension between their love and their mutual avoidance of emotional intimacy that forms the core of the narrative.

Khaki's introverted, contemplative nature serves as a lens through which we delve into the intricate dynamics of their relationship. She is equal parts terrified and tempted when Fiona extends an invitation to a party celebrating her newly adopted daughter (yt mom; black adoptee). This reunion forces Khaki to confront her own past, her fears, and the intoxicating memories of their shared interracial relationship history.

The book's title, "I Love You So Much It's Killing Us Both," encapsulates the central theme that love, in its various forms, can simultaneously be a source of healing *and* destruction. Khaki reflects on the passage of time and the evolution of her attachment to Fiona, realizing the difference between "you" and "us." She wrestles with the regret of dedicating years to a relationship that was not conducive to her growth, yet she finds herself rewriting the past through a rosy lens.

The contrast between Khaki and Fiona's mental health struggles is a significant part of their complex relationship. Khaki's desire to live and heal is juxtaposed against Fiona's past wish to die. This poignant dichotomy serves as a stark reminder that two people can love each other deeply and simultaneously be detrimental to each other's well-being.

Stovall's masterful storytelling allows readers to explore the intricacies of attachment styles, the potential for personal growth, and the transformative power of hindsight. "I Love You So Much It's Killing Us Both" is a novel that resonates deeply with those who understand that relationships are not always straightforward, that love is multifaceted, and that, sometimes, we need to confront the past to pave a healthier path for the future. Thank you to the author and publisher for the opportunity to read the e-arc copy!

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