Book Review: Love Slave by Jennifer Spiegel

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It’s the mid-nineties and Sybil Wetherfield is a thirty year old New Yorker trying to uncover who she really is, what she wants out of life, what she wants out of love.

Sybil is witty, sarcastic, a cynic. She’s getting older, stuck in a temporary state of unrest. She considers herself an artist, writing a column for a weekly newspaper, but temping to make ends meet. Her one good friend is a girl she met temping who longs to get out of New York. She’s in a mediocre relationship with what should be the perfect guy for her.

Enter Rob Shachtley, the lead singer of Glass Half Empty. Handsome, retro and chic, Rob is haunted by his young wife’s death, still mourning her after 7 years. Sybil and Rob strike up a friendship that has her questioning what she wants for her future.

Sybil is self involved and trying to be something she’s not. She’s unwittingly complicated and so unsure of each decision she makes. The whole time I was reading I was wishing I could take her by the shoulders and shake her.

Rob is such a wonderfully written character. He’s complex and sensitive, a good guy, and you can instantly understand the need to be with the band.

The author does a great job of putting you in that New York state of mind. Great descriptions and locales. You want to instantly be with Sybil, on the street, eating huge pancakes or sitting in a bar listening to the band. Being with the band. There a lot of good nineties nostalgia scattered throughout.

The middle of the book was slow at times and I didn’t always care for Sybil’s Shock articles which are placed throughout the book.

The ending was satisfying without tying everything up too neatly. Sybil is always romanticizing and I think by the end she realizes that love and life doesn’t mirror fantasy and that’s ok.

A good, solid read from an up and coming author.

This book was provided for review by Netgalley.

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