4 out of 4 stars
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Looking Glass Friends by E.L. Neve is a poetic love story about two friends who fulfill each other in ways they never thought possible. They end up falling for each other rather quickly and must face the fact that their current marriages are not what they truly wanted for themselves.
Ellie and Neil had written off their ideals of love years ago, and seeing them connect and slowly rediscover what they lost reminded me of my own journey to live a fulfilling life. The writing is elegant and paints a vivid picture of each person's thoughts and feelings. I found myself being sucked into the pages and forgetting the real world existed for a few hours at a time.
What I liked most was the author's use of imagery. She describes a body of water as "a shattered mirror beneath a rosy sky" as Neil looks out the window, thinking over the mess his life has become. The book is full of such symbolism that, while metaphorical, still paints a clear picture and is easy to understand. It reminds me of poetry, which uses a lot of imagery but with meanings too nebulous or obscure for me to grasp. This book combines the symbolism of poetry with the clear story progression of a novel and allowed me to enjoy the best of both worlds.
From a technical standpoint, I didn't find any flaws in the book. I think that the only thing I really disliked was Neil's perspective in the beginning. For some time, Neil merely shuts out the world and runs from his problems, which irritated me and somewhat soured my feelings towards the joy of discovery he found in writing to Ellie. This didn't take away from my overall reading experience, as the story was still engaging and got quite an emotional reaction out of me.
In the end, the book ended up resonating strongly with me. The theme of self-sacrifice in all the wrong ways is something I've experienced, and the book serves as a beautifully written warning to its readers to not do that. Anyone who enjoys romance would likely find some enjoyment in this book. There are a few erotic scenes in here, a little profanity sprinkled through the book, and one instance of sexual assault that may upset some readers. With all that in mind, I think that people of all backgrounds can enjoy it. In my opinion, this book deserves 4 out of 4 stars.
Looking Glass Friends
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