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The Opposite of Love Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 29, 2008

52 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, January 29, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Harvard law grad Buxbaum makes an appealing debut with this tale of Yale law graduate Emily Haxby, eager to break through the emotional and professional ties that bind her. It's like you get pleasure out of breaking your own heart, best friend Jess tells Emily after her bustup with her doctor boyfriend. But Emily isn't through self-destructing; she also implodes over her fast-failing Grandpa Jack, from whom Emily learned everything... about life; chilly relations with her lieutenant governor father, Kirk; and a precarious career as a litigator defending big, evil corporations for a Manhattan law firm. This single-gal-in-the-city finds her white-knuckle hold on life and love slowly slipping as it dawns on her that the opposite of love isn't hate, it's emptiness. Grandpa Jack and his retirement home pal, Ruth, help steer Emily to a soft landing, but the big disappointment is that the resolution is far less interesting than the unraveling that precedes it. (Jan.)
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“In the character of Emily, Julie Buxbaum has created the quintessential motherless daughter: a woman who longs for the comfort of intimacy, yet fears its permanence. The Opposite of Love is a brilliant examination of loss, romance, and the jagged, imperfect, utterly realistic way we fall and stay in love. A stunning debut.”—Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Daughters

"You’ll want to keep reading all night.”—Library Journal, Starred Review

“A witty, touching debut novel rich with emotional truths. Women everywhere will relate to Julie Buxbaum's thoughtful, young heroine and her journey of loss and love.”—Emily Giffin, author of Love the One You’re With

“Gripping, wise and extremely refreshing. I loved it.”—Marian Keyes, author of Sushi for Beginners and Angels

"Buxbaum makes an appealing debut with this tale of...[a] single gal-in-the-city [who] finds her white-knuckle hold on life and love slowly slipping."—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Dial Press; 1 edition (January 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385341229
  • ASIN: B005Q6AR5G
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,493,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

1. Julie Buxbaum is the author of the critically acclaimed The Opposite of Love and After You, and the soon to be released YA novel Tell Me Three Things and her work has been translated into twenty-five languages.
2. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young children, and an immortal goldfish, and once received an anonymous email which inspired her YA debut.
3. You can visit Julie online at and follow @juliebux on Twitter where she doesn't list everything in groups of three.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By V. Lynford on March 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
An intimate portrait of a thirty year-old woman's reclamation of self, Julie Buxbaum's novel "The Opposite of Love," is as moving as it is fun to read. The book is an unabashed tale of an everyday girl, protagonist Emily Haxby who tackles self-doubt, abandonment and the cobwebbed skeletons that are in all of our closets that we rarely let out for people to see. Emily works hard to reconstruct her identity and it is her earnest inner voice which all along charters her progress that lies at the core of this book's narrative.

What really makes this story worthwhile is that the author strikes a perfect balance between wit and poignancy. No small feat... At times I found myself laughing out loud. Often actually! And other times I found my eyes welling with tears cause the author was able to so deftly capture a moment or a relationship with the perfect word choice or descriptive feeling. Thank you Ms. Buxbaum, for sharing your unique and fresh voice, I look forward to reading more of your work in days to come.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Shawn S. Sullivan on February 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Opposite of Love, by Julie Buxbaum, is a terrific read. It is really an emotional book that goes to the edges of feelings and relationships. At times humorous it its own raw honesty, at times sad as her protagonist, Emily Haxby, struggles with discovering her self, one in which she is capable to put herself in a position to love, that is, a position of vulnerability. It seems that every reader these days likes to pigeonhole books into various and sharply defined genres. Perhaps they would call this "chick lit". Or "coming of age". I would caution against such categorization and say this book, while far from being "deep" is clearly a fun read. Call it a summer read and bring it to the beach or the lake this summer. I, for one, am glad Ms. Buxbaum decided to take a risk as a writer. She is off to a fine start.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Bailey on March 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I loved reading The Opposite of Love. It is the story of Emily Haxby, a young woman who appears to have it all: an Ivy League education, job at prestigious New York City law firm, and doting doctor boyfriend, Andrew. But when Andrew starts dropping hints about diamond rings, Emily abruptly ends things with him and can't seem to explain why to even her best friends or her beloved Grandpa Jack. As Emily reflects on her relationship with Andrew and why she could not fully let him in, the rest of her world quickly comes undone.

Buxbaum depicts Emily's out of control life with elements that include both comedy and total seriousness. You will cringe as you read about the things Emily must endure while working on a big case with a lecherous partner, laugh as she awkwardly bumps into Andrew post break up at the most inopportune times, and cry when Emily's Grandpa Jack, whom she loves more than anyone, begins to exhibit signs of Alzheimer's Disease and health deterioration. It is also heartbreaking to read about her memories of her mother who died when Emily was young, her relationship with her distant father, and her regrets about leaving Andrew. You really begin to feel for this character and want her to turn her life around.

Although it definitely seems like Emily has far too many catastrophic things happening in her life, she is bolstered along the way with the help of her best friend, Jess; colorful co-workers, and Grandpa Jack's retirement home pal and former judge, Ruth. All of these characters are well-developed and fun to read about. They offer Emily support, wisdom, and a few too many cocktails!

With a writing style similar to that of Emily Giffin, Buxbaum chronicles Emily as she picks herself up and dusts herself off and begins to take control of her life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leah Graham on December 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Opposite of Love does begin fairly slowly. I mean the Prologue does pull you in, and the first line of Chapter One does even more so: "Last night I dreamt that I chopped Andrew up into a hundred little pieces, like a Benihana chef, and ate them, one by one. He tasted like chicken." I mean, come on, that's a fairly intriguing start, no? But after that the book seems to slow down, mostly due to the fact that it's so hard to get to grips with Emily because she seems so detached, despite the fact the book is written entirely from her point of view. It's clear from the off that Emily has problems; who dumps their boyfriend of two years just because he's going to propose? Exactly. Despite my cold feelings towards Emily, I did persevere as I liked the story but it was the developing plot featuring Emily and her Grandpa Jack that really kept me reading.

I don't know how it happened or what page it happened, but I suddenly found myself feeling different toward the book. Emily didn't change, not drastically anyway, but I began to understand her more, and suddenly I saw the book in a whole new light. It wasn't too far in, either, and all of a sudden I was hooked and I could barely stop reading. There are many plot strands to the book, Emily's work life is a big focus but it's mainly about Emily's inability to have a proper, adult relationship. It seems the only man Emily is able to have a relationship of any sort with is her Grandpa Jack; she doesn't even have a real relationship with her own father. It was interesting to get to the bottom of why Emily was so bad with the men in her life, excepting Grandpa Jack, and to see if Emily could ever overcome the reasons why.

Despite the cold-fish vibe I got from Emily at the beginning of the book I did manage to like her eventually.
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