Not Really

Not Really

Hello and happy Wednesday. Excuse the lack of creativity in my titles recently, but I want to be less poetic and more direct in all aspects of my life. I think I’m becoming increasingly cynical, and the book I’m reviewing today fed that cynicism. I’m talking about Love Virtually by Daniel Glattauer. 

I read this book between February 13th and February 15th, 2020 and I gave it five stars. Saying I loved it is an understatement. I started it because I felt that I was on the verge of a reading slump, so in order to avoid it, I picked up a book that I thought was about two people who fell in love via the internet. Well, it was and it wasn’t’, and that’s what I loved about this book: it was raw and real and it took the turns that life usually does, not the ones that readers expect or hope to see. 

This book was originally written in German and it won international awards, which made it more interesting and the stakes higher. I don’t read many translated books, but oddly enough, this is my third of the year. The premise of this book, as the title and the cover might suggest is that two strangers, Emmi and Leo develop a romance through email exchanges. This means that the entire novel is comprised of emails. You don’t get a narrator that sets the scene or provides context for you, and that’s the kind of story I have discovered I love because it is like real life, in which you don’t always get the whole story right away. It also makes it a quick and addictive read because you simply need to know what happens next. 

The way that Emmi and Leo start communicating is through a message sent to the wrong person, and I know what you’re thinking, what a cute setup, right? Add to that the banter between the two characters and you get the perfect Valentine’s Day read, right? Oh, also, Emmi and Leo are adorable and while reading this book I was reminded of the movie Definitely Maybe, so you know it’s a fluffy read, right? I don’t want to burst your bubble (I’m kidding, I definitely do), but this isn’t a fluffy book. Like I said, it’s real and it’s raw and it’s complicated. It is also an adult read, so if you’re not into that, don’t pick it up. 

The plot is full of tension and will have you wondering what’s going to happen all the way till the end, and then the end will come and you’ll feel some kind of way. I know that the ending would have infuriated me six years ago. Now I understand that it couldn’t have happened any other way, although the author probably changed his mind about that because this novel has a sequel. I’m not going to read it, in case you were wondering because I’m content with how the original book concluded. 

Which books do you think should have been standalones? Let me know in the comments below. 

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila 

4 thoughts on “Not Really

  1. I read this book for the first time when I was 16 – a birthday gift from my sister. And I absolutely fell in love with it. When I tell people about this book, they judge it harshly because of its title to be something cliche and superficial and I just can’t ever successfully articulate why it isn’t so. I’m glad you enjoyed this book! Do you have any recommendations for me for some other beautiful epistolary books? xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we can both agree that this is a controversial book. I do have some recommendations but they might not be as beautiful or profound as this one. I can think of This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith, which starts with the same “I emailed the wrong address” premise. It is YA and besides the initial mix up it’s pretty different than Love Virtually, but there is that cute email exchange at the beginning. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord features an online relationship/friendship. I recently read and reviewed that one as part of a blog tour. Oh! I think you might enjoy The Dog Walker’s Diary by Kathryn Donahue. The characters communicate by writing to each other in this binder. That’s really nice and original. I read that somewhat recently too, so you can find the review somewhere in here. Let me know if you end up reading any of these books!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, thank you for the recommendations! I have read This Is What Happy Looks Like and it was sweet, but yes, not at all comparable to Love Virtually. That book is a whole different kind of precious! I will look up the other books you’ve recommended and will let you know when I read them 😀 Are you on Goodreads, – and active – by any chance?

    Liked by 1 person

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