This book was a surprise find, and boy was it worth the read! I’d heard of the story before, but I wasn’t too sure what it was about ahead of time. So my expectations were fairly low, and I was pleasantly surprised by the fairy-tale feeling that permeates the short novel. As the title suggests, it’s a love story, and the romance between Oliver and Jennifer is masterfully woven.
The ending is tragic, and I’ll fearlessly admit that I sobbed for several minutes once the last page was turned, but all the same it was a lovely kind of finality. You get the feeling that it reflects how life really works: we all experience a few magical moments in our lives, mixed in with the heartbreak of reality.
I enjoyed the relationships between the two main characters, of course, but I also enjoyed how they related to the other people in their lives, especially their parents. The realistic depictions of their non-romantic relationships made the fairy-tale all the more special, romantic, and somehow realistic.
AND WHAT ABOUT THE MOVIE? The book sprang from a screenplay written by Mr. Segal, and so the subsequent movie follows almost word for word to the book. While I enjoyed the movie (8/10), it felt kind of like a staged reading. You can read the book in almost the same amount of time that it takes to watch the movie, so you probably can do one or the other, but skip both.