The Law of Loving Others

The Law of Loving Others

Book - 2015
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Hours after Emma returns home from boarding school, she realizes that her mom is suffering from a schizophrenic break. Suddenly, Emma's entire childhood and identity is called into question.

Desperate for answers, Emma turns to her boyfriend, Daniel. Will he love her even if she goes crazy too? But it's the lonely, brooding boy Emma meets while visiting her mother at the hospital who really understands Emma. She is soon caught in a complicated spiral of loss and mistrust.

In the span of just one winter break, Emma's relationships alter forever and she is forced to see the wisdom in a line from Anna Karenina - 'The law of loving others could not be discovered by reason, because it is unreasonable.'

Paise for The Law of Loving Others -
The Law of Loving Others . . . immerses us in an utterly convincing world, and, in Emma, creates the kind of complex heroine readers will long remember-in all her flaws and hidden strengths and surprising wisdom.' Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply and Stay Awake

'A riveting and heartbreaking story of every young person's worst nightmare- the descent of a parent into madness. A great read by a great new writer to watch.' Blake Nelson, author of The Prince of Venice Beach

' The Law of Loving Others is a poignant, powerful, and insightful novel about love, loss, and growing up. Kate Axelrod has written a wise and wonderful debut.' Margo Rabb, author of Cures for Heartbreak and Kissing in America
Publisher: New York :, Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA),, ©2015.
ISBN: 9781595147899
Branch Call Number: YA AXE
Characteristics: 231 pages ; 22 cm

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cmlibrary_khunter Jun 09, 2016

Review by Maddie, a teen at North County Regional:
"The Law of Loving Others by Kate Axelrod is an interesting read about mental illnesses and love. The fears of inheriting and developing a mental illness are clearly present along with the struggle to cope with the fears and schizophrenic family members. As the main character Emma explores her emotions, relationships, and personal fears the reader is brought along to a very relatable character and situation.
Emma is very concerned with her relationship and the future of her relationship with her current boyfriend, Daniel, who she met at her boarding school. Daniel is not nearly the ideal boyfriend; he is not very concerned with studying and enjoys doing drugs and other dangerous things. He acts very much like the teenager he is. Emma is fearful that she will develop schizophrenia like her mother and that Daniel will not love her if she does. Much of Emma’s fear and worry is about herself and her future rather than her mother’s health, and constant worrying about if she is thinking and acting sane. Emma does not know how to cope with her fears appropriately and turns to cheating, drugs, and self harm.
The characters are very relatable, as they seem to make common mistakes and deal with everyday struggles, however, they are not very likable because of their lack of maturity and lack of knowledge of how to deal with the new fear of a mental illness. Emma meets another boy, Philip, who is better able to understand what Emma is struggling through as his twin brother also has a mental condition. Emma and Phil have an instant connection and Emma resorts to cheating on Daniel with Philip. Her relationship is far from perfect.
The portrayal of schizophrenia is carefully written and well researched so that it is relatable to teens and other readers. However, the novel lacks some perspective from the mother, who is herself suffering from the mental disorder and focuses on Emma’s perspective as a teenager.
This quick read includes an ending with many unresolved issues for the purpose of leaving the reader to think and ponder the hardships that the characters experienced. Overall, the book is good, and requires a lot of reflection. It is important to keep in mind that the characters are in high school and are young, which could explain some of the poor decisions made."

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