Review: The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily

 

 

When I borrowed this from my library, I was rather excited to start as most reviews I’d seen were glowing. How could someone not want to read a book like that? Shortly after I started I realized that this probably wasn’t going to be my cup o’ tea. ADHD books are hard for me to connect with so I found myself at arm’s length with everything.

Short recap: Lily is a brilliant young lady who has ADHD. She has chosen to take herself off of her medication and things don’t exactly go the way she hoped or planned. Along the way she runs into Abelard, a boy she had interactions with many years ago. Abelard has Asperger’s Syndrome and immediately forms a bond with Lily. These two form the most unique couple.

I know that blurb above sounds like of choppy and rough, but it was the best way I could think to describe the story. I did not connect to any part of this other than the fact that Lily was raised on classic literature. That was rather cool in my mind. Her father, who was a raging drunk, would read scholar-worthy classics to his daughters. This is were Lily obtained her love for literature and her ability to reference said text. Throughout this story, she refers to her relationship with Abelard as that found in The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise, which was a published work of letters written between two star crossed lovers. Since Lily had ADHD and Abelard has Asperger’s, it is difficult for the two to communicate the way, say, you and I would communicate. They texted alot by using only quotes from this particular story. That is sweet but how many teens know this historical book? Not many, that’s for sure. The more they referenced it, the more interest I lost in the story. They constantly referred to themselves as “boyfriend and girlfriend” but I never read where they officially started dating. Should that matter? Eh, to me it did. It was simply assumed that they would become exclusive without it being said. Sorry, but I’m not the type of reader that assumes anything. There was just no build up of emotions, no budding romance, nothing! It was sort of an understated instalove by both parties and BOOM! relationship city, population Lily and Abelard. The way it was thrust into the story made me feel like I skipped some chapters. It didn’t feel….  natural.

Please don’t hate me or come at me with pitchforks but I had a harder time understanding Lily’s character. Her ADHD made furious, especially when she would talk a mile a minute about something that was said to her years ago that nobody else remembers. Plus, I was constantly confused when sentences like, “Sclur your blashes” and “Don’t come in – you haven’t inspreefed ayftey procols” were used because I had zero idea what was going on. Not at any point in time was it explained that this is how Lily’s brain understood things as a dyslexic and off of her ADHD meds. Oh, did I not mention that she was dyslexic? She is. Again, this was something that must be assumed by the reader. I’m not that smart of a person so sometimes I still need things explained to me. It took me far too long to figure out what was going on and I wasn’t a fan of that.

I think what was really missing from this story was Creedle explaining the basic knowledge of someone that suffers from ADHD. I do not have ADHD, nor do any of my friends, family, or coworkers. I know nothing of the symptoms, causes, or severity of this diagnosis. I really would have appreciated being given some type of explanation but it was not found in this story.

I’m a little unsure of what the overall plot of the story was supposed to be. I know that Lily wanted nothing more than to graduate high school and spend the summer with her father who was a farmer/goat herder. (She later finds out that he is, in fact, not doing that any more and she inherited her ADHD from him.) She ends up having brain surgery instead? I was utterly and totally confused. The ending was not what I expected, nor did it give me any resolution whatsoever. The entire story was nothing short of confusing. I was bored most of the book and found myself skimming just to get through it.

I know there are readers that loved this story and I truly wish I could have read it through their eyes. I never connected to the story nor did I understand the plot. Maybe I’m just not the right reader for ADHD stories… either way, this was not what I was expecting or hoping for.

 

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