A heartbreakingly relatable debut novel about young love perfect for fans of Normal People

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Pub Date 7 Nov 2024 | Archive Date 7 Nov 2024

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Named Most Anticipated by: Bustle · Popsugar · Goodreads · Zibby Magazine · SheReads · Book Riot
And featured in Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire

*Nominated for the 2023 Goodreads Best Debut Novel award and longlisted for the Book of the Year award through Book of the Month*

'Achingly beautiful, and heartbreakingly relatable.’ DANA SCHWARTZ

On an otherwise ordinary day, 26-year-old American expat Adelaide Williams walks into a London hospital and asks for help. Something’s not right. She doesn’t feel like herself any more.

For the past year, she's been dating Rory Hughes, the charming man she met when she was least expecting to fall in love. Does he respond to texts? Honour his commitments? Make advance plans? Sometimes, rarely, and no, not at all. Despite everything, Adelaide is convinced he’s The One.

But when tragedy strikes unexpectedly, their relationship crumbles, and Adelaide realises she doesn't want to live without him. Because how can you move on from a love that’s changed you forever?

An emotional, relatable debut from a fresh new voice that captures the timeless nature of what it’s like to be young and in love – with your friends, with your city, and with the one person who cannot, will not, love you back.

‘A beautifully-written, deeply-felt exploration of what it means to love and be loved… A remarkable debut.’ Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost
‘Wheeler’s debut is searingly raw… Her whole soul is poured out onto the pages, and you’ll find it hard not to feel your own heart crack and stomach turn… Vulnerable, tender, and impossible to put down.’ Kirkus, Starred Review
‘Heartfelt’ Booklist
'A fearless portrayal of unrequited love... Wheeler's debut is engrossing and poignant, full of grit and vulnerability’ Carola Lovering, author of Tell Me Lies
‘The complex heroine animates every page’ Publishers Weekly
‘Poignant’ PopSugar
'If you’ve ever loved the wrong person or the right person at the wrong time then your heart will ache' Serendipity

Named Most Anticipated by: Bustle · Popsugar · Goodreads · Zibby Magazine · SheReads · Book Riot
And featured in Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire

*Nominated for the 2023 Goodreads Best Debut Novel...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781035912742
PRICE £9.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 9 members

Featured Reviews

I can’t recommend ‘Adelaide’ enough. I really, really loved it. It hit all of the notes for me; strong writing, depth and complexity of the relationships, characters I fell in love with, fully -fleshed supporting characters and a really strong sense of place.

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Beautiful and a moving exploration into what it is to love, and to be loved. I saw a lot of myself in Adelaide, in her way of loving, running her tank empty, and desperately seeking love. Wheeler wrote this book with so much compassion and care that I found myself borderline tears several times. I hated Rory, and loved him at the same time, for what he did to Adelaide, but also how he forced her to find herself. This entire novel is overflowing with love. There is love on every single page, between friends and sisters and found family. I simply loved the entire reading experience. This was like looking into myself a little, with my heart on my sleeve and reading about someone who was a lot like me, but also vastly different. Simply breathtaking.

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Thank you to Aria Fiction for gifting me a copy of this book, I can honestly say this has been my favourite book I’ve read recently. Yes it’s pretty hard hitting and discusses some very delicate themes but my goodness it’s written so beautifully. A true raw and real read. The way it’s written is so clever, I became totally immersed and lost in the characters! I also enjoyed that all the characters were so different and it’s safe to say we all know a Rory! The ending was so profound and I just loved every bit of it. It makes me jealous of those people who haven't read it yet, I would love to experience it all over again!

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I had an eye out for this book for a long time, so thank you for sending me this eARC!

As I'm writing this review, I'm still thinking about the story and trying to process it. This is not a light and fun story, but it's a story that slowly weaved itself into my heart, one that'll live there rent-free forever.
My heart broke for Adelaide. Seeing her put others' needs first and be such a kind person to everyone but still getting hurt was painful to read. And even though heartbreak plays a huge role in this book, it also covers topics like abuse, mental health, growth and the importance of (female) friendship. Adelaide's story isn't one of sunshine and roses but of healing and growth. That was portrayed beautifully in this book. It was great to see her asking for and getting help both professionally and from the amazing women in her life, who never judged and always supported her and to see her setting boundaries while staying true to herself. Adelaide never gave up, not on life and not on love.
Moreover, the writing was phenomenal. I'm a fan of Sally Rooney and her lack of quotation marks and I loved that that was the case here, too (don't worry, speech is written in cursive). The way Wheeler wrote about mental health was truly amazing because it felt authentic and respectful. Also, there's a quote that'll probably stick with me all my life:
"Pain is pain is pain. It was important to recognize your privilege, yes. To show gratitude, to count your blessings. But it was also important to acknowledge and accept your pain, to understand that no matter how large or small your problems, your losses, your wounds - they are yours. And you're allowed to feel them. The hardest loss will always be your own."
I apologise for this slightly chaotic and unstructured review, but these are just my thoughts at the moment ;)

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I feel like whatever I say isn't going to live up to how much praise this book deserves...
What I can tell you is, I ATE up every single word of this, and when I'd finished? I just started at the wall, because WOW.

I was an emotional wreck, let me tell you.
Genevieves writing style is beautiful, and I defy anyone not be be deeply moved by Adelaides story. She has captured true heartbreak and devastation perfectly. I spent about 75% of this with a huge lump in my throat. I was screaming inside for Adelaide to run away, wishing she'd wake up and see she deserved so much more... but that's love isn't it? You're wrapped up in the lust and excitement. You're infatuated, ignoring the red flags and toxicity. We can all see bits of ourselves in Adelaide.
If you want real, raw and honesty, you'll get it in this book.

For a debut novel, I can only say I'm truly excited to see where Genevieve goes next. This was STUNNING! And the ending couldn't have been anymore perfect.

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the book follows the journey of a woman as she ends up attempting to end her life after her relationship ends.

the story touches on such relatable topics. such as, relationships, teenagedom and mental illness in such a raw way.

the author perfectly portrays a toxic relationship between two people, through their story telling.

i enjoyed how the story touches on adelaide and rory’s lives before, during and after their relationship.

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holy hell this was scarily relatable.

i... don't even know where to start or what to say? this is the story of Adelaide, an American twentysomething who is now living in London. Adelaide has a bit of a rough history, with mental health, men, her family life [in regards to mental health], etc. we meet her at a point where she's out living her life with her friends, drinking, having one night stands. until she meets Rory, when her world will never be the same again...

this is a very complex romance that delicately deals with mental health, death, and just how much you can love and care for someone and do everything for them who doesn't feel the same. Adelaide breaks by the end of it, but thankfully we have a satisfying final few chapters, epilogue, and resolution.

it is blatantly obvious how much of a red flag Rory is, though Adelaide is so willing to look past it and blame herself for not being enough. at some points she is genuinely conflicted with this, but Rory always draws her back in. Rory is a very complex character which is unpacked across this book, and i feel a mix of sympathy, hatred, and care for him (much like Adelaide did). doesn't excuse the toxicity that he exudes though (which, unfortunately, is very relevant in todays culture).

i think a lot of people will relate to this; especially in todays unfortunate dating culture. i felt so bad for her, how much she wanted to love and give her love to the wrong person, and i was rooting for her to have her happy ending (which she got!). this is a story of love, loss, addiction/abuse, mental health, and thankfully, healing.

this was beautifully written, tender, heartbreaking, but oddly satisfying. in some areas it reminded me of Claire Daverley's Talking at Night, a book i absolutely adore. Adelaide i think is a necessary read if you're in your 20s dealing with mental health/relationships/friendships and all. i cannot recommend this enough!

i feel like this review is a bit jumbled because i have no idea what to say but so many thoughts. i can't believe this is a debut novel!!!

thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the arc, much appreciated!

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I was a bit worried by the selling point being for fans of Normal People as I'm not a fan of Sally Rooney's work as a whole but this book (for me) was fortunately nothing like this.

I liked the characters a lot (even if in the main they all live charmed, fairy tale lives) and found the explanation for how Adelaide reached rock bottom to be far more affecting than a lot of books with suicidal/depression themes. By the end I was really rooting for Adelaide and wholeheartedly loved the ending.

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Navigating relationships in your twenties can be all encompassing and Wheeler captures beautifully raw way as well as Adelaide’s emotions and experiences from adolescence to adulthood. From the beginning you know where things are heading, but getting there it is heavy read (please look up trigger warnings before starting) but it is worth it. I wanted to keep turning the pages while also having to stop myself at moments from how much this book had me feeling.

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