Finished Endless Love by Scott Spencer. I read this for my online book club.
Summary (from Goodreads):
“One of the most celebrated novels of its time, Endless Love remains perhaps the most powerful novel ever written about young love. Riveting, compulsively readable, and ferociously sexual, Endless Love tells the story of David Axelrod and his overwhelming love for Jade Butterfield.
David’s and Jade’s lives are consumed with each other; their rapport, their desire, their sexuality take them further than they understand. And when Jade’s father suddenly banishes David from the house, he fantasizes the forgiveness his rescue of the family will bring and he sets a “perfectly safe” fire to their house. What unfolds is a nightmare, a dark world in which David’s love is a crime and a disease, a world of anonymous phone calls, crazy letters, and new fears — and the inevitable and punishing pursuit of the one thing that remains most real to him: his endless love for Jade and her family.”
Oh, this book. It took me a very long time to get into (I think chapter 10, which is basically half the book because the chapters are FOREVER). Once I did, though, I wasn’t able to put it down.
My favorite thing about this book is the fact that it didn’t do any of the things I expected it to do. It wasn’t about the early relationship between David and Jade; it started after he set the fire mentioned in the synopsis. I expected it to maybe start there and then have the bulk of the book be a flashback showing how he got to that weird and desperate point, but nope. I appreciated the fact that I had no idea where this book was going.
David also reminded me a lot of Humbert Humbert (the narrator of Lolita) because he was completely unreliable and had no real idea of how other people thought and felt. He cast himself and Jade as this great love story, almost star-crossed and epic in scope, and he didn’t seem interested at all in anyone else’s thoughts on it (unless they agreed).
I’m pretty sure David was also batshit crazy but I can’t get more specific without giving any spoilers.