The Law of Loving Others

The Law of Loving Others

Book - 2015
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After Emma returns home from boarding school, she realizes her mother's suffering from a schizophrenic break, and suddenly Emma's entire childhood and identity is called into question, pushing her to turn to her boyfriend Daniel for answers. But perhaps it's the brooding Phil who Emma meets while visiting her mother at the hospital who really understands her.
Publisher: New York, New York : Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), [2015]
ISBN: 9781595147899
Branch Call Number: YA FIC
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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