ADELAIDE by Genevieve Wheeler

Adelaide by Genevieve Wheeler is a debut novel about a bad but completely relatable relationship. Adelaide is an American twentysomething living in London. She meets Rory, a handsome young English man, and they start dating. She falls quickly and hard for him, but he’s not quite the boyfriend she wants him to be. He’s maddeningly elusive, inconsistently attentive and doesn’t see a future with her. And yet she keeps giving him more and more, hoping he’ll get there, until she finally sees him, and the relationship, for what it is, causing her to have very dark thoughts.

Why I picked it up: This was my BOTM from April and I finally got to it after hearing pretty good reviews from readers I trust.

We’ve all had a relationship like the one in Adelaide, one that makes us feel desperate and and saps us of our self-esteem, one that we’d be horrified to see one of our best friends in. Wheeler does a great job of capturing the intensity and confusion of early adulthood, when we are trying to figure out who we are and how to get the life we want. Adelaide is also dealing with mental health challenges – hers and Rory’s – that make it even harder for her to be objective about him or their situation. I don’t have a whole lot more to say about Adelaide – if you like stormy relationship books that are most definitely NOT romances, then this one’s for you.

l listened to Adelaide on audio. It was narrated by Caitlin Kelly, who may have been just a little too perky for the character of Adelaide. I think this would have been a darker reading experience with a different narrator, perhaps a better fit for the heavy subject matter. That said, I enjoyed doing this one on audio and was always happy to return to it.

Adelaide was the 52nd book of 2023 and satisfies the Book From My Bookshelf category of the 2023 EDIWTB Reading Challenge.