I Could Live Here Forever

Viking. Apr. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780593492079. $27. F
Halperin’s second novel (after Something Wild) is a girl-meets-boy love story weighed down by gritty authenticity. It’s the kind of book that will make readers want to scream advice even while understanding the flawed choices the characters make. When lonely MFA student Leah encounters Charlie, the attraction is as instantaneous as it is intense. Leah is drawn to Charlie’s good looks and gentle demeanor. While there are red flags waving, Leah strives to believe that the relationship is ordinary and stable, even after she discovers that her new boyfriend is, in his words, a recovering addict. No stranger to tragedy, Leah is armed with her own baggage, and her desire to take care of Charlie is entwined with a need for external validation. Halperin tells a story that is heavily character-driven. Little happens, but the novel is staggering in places. The characters are real and vulnerable, and Halperin is clearly at home in this genre.
VERDICT Many readers will feel they can identify with this portrait of self-discovery, messy emotions, and challenging relationships. Fans of Halperin’s first novel will also enjoy this offering.
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