Review: With or Without You by Caroline Leavitt

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

After almost twenty years together, Stella and Simon are starting to run into problems. An up-and-coming rock musician when they first met, Simon has been clinging to dreams of fame even as the possibility of it has grown dimmer, and now that his band might finally be on the brink again, he wants to go on the road, leaving Stella behind. But when she falls into a coma on the eve of his departure, he has to make a choice between stardom and his wife—and when she wakes a different person, with an incredible artistic talent of her own, the two of them must examine what it is that they really want.

Unapologetically honest and intimately written, With or Without You is a contemporary story of what happens to relationships as the people in them change, whether slowly or in one cataclysmic swoop.

Goodreads | Bookbub


My Thoughts:

With or Without You is an intimate and honest story of Stella, Simon, and Libby.  Stella and Simon’s relationship seems to be unraveling when tragedy strikes and Stella is hospitalized.  Simon is forced to finally grow up and choose Stella over his aspirations. Author Caroline Leavitt has created flawed characters with a lot of baggage who readers are sure to love and hate simultaneously. None of the characters are wholly likable, but their story is interesting.

The story is told in alternating POV so that readers are immersed in the main characters’ feelings.  This really showcases how much the characters are changing along with their uprooted plans.  I liked the addition of flashbacks to tell the characters’ backstory.

Stella’s return forces the couple to take stock of their relationship. I liked that the ending was inconclusive because life isn’t usually prettily wrapped up with a bow after a few chapters. The ending left me with hope.


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