Author: Seth Greenland
Type of book: Poetry, literary fiction, comedic, cancer, death, life, romance, forbidden relationship, family relationships, mental health and wellness, 2000s, New York
Year it was published: 2015
A modern love story, I Regret Everything confronts the oceanic uncertainty of what it means to be alive, and in love. Jeremy Best, a Manhattan-based trusts and estates lawyer, leads a second life as published poet Jinx Bell. To his boss’s daughter, Spaulding Simonson, at 33 years old, Jeremy is already halfway to dead. When Spaulding, an aspiring 19-year-old writer, discovers Mr. Best’s alter poetic ego, the two become bound by a devotion to poetry, and an awareness that time in this world is limited. Their budding relationship strikes at the universality of love and loss, as Jeremy and Spaulding confront their vulnerabilities, revealing themselves to one another and the world for the very first time.
A skilled satirist with a talent for biting humor, Greenland creates fully realized characters that quickly reveal themselves as complex renderings of the human condition – at its very best, and utter worst. I Regret Everything explores happiness and heartache with a healthy dose of skepticism, and an understanding that the reality of love encompasses life, death, iambic pentameter, regret, trusts and estates.
The main characters are Jeremy Best/Jinx Bell and Spaulding Simmons. There are some other characters, mainly Spaulding's family members, but they played a secondary role instead of a primary one. Jeremy Best/Jinx Bell is a thirty-three year old lawyer who is also a part-time poet and he has grand ambitions of being a partner and isn't happy with his daytime job and would have wanted to be a poet instead of a lawyer. He likes to be needed and seems to possess a sense of what's proper or not. He seems to have a hard time letting himself have fun. I have to say that Spaulding is a favorite character and very complex. She's wild, unpredictable, and will let you know what she likes and doesn't like right away. She's also struggling with issues of mental health and parental relationships. She goes after what she wants and is pretty impulsive.
I'm not really sure what the theme should be, but maybe nothing really matters in the long run besides a life well lived?
The story is in first person narrative from Spaulding and Jeremy's point of view. While there did seem to be serious issues of death, dying, mental illness, dealing with life, for some strange reason the author adapted a comedic and lighthearted tone throughout the book, as if saying, none of the things really matter in the long run. The characters are definitely memorable and unforgettable and the story and situations are well crafted.
Its both a love story yet also a story about everything else. The love story isn't given front and center focus but instead is portrayed as part of life and something bigger. I enjoyed watching the characters fall in love, and there is something genuine and real about their interactions and their love for one another. Love doesn't solve all the problems for either Jeremy or Spaulding, and isn't the cure all. Instead, love is messy, unpredictable and wild in the book. Despite the serious themes of dying and uncertainty, there is something lighthearted and comedic about the story which is hard to describe. I loved seeing the interactions between them, and watching both characters grow up and mature. Unfortunately the story did take me ten or twenty pages to get in because I couldn't really understand its beauty in beginning. Also, the sexual scene is described very awkwardly for me and that detracted from my enjoyment and that scene is at odds with the beauty of the rest of the book.
This is for TLC Book Tours
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)