Review: Adelaide by Genevieve Wheeler

Book Review

Title: Adelaide

Author: Genevieve Wheeler

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: April 18, 2023

Pages: 304

Format: e-arc, via Netgalley

Goodreads Blurb

“A beautifully-written, deeply-felt exploration of what it means to love and be loved.”–– Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost

In love . . .

For twenty-six-year-old Adelaide Williams, an American living in dreamy London, meeting Rory Hughes was like a lightning bolt out of the blue: this charming Englishman was The One she wasn’t even looking for.

Is it enough?

Does he respond to texts? Honor his commitments? Make advance plans? Sometimes, rarely, and no, not at all. But when he shines his light on her, the world makes sense, and Adelaide is convinced that, in his heart, he’s fallen just as deeply as she has. Then, when Rory is rocked by an unexpected tragedy, Adelaide does everything in her power to hold him together—even if it means losing herself in the process.

When love asks too much of us, how do we find the strength to put ourselves first?

With unflinching honesty and heart, this relatable debut from a fresh new voice explores grief and mental health while capturing the timeless nature of what it’s like to be young and in love—with your friends, with your city, and with a person who cannot, will not, love you back.”

My Review

Wow! I was not expecting the emotional toll this book would take. I went into this book mostly blinded by the awesome cover. I’m actually a little shocked this is a debut. I looked her up because I wanted to see what else she had out there that I could get my hands on!

This is the type of book that you have to read in the right mood. I’m saying this because it’s heavy. There’s such a toxic relationship but also a lot of really heavy topics. There’s a lot of mental health in this book, which I appreciate. I will always love books that shine a light on mental health, as a psychology major. It’s just so important.

Adelaide has not had an easy life. In fact, her mother and sisters all suffer from some form of mental illness. Her one sister has bipolar disorder that really took a lot out of the whole family. It’s never easy but she always made herself shrink into herself or the background to stay out of the way. This is where her problems start. When they say that your childhood is essential to your mental health in adulthood, they are not lying.

She’s also got several instances where she’s just been abused or taken advantage of. She’s struggling to find herself and then starts to just act the completely opposite. Instead of being afraid of men, she starts to chase after them. Regardless, she doesn’t think much of herself and that’s a problem when she meets Rory. I will say now, this isn’t really a love story. Their relationship is so toxic and hard to read about. This book gets really raw and pushes your comfort zone. Yet, I could not put this down. I started it and finished it the next day.

The mental health aspect is one that’s really explored, in many ways. She really doesn’t shy away from it and shines a light on it. There are some things I was not expecting but now make so much sense. I do wish that we would have spent a little less time with Rory and more time on her journey afterwards.

Overall, I loved what this book offered. It was addicting but hard to read at the same time. If you struggle with any of the things I’ve mentioned before, this might not be for you. This is not a love story or romance in any way. There’s some really controversial statements, as well. I might be a bit biased based on my psychology degree but I think it was a really emotional and inspiring story about Adelaide’s journey. I do think it could be a very polarizing book.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for an e-arc. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

12 thoughts on “Review: Adelaide by Genevieve Wheeler

  1. Oh gosh, you know, as I was reading the blurb for this I was like oh my this sounds extremely heavy like I would need to prepare for it. And then from your review you totally confirmed that. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to read this one, but it’s definitely going on the TBR for a day I feel up to it because it sounds well done for its content. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it’s very heavy but it’s so good. I am so glad that I got an ARC because it forced me to read it. I kind of went in blind and when there are books that are heavier to read, I take forever to read them, if at all. I totally understand that! If you do end up reading it one day, I hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s great to hear that you enjoyed Adelaide by Genevieve Wheeler! I completely understand the hesitation to read heavier books, but it sounds like this one was well worth it. It’s always nice to discover a hidden gem through an ARC, and I’m glad that it compelled you to give it a chance. Thank you for the recommendation, and I hope to add it to my own reading list soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, absolutely. It’s always a gamble with a debut author but I was so enticed by the cover (thanks flowers) haha. I’m glad though because it was a really great read, even if it was heavier. I hope that you enjoy it when/if you get to it too!


  3. Omg, this sounds like such a heavy read but also fantastic! I love when a debut hits this way but it also sucks because there’s nothing else by the author to get your hands on asap! 😂 I think I might have to add this one to my radar because I love when a book is hard to read and emotional—lol, am I a masochist or what? 😂 You’ve definitely convinced me to pick this one up though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay!! It was so good and I was fascinated by the way she handled all the mental health aspects. I went to school for Psych so that always calls to me. Very hard to read at moments but so rewarding in the end?? Just be in the right mindset for it and pick up something light and fluffy after!! ❤


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