Dear Ms. Stein,
I was recently loaned your book, Beyond Repair. I've read several of your books before and have loved the interaction of your characters. This looked like it had a lot of potential.
The interaction between Holden and Alice is absolutely wonderful. It flickers between cute, awkward, and sexy with nary a hesitation.
But I get frustrated, annoyed, and ANGRY when authors take liberties when it comes to mental illness. It's been my particular friend for about half my life. I know it well - and although I don't personally know an agoraphobic person, I can't help but wonder how they would react to this portrayal.
It's not something you can wish away. Or have others miraculously wish you better as well. If this were the case, I'd be the healthiest motherfucker on planet earth.
Alice says therapy hasn't helped her. But after not leaving her apartment for years, when LOVE IS ON THE LINE, AND THE LOVE OF A GOOD MAN, she manages to get into her car and make her way over to Holden. Because naturally, that's all everyone needs to conquer their fears and make headway is true love. Not talk therapy, exercises or even medication, but TRUE LOVE.
Oh For Fuck's Sake. Really. And then you have Holden, the movie star sod who Alice finds has vomited and passed out on her floor. And whatever you do, don't call 911 (or 999? perhaps if you're in the UK?) If you attempt suicide, you need help. A hand. There isn't any fucking shame in that. You NEED to want help. Again, no amount of well wishing on the part of others will make you square. Alice and Holden dance around this and therein make a tenuous connection - but look. One person's love isn't going to make you all better. I resent reading romance novels that make a case for this.
That being said, although I had HUGE problems w/ the mental illness aspect - the interaction between Holden and Alice is lovely. That part gets an A - everything else - F