By Nickey Siegerman
Len Webster, a 26-year-old Australian author, released her newest novel, “The Theory of Unrequited” on April 18. Over two days is all it took to finish reading this novel, becoming engulfed in the world of Alex “AJ” Parker and Evan Gilmore.
Best friends since they were little and neighbors for life, these two have done everything together. They go to Fenway Park and cheer on Evan’s older brother, Kyle Gilmore, pitcher for the Red Sox, they spend almost every day together, they tell each other secrets no one else knows, and they’ve always watched out for each other.
During their senior year of high school, however, feelings are starting to change between these lifelong friends. As AJ discovers her growing love for Evan, their friendship takes a seriously painful toll. When AJ reaches her breaking point with Evan, she lies to him for months, telling him they’ll both be at Stanford next year when in reality, she goes to Duke to run away from Evan and her love for him.
This book weaves the intricacies of friendship and first love so seamlessly and shows us how hard it is not to fall in love with your best friend. Hurting along with AJ, we discover her story, learn her pain, watch her cry to and because of Evan.
The reader becomes lost in her thoughts, and endless amounts of love and pain for her favorite person in the world. What captures the reader’s attention so easily is the desire that AJ had to run away from Evan and everything she knew, leaving behind not a trace of herself.
She wanted to forget Evan, to be able to fall out of love with him. She wanted to close herself off from him so her heart could heal.
Webster’s way with words and emotions in her writing has grown her popularity through the last six years of being a published author, and her writing quickly establishes a place in your heart; you never expect to truly be putty in her hands until it’s too late.
This book, with its painful twists and turns and horrible realities of life and love, so quickly becomes all you want to be part of. In the author’s world, whether in Massachusetts, California, or North Carolina, we feel the distance and love for each friend flow, no matter what state they’re in and how far from one another they may be.
What stands out most about this story is the realness behind it all. How quickly one can realize their best friend is their first real, and true love. How AJ cried and longed for Evan to tell her he loved her, but not as the friend he’d known his whole life. How she gave up so much to be part of Evan’s life, including her own happiness.
How she just wanted him to be happy, and in turn destroyed herself in the process.
There are several reasons for recommending this book but this is the main one: If you’ve ever been in love with someone you never expected, someone close to you, this will hit. This will make you remember all of those feelings.
This will stay with you longer than any other love story. This truly is one of the most beautiful and amazing stories I’ve read in a long time because this is what it does: it reminds me why I was so lucky to fall in love with my best friend.
For more information on Webster, visit her website atlenwebster.com/home. Find this book on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and iBooks.