ARC Review: It's About Love by Steven Camden


It's About Love
Series: None
Author: Steven Camden
Published August 4th 2015 by HarperCollins Children’s Books

Goodreads Synopsis
Real life is messier than the movies. A bold, thought-provoking novel from the exceptionally talented, Steven Camden.
He's Luke. She's Leia.
Just like in Star Wars. Just like they’re made for each other. Same film studies course, different backgrounds, different ends of town.
Only this isn't a film. This is real life. This is where monsters from the past come back to take revenge. This is where you are sometimes the monster.
But real life? Sometimes, only sometimes, it turns out just like in the movies…
… maybe.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via Maximum Pop & NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

This book was something different, and it's proving hard to rate. I think it's a 3 star read, as I quite enjoyed it, but at the same time didn't, if you know what I mean? It's About Love follows the life of Luke Henry, a 16 year old coming to terms with his brother's return after two years in prison, a new college, and balancing his old friends with his new. Luke struggled with his anger a lot during this book, and that aspect of the novel was something I'm not sure how I felt about.

Luke and Leia, the main characters, were quite enjoyable, especially together. Leia was different and quirky, but not in an over the top way. Both were hiding facts about themselves from each other, mainly about their brothers, and I liked the way they worked through their college assignment by giving little hints into their own lives. 

To return to Luke's anger, I felt as though anger was one of the main themes of the book. His brother, Marc, went to prison for ABH (Actual Bodily Harm), he, himself, was the victim of violence, and then he attacks someone else later on in the book. I know this was used to show not everything is perfect, and that there is a gritty underbelly of British society that tends to be overlooked in UKYA. Perhaps it was because it's not often mentioned that I found it a bit abrupt, but it was sort of enjoyable to read about at the same time, if enjoyable is the right word.

One aspect of the book I really enjoyed was how it was split between typed text, handwritten text, and screen directions. These different looks split the action between past and present, and personal thoughts. I definitely changed the pace of the story, and for the better. Rather than learning about what actually happened with Marc, and with Luke's scar in one big chuck of text, it was interspersed throughout the entire story, making you learn just enough to keep you aching for more.

All in all, it was an enjoyable read, but at the same time wasn't. It was more of a 'meh' read, to be honest, and though I'm really happy I read the book, I don't think it's one I'd return to in the future. I would recommend it, as it is one of those UKYA reads that you aren't expecting, and is quite different from what you've read before.

Dates Read:
July 7 to 9, 2015

3 Stars

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