Book Review: It’s about love by Steven Camden

It's about love (1)

I have to say that based on the title and the cover,  I would have never read this book.  However, the girls in my student book club convinced me to read it and I really have to thank them – it’s great.  This book oozes menace and tension and from the beginning, the reader is gripped by the fear of what has happened in the past and what that will bring to play in the present.

This is a coming of age story that is difficult to label.  The reader is warned about this complexity of plot and theme in chapter 1 when, Luke the protagonist of the novel, debates the central premise of his favourite movie with a girl in his film class.

“It’s a love story, you know …..

No it’s not”

“Course it is,” she says, “Not a conventional one, but it’s a story about love.”

The fact that she’s even seen it make me like her, but it’s not a love story.

It’s about revenge,” I say. (p.11)

The characterisation of Luke, the protagonist, is a strength of the novel.  As a reader, you really like him but are often puzzled and devastated by his inability to articulate his feelings and his poor reactions to people and situations.  Steven Camden has mastered the ability to bring the gritty reality of the tough neighborhoods of Bearwood, Birmingham where Luke lives into focus. Luke is a “fish out of water” when he starts at film school on the other side of town.  At home, the return of his brother from prison is the catalyst for family and neighborhood tensions that will climax on the night of Luke’s 17th birthday.The author also uses an interesting structural device in this novel by interspersing the story with fragments of hand-written notes describing snippets of memories, thoughts and dreams.  Additionally, he also uses small inserts that read like film directions or play scripts. Together with countless references to modern films, this structural device compliments the central motif of film study.

The author also uses an interesting structural device in this novel by interspersing the story with fragments of hand-written notes describing snippets of memories, thoughts and dreams.  Additionally, he also uses small inserts that read like film directions or play scripts. Together with countless references to modern films, this structural device compliments the central motif of film study.

I highly recommend this book for YA readers who love gritty reality, love stories, character books and movies.

One last thing …. This book is full of great quotes, here are three of my favourites:

“Because nobody’s one thing, Lukey.  You make a person one thing and you’ll miss out on everything else that they are.  That they could be. And they’ll always let you down.”

 

“I repeat the words in my head. Whoever’s writing this script is giving all the best lines to everyone else.”

 

“You are what people think you are.  You make a reputation, then it makes you.”

 

10 amazing female characters for #IWD2016

#IWD2016

Happy International Women’s Day!  Reading about #IWD2016 in Twitter got me thinking about the amazing women I have had in my life – family, friends, work colleagues, teachers and students.  Of course, my next thought was about all the amazing women I have met in books.  Then, I just had to write a list of some of my favourite YA female characters.  In no particular order, here they are ….

Eleanor Douglas

from Eleanor & Park

by Rainbow Rowell

eleanor and park Johanna Morrigan

in How to Build a Girl

by Caitlin Moran

how to build a girl Ree Dolly

in Winter’s Bone

by Daniel Woodrell

the book thief Liesal Meminger

from The Book Thief

by Marcus Zusak

looking for alibrandi Josephine Alibrandi

in Looking for Alibrandi

by Melina Marchetta

winter's bone
Susan (Stargirl) Caraway

in Star Girl

by Jerry Spinelli

stargirl Katniss Everdeen

in The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

hunger games Judy Woolcot

from Seven Little Australians

by Ethel Turner

matilda Matilda Wormwood

in Matilda

by Roald Dahl

counting by 7s Willow Chance

in Counting by 7s

by Holly Goldberg Sloan

seven little australians