Monday, 25 May 2015

This Is Not A Love Story by Keren David

review by Maryom

Theo is feeling bad about breaking up with Kitty - but when he realises Kitty went missing shortly after they argued he starts to feel even worse. As the day passes without any signs of her, Theo has to face the fact that something really bad may have happened to Kitty - and that it would all be his fault.
Both Jewish, both from North London, both newly moved to Amsterdam, they had so many things in common that Kitty and Theo seemed pushed together by fate. But Theo can't forget the 'unsuitable' love he left behind in London - the reason his parents sent him abroad in disgrace - and Kitty is both attracted and repelled by Ethan, the son of her mum's boyfriend, with his mix of charm and moodiness. Told alternately from Theo's and Kitty's perspective, the story traces their relationship from first meeting to big bust up.... In a love story the hero and heroine meet, fall in love, overcome obstacles in their way and live happily ever after - that's the way it happens in fairy stories, films, and romantic novels, but this isn't a love story and the ending may not be all that happy.
In this Amsterdam-set story of teenage relationships, Keren David presents a love triangle with a difference; three teenagers trying to come to terms with their confused emotions and sexuality, and finding life isn't as neatly packaged as a romantic novel.
 This may not be a love story, but love is pretty much the most important thing on Kitty's mind - whether it's her own relationships with Theo and Ethan, or the one between her mum and Ethan's dad. Kitty is a typical teenager - constantly taking selfies, obsessed with the number of 'likes' on her Instagram account, and seeing any new guy she meets as potential boyfriend material.
 Theo, on the other hand, believes he's already found his true love - and if his family would just stop interfering everything would be fine. But if that's so, why does he find himself attracted to Kitty?
  Ethan is unpredictable - if he wants to, he can turn on the charm but most of the time he's pushing boundaries, wanting to shock people and provoke them into reaction. His dad sees him as moody and uncommunicative; as an outsider, I saw him as someone covering up hurt through attention-seeking. He wouldn't at all appreciate being thought of as lonely or in need of love, but that's how he came over to me.

This is a book that manages to be an entertaining enjoyable read, while at the same time bringing up issues of sexual orientation in a sensitive and thoughtful manner. The author captures what it's like to be a teenager trying to sort through the confusion of their own feelings, and the mixed messages being picked up from others. I was hooked early on by Theo's mounting panic over Kitty's disappearance - I wanted to know what their big argument was all about, why Kitty had gone missing and if she'd be found safe and well. It doesn't have the 'thriller' element of the When I Was Joe series, but Keren David knows how to grab the reader and hold them, teasing them along by holding back the major reveal. 

And all the while you're led to think this isn't a happy-ever-after love story, but there's romance blossoming right under everyone's noses between Kitty's mum and Ethan's dad.

Maryom's review;  5 stars
Publisher - Atom Books
Genre - YA, teenage relationships,

No comments:

Post a Comment