Wednesday 13 May 2015

This is Not a Love Story, Keren David

Pages: 346
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: 7th May 2015
Edition: UK proof, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: When I Was Joe, Almost True, Another Life, Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery, Salvage

Kitty dreams of a beautiful life, but that’s impossible in suburban London where her family is haunted by her father’s unexpected death. So when her mum suggests moving to Amsterdam to start a new life, Kitty doesn’t take much persuading. Will this be her opportunity to make her life picture perfect?

In Amsterdam she meets moody, unpredictable Ethan, and clever, troubled Theo. Two enigmatic boys, who each harbour their own secrets. In a beautiful city and far from home, Kitty finds herself falling in love for the first time.

But will love be everything she expected?
And will anyone’s heart survive?

This is Not a Love Story was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015 and it didn’t disappoint: diversity, Amsterdam, complex characters and a wonderful twist.

Amsterdam comes alive in Keren’s prose. The city is almost a character within itself. It’s a much-needed friend to Kitty, a new start for Kitty’s mum, an introduction to a new group of people and the unexpected feelings they bring along. I fell in love with Amsterdam along with Kitty and, my goodness, I want to go right now. I even looked at flights once I had finished reading This is Not a Love Story…

Split narration is one of my favourite styles – I love getting both sides of the story! But Kitty and Theo’s stories take that one step further with a split timescale! The novel begins ‘After’. Kitty is missing following an argument between her and Theo and no one knows what happened. Then we flash back to ‘Before’ leading up to the events of the beginning of the novel. I really enjoy the mystery and the sense of building up to something and the tension which that brings with it – it means you can’t possibly stop reading to go to sleep when you’re supposed to. And that’s a feeling I always want when I read.

Like the title suggests, Keren really plays with the idea of a love story and it certainly brought up some surprises for Kitty, Ethan and Theo. Considering the way that LGBTQ YA has started to receive more attention and recognition recently, it’s rather strange that there is still a real lack of bisexual characters. It was really refreshing to have a major character fall into that distinction in This is Not a Love Story. And boy did it make for an interesting triangle.

This is Not a Love Story is a thoughtful, engaging and beautifully told story of love and love stories and the people that get tangled up in them.  

Thanks to Atom for the review copy!


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