Thursday, September 16, 2010

review: things I know about love by Kate le Vann

publisher: EgmontUSA
pub date: June 22, 201
pgs: 160
content: no swearing, no sex

blurb from goodreads:
Livia's experience of love has been disappointing to say the least. But all that is about to change. After years of illness, she's off to spend the summer with her brother in America. She's making up for lost time, and she's writing it all down in her private blog. America is everything she ever dreamed of - and then she meets Adam. Can Livia put the past behind her and risk falling in love again?

Livia is a very appealing character. I loved reading her voice. She's a shy girl who's a little awkward and doesn't like attention. Very close to her mother and brother. I could totally relate to her first few experiences with boys and love. And Adam is so sweet. Their romance is darling. I was loving this book.

But then, the ending. I have issues with the ending. BIG issues. I keep fluctuating between loving the book because I love Livia and hating the book because I hate the ending. Why did it have to end that way? Huh?

So, just three apples. Which when I'm hating the book I find really generous.


Kate le Vann said...

Oh, I'm so sorry you hated the end & felt so let down by it. It seems that most American readers have hated/felt cheated by it, exactly the same way. It was written as part of a British series of tearjerkers, so the end was the one thing I had to make that way even before I started writing it. British readers on the whole seem have been a bit less disappointed (or less vocal about being disappointed) - so maybe there's a bit less grief-lit around in the UK! I'm in two minds about ending it that way - I loved Livia, but she had one amazing summer, and I sort of wanted to make it feel like that, that life is worth living even when everything is stacked against you. Anyway I agree that your 3 apples are generous, I'll take them happily. Thank you for reading.

resugo said...

well, um...hi! I really did love your book! But I did feel cheated by the end. A lot because I was not expecting it AT ALL. I turned the page and suddenly I'm crying. It was a shock and I just felt so sad for Adam. And yes, I do get very emotionally attached to fictional characters.

Kate le Vann said...

Hi! The thing is, as a reader I hate sad endings, and when I'm reading a book I get very anxious, wanting to turn ahead to the end before I get there, thinking 'god I hope it goes okay, I hope she doesn't break his heart, I hope it doesn't all go wrong for them, etc'. Yet I personally find happy endings hard to write - because I'm a little bit of misery they never seem to ring as true for me. (Maybe it's part of me being a misery that makes me seek out happy endings so desperately in other people's fiction!) So, in other words, I know how you feel. And it seems wrong when you've invested in people for the author to just cheaply hurt them for the sake of something, anything, happening. So I do understand why that feels like a cheat.

However, when I was growing up, it seemed like a happy ending was more of a cheat, eg when the girl who can't walk can walk again, etc, and when I was younger and was quite ill, not like Livia, I wanted sad endings more, I wanted things not to be all about things going right for people, even a little because I wanted to see what happened when things didn't work out for other people, you know, the comfort of sharing. It was written with that feeling in mind.

Honestly, I am very grateful that you'd choose to write about it, delighted that you liked some of the writing, and just eager to write something else that people would like all the way through. Really, thanks for being so nice.