I would like to thank Netgalley, HarperCollins UK and the author – Steven Camden for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
It’s About Love is Steven Camden’s second novel after Tape and according to Amazon is out already since June. This book is about Luke, he is dreaming about film production and goes off to college to be closer to this dream. In college he meets Leia, he feels something between them sparkle but isn’t sure what he should do and if she feels it at all. He struggles not only with Leia, but also with accepting the fact that his big brother is returning home after two years of absence.
When I came across this book, I had three reasons to read it – the red covers seemed pretty, Leia and Luke (on the year when the new SW movie comes out, really?) and Camden. My grownup self dreams that perhaps one day I will be able afford the rent in South Kensington, while my current self shouts ‘let’s move to Camden’ every time I have to think about moving! And although my reasoning is really terrible the book gave me a lot to think about and I am happy that I did read it.
Most of the things I want to say about the book are actually not about the story and I love when this happens – it means that the book made you think, remember and re-evaluate yourself.
I now live and work in London, which is the perfect place to understand all the references that were made. I don’t remember when I last read a book in which word ‘quid’ was used! The book was through and through British – the conversational language was really one you could hear on the streets, the setting and even the shops – all real. I remember myself reading about ‘Boots’ and thinking who would steal from there only to see few seconds later that it is the next sentence in the book. It was wonderful and familiar.
The writing as I said before was very British, but there’s another thing, which is many quotable thoughts. I added one quote in my goodreads to show you what I mean, but I think that it is a part of why the book touched me so deeply – it reminded myself. When I was writing during my teenage years, I would put plenty of things that my readers would quote and I didn’t do it on purpose (‘to sell’), it just felt like the right thing – it came to me. And that made me feel closer to the book.
The book itself felt real, there might be small things that I missed, but mostly as coming from a poor neighborhood from the other side of Europe, I could see all of this happening. Both the violence and the gap between the old and poor friends and the new circle of educated teens who never really had much of a worry (or have they?) perfectly makes sense. It somehow makes me believe that it is possible to get out of that hole that you feel destined to stay in.
The story was unraveling really slowly and there were two main plot lines – Luke and Leia and of course Luke and Marc.
I was a bit frustrated that the books name is about love while the book itself seemed to concentrate on Marc rather than Leia, but don’t get me wrong – I actually did like the Marc part better, though from the beginning it was confusing, I didn’t understand the relationship between the brothers, it was never described close enough, so my imagination could fill in the rest of the details. It seemed like the author tried to unravel the past Marc during the story, but I still felt like he is just a blur, it was not enough for me to make his profile.
I liked Marc after he returned, but I still have no idea what kind of person he really was before leaving and it bugs me – I can’t trust him fully because I don’t know him well enough. I would say that Marc was my favourite character, it was a bit off-putting that he looked like model, but everything else seemed fine.
I feel like I actually read about the author that he wanted to be a cook (before starting to read the book), so I kind of felt like Marc was actually associated with Steven himself, but when I was looking for the cook thing to put a link to it, I couldn’t find it, so I might have dreamed it. Good job, Mr Camden, I’m dreaming about you!
Anyway, my frustration changed by the end of the book when I understood that it actually was about love. In fact, I could see two different plots for love (besides love doesn’t always have to be romantic), unfortunately I will not share my views as that might spoil you the book.
I have said it already twice, but I’ll say it again – I feel like those who love (!) Rainbow Rowell will like (!) this book, as I am no Rainbow’s fan (unfortunately I have tried unsuccessfully to become one) I like this book by Camden better than work’s I’ve read by Rainbow. Sadly I haven’t read ‘Tape’ (hopefully one day I will) so I cannot really compare the both authors, but I just wanted to put it out there – if you can’t wait for ‘Carry On’, perhaps you should give a chance to ‘It’s about love’.
I would say that this is a young adult novel, I don’t think though that this book is for people who take happy endings as a provision. It’s more of a real life thing where you cannot always get happy endings. And as I’ve said before, I think Eleanor & Park fans should like this one. And although the book has quite a bit of violence, I don’t think that it classifies it a ‘boy book’ as I’ve read in other people’s reviews.
This book received three stars out of five in my goodreads page because it touched and inspired me, but I did not really wanted to follow the story. I don’t have anything bad to say (besides what I said already), it is a solid and good book, just not my type. The feels though, the feels are real.