★★★,5☆ | *Heterosexual Love is for Losers
Title: Love is for Losers
Author: Wibke Brueggemann
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: July 14th 2020
Genres: Contemporary | Romance | YA | LGBT
In this wry and hilarious queer romantic comedy, fifteen-year-old Phoebe realizes that falling in love is maybe not just for losers.
Did you know you can marry yourself? How strange / brilliant is that?
Fifteen-year-old Phoebe thinks falling in love is vile and degrading, and vows never to do it. Then, due to circumstances not entirely in her control, she finds herself volunteering at a local thrift shop. There she meets Emma . . . who might unwittingly upend her whole theory on life.
This is a laugh-out-loud exploration of sexuality, family, female friendship, grief, and community. With the heart and hilarity of Netflix’s critically-acclaimed Sex Education, Wibke Brueggemann’s sex positive debut is required reading for Generation Z teens. Think of this as Bridget Jones’ Diary, if it were written by Bridget’s daughter.
Phoebe is not the most likeable protagonist. She is judgemental, bad with people, and messes up a lot.
She tries to be better and then messes up again and again. Makes new mistakes. Mages old mistakes.
She is 15.
She is 15 and sometimes teenagers are stubborn, self-centered, and not the best to be fair.
So Phoebe makes fun of people and thinks she’s superior to them because she’s above emotions, etc., etc.
But then she also can own up to it and her ‘I don’t care‘ mask slips even though it’s a diary and you can present the situation however fits you in your diary.
We learn the things that make her want to shut off her emotions: her barely there relationship with her mother, the ghost of her father, her only friend getting in a relationship and sidelining her, not being interested in boys like her peers…
There is a lot of loneliness and unresolved anger in her. Not to mention her lack of brain to mouth filter, which she passes as ‘at least I’m being brutally honest’ at the beginning.
The book explores her fear of forming emotional bonds. And not only her — the book also speaks a lot about death and the aftermath of it. The numbness, the sadness, the emptiness. Different ways of dealing with trauma.
But it also gives us Phoebe slowly giving in and forming a little chosen family and falling in love.
The romance is cute and funny. It’s that kind of pairing of snarky black-wearing grump and sunshine princess and I love this aesthetic.
The girls have good chemistry and they are amazing friends first. But it was so obvious they liked each other! It was still adorable to watch how they danced around it.
Anyway, I loved the diary form.
It’s something I haven’t read in a while and all the unconventional writting forms are always a big plus in my opinion. But also it was light and hillarious.
- Have you read this book? / Are you planning to?
- What have you read recently?