Sunday, July 22, 2012

Review: Things I Know About Love by Kate le Vann

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: Random House (EgmontUSA)
Spoilers?: Maybe. But not outright.

Goodreads Synopsis:

 Things I know about love.

1. People don't always tell you the truth about how they feel.
2. Nothing that happens between two people is guaranteed to be private.
3. I don't know if you ever get over having your heart broken.

Livia Stowe's past experiences with love have been nothing but disappointing, but all that is about to change.  After years of illness, she's boarding a plane for the first time to spend the summer in Princeton, New Jersey, with her brother who's studying abroad.  This Brit is determined to make the most of her American summer and to record every moment of it in her private blog.

America is everything that Livia's ever dreamed of.  And then she meets Adam. 

Swept up in the promise of romance and the magical New York City that Adam shows her, Livia is smitten, but with all she knows about love, is Livia really ready to risk her heart again?


I had been eying this book for a while now, since about the time it came out, maybe a little after. But it was in hardback, and it was so small, and I kept convincing myself out of buying it for some reason. Finally, I got it, cheap, a couple weeks ago, and read it not long after. I was expecting something small and light, fluffy with not much substance. An easy read. It was… small, and a little light, very easy to read, but there was a lot more to it than I had been expecting.
Things I Know About Love is about Livia, a British girl who is flying to New Jersey to visit her older brother at college. She has to convince her mother, seeing as she is still getting over cancer, but is doing just fine now. She’s staying for a few weeks with her brother during the summer, and is planning to find out as much as she can about love, while writing it all down in her private blog. And then she meets Adam, a fellow Brit and friend of her brother who is also visiting his brother for a few weeks.
I loved the way it was written, and just being inside Livia’s head. She was fun and sweet, and was just enjoying everything. She’s very close to both her mother and brother, seeing as they’re all she has and pretty much all she’s known for the last while, ever since she got cancer and had to stay in hospital. We get a little look into her past, her relationships with everyone in school, and how she had a lot of friends and then she got sick and they faded away. She was curious about everything, about love, and was open to it all. She’d been in a relationship before, only to be pushed away and then dumped when her cancer stuff started happening again, and so a bit wary. She’d kind of jumped into it before, and wasn’t too sure if any other guy would stick around. She was still a little upset about the old guy, and when another one showed up, she was sure of her feelings, and even while a little cautious if she were feelings the same things as before, she was pretty sure that they were different. And that Adam was different from the boy before. Which he was.
I love Adam. He’s British and sweet, and he loves Livia and knows that he loves Livia. He knew that she was different from the first time he met her, a couple years previous to when the book takes place, when they only met very briefly. It could be considered insta-love, and it really kind of is, but it just worked so well her. It seemed so believable, and it was just full of swoon to me. He even knew about her cancer stuff and that only made him worried for her and made him want to hold her closer.
The book is written in journal-style, as Livia is writing everything that happens into a private blog, which I really enjoyed. I wasn’t expecting there to be small chapters in Adam’s point-of-view, though. I was surprised when they first showed up, and then just excited for each one. They’re so small and there are only a few, so they were kind of like treats to me.
I really liked reading about Livia and Adam, as well as her relationship with her brother and mother. There was also a little insight into her brother’s love life, which I enjoyed and felt a little sad about. I am probably partial to her brother, though, since I have a thing for brother-sister relationships (which is just my personal opinion, since I am very close to my own brother).
Now, the ending. The ending made me cry, just a little. Which, for me, is a lot; I barely ever even get teary-eyed at most things. I really don’t want to spoil it, since it was so unexpected, even though there were a few obvious signs saying that I should have been wary to this. But I wasn’t, and it hurt so badly. It hurts so badly, still. It reminds me a bit of The Fault In Our Stars, which was amazing and a little light but still heavy. Probably a little more heavy than this, but just as sad. The ending didn’t leave me unsatisfied, but it did leave me sad.
I’m… no, I’m not going to say anything more. That’s probably giving away too much, as it is.
I loved this book, a lot, and will probably be holding it close to me for a while now. I loved the characters, grew close to them, wanted more of them. I don’t think I want to let go of it quite yet. I am definitely planning to look for more of le Vann’s books.

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