Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: Things I Know About Love by Kate Le Vann

Let's be honest, there are books you see circling the web continuously and wonder if you should try.  I remember seeing Things I Know About Love on multiple book blogs and started to brush them off after 10+ times.  Somehow though, that cute cover kind of grabbed me (yes, I was that shallow in my choice) and I decided to give it a try.  Boy am I glad that I did!

Synopsis:  Livia Stowe has had a tough couple of years.  Besides a string of teen boyfriends over the years, Livia has also battled cancer.  In this short novel, Livia allows us entrance into just what she knows about love from a series of journal/blog posts as she travels to America to visit her college-age brother for a vacation.  While there, Livia catches up with a fellow Brit who she met as a teen, and who just might have the real key to her heart.

Review:  Although I've seen some serious mixed reviews on this novel, I have to say that it really grabbed me and shook me up a bit.  In short, it made me cry, and I was okay about it.  Livia was a sweet character, filled with vulnerabilities and a kind of guilelessness that didn't have me skeptically doubting her goodness, but rather had me wanting to have someone shelter her.  The experiences that Livia has had as a teen with boyfriends of various kinds feel very familiar and real, from the boy who wanted to kiss and tell, to the boy who stole her heart but couldn't follow through when she needed him the most.  Every heart break and tale of vulnerability had me heartbroken!

For an honest, personal moment, I have to acknowledge that some of the themes of love and loss really spoke to me. I'm not always about butterflies and rainbows, so the balanced happiness and sorrow of this novel felt very real and open.  The ending is very bittersweet, and one that I felt gives the reader a real chance to think about love for themselves.  I can definitely recommend this book to my students and friends, as it is a great, thought-provoking read.   Don't be deceived by the cute, "chick lit" type cover.  This is not a light read. It might not end exactly how you think it's going to, but it was beautiful and one that I can't help thinking about days after I finished reading.


  1. The heroine is a teenager... I hope, since she's dating teenage boys?

  2. I get tired of seeing the same books over and over again, too. If I plan to read them, I have to wait for things to die down and try and forget anything I have read/heard so it doesn't cloud my experience.

  3. I wish publishers would choose cover art that has some inkling of what the book is about. I'm not a fan of chick lit and I have a feeling I miss some good books because of the covers.

  4. Heidenkind--You're so good about commenting right after I post!!! You put me to shame for my own lack in that area. :) Yes, she's a teenage girl, although she's our senior equivalent.

    Kailana--I know. It can be a bit of a turn off to see the same book over and over, which you wouldn't think would be the case. It's more intriguing when it's something new. I do have to say though that I really enjoyed reading this one.

    Rural View--Yes, that's true. This was definitely not the stereotypical chick lit novel. In fact, it didn't resemble one at all.

  5. Wow...your review has definitely sold me. I only vaguely remember seeing this one in passing somewhere out there in blog land and I remember thinking much the same thing...interesting/cute cover. It is really...and the details included in it from the show choice to the exposed luggage is great. Nice to know the story is much more than that...will have to add it to the wish list. Thanks for sharing...and happy reading!