Cover Image: Love Is Love

Love Is Love

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Member Reviews

Thanks(!) NetGalley for giving me a chance to read and review this book!

Short Blurb:

Overweight and unhappy at home, Emmy gets sexually involved with a popular classmate so that people will think that she is worth liking. When she realizes that he is just using her, she decides to leave her home in Winnipeg to stay with her uncle's family in Vancouver. Emmy has always been intimidated by her perfect cousin Paige and Paige's cool friends, so she is surprised to find that the coolest of them is transgender. Emmy is instantly attracted to Jude (who used to be Judy), and starts hanging out at the coffee shop where he works. She even performs at the poetry slam Jude hosts there.

Emmy is never sure where she stands with Jude, and can't believe that such a confident, charismatic guy might actually be interested in her. Both her mother back in Winnipeg and Paige warn her away from Jude, saying that he will just use her and she will get hurt. But it's not until she almost falls again into the trap of casual sex to boost her self-esteem that Emmy realizes it's worth it to put your true self out there for real love.

Cover Review:

The cover is simple, yet alluring and I'd have definitely picked up the book and read more about it!

Review:

Love is Love is a heart touching story, one of the best I've ever read. The only thing I didn't like about it was its length. I wish it hadn't been such a short read! I wish there was more to it.

My favorite character was without doubt Jude. He's just the kind of guy that a girl deserves. He's fun, kind, caring and oh so understanding. At the same time, he's also not invincible as most guys are pictured in most novels/movies. He's not the kinda guy who hides his pain, atleast not from someone he trusts.

My least favorite character on the other hand was Emmy's mom. Sure there were others who weren't so good but what Emmy's mom did hurt me the most. How could she have so easily sent off her daughter? And then again, how could she ever think that she can dictate who Emmy should fall in love with? I hate that woman for being so blind to her daughter's pain.

My favorite parts were all of the Emmy and Jude parts, every single one of them. 

The writing was capturing, compelling, while the story was something that'll stay in my heart forever. 

If only it hadn't ended so quickly...

Love is Love gets 5 stars for its brilliance and for being so beautiful.
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This book it's probably my favorite read of 2017 so far.
I could relate so much with the way Emmy thinks about being fat, and the melancholy of the characters, and having anxiety, and Jude! Can't talk about representation in this part of the novel, but I loved him so much!
This was fluffy, sweet romance that made me cry as well as smile so much while reading it. I highly recommend it and can't wait for the physical book to be available so I can hug it and love it and reread it a million times.
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This is another short "love" story in a similar vein to Same Love which I reviewed positively a day or so ago, but I was not able to give this the same rating for a variety of reasons. I liked the idea behind the story, and I appreciated the diversity it exhibited, but it felt far too trite, simplistic and shallow, and the characters far too caricatured for me to rate it as a worthy read.

I'm not a cover-lover, so I normally don't talk about book covers because they have nothing to do with the book's content and my reviews are about writing, not about bells and whistles, or glitz, or bait and switch. That said, I have a couple of observations about this cover. The first is that the person depicted in the cover image is gorgeous in the ambiguity and androgyny they represent, and I loved it for that. I'd like to read a story about that character, fictional or otherwise! The second observation is actually the problem: this cover has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with anybody or anything in this entire book! So why was this cover used?!

I know that authors (unless they self-publish) have no say in the cover they get stuck with. I'm truly sorry about that, but this is a price you pay when you go the traditional publishing route, so this cover problem isn't a factor in my review. This is just an observation. I don't know how publishers can get it so wrong so often, and I'm forced to speculate on motive here, because whatever that is, it's certainly nothing to do with what the author is saying or trying to do with what they wrote!

I just wish publishers were more sensitive to a book's content than they all-too-often prove themselves to be when they slap a random cover on it. I know some people, particularly YA fans, get orgasmic over covers, but mature readers (and by that I don't mean old, nor do I exclude YA readers) do not. While many of them may appreciate a well-done cover, the bottom line there is that they're all about content. I'd rather have a lousy cover with a brilliant story than ever I would a gorgeous cover with a poor story. Reference The Beatles 'white album' (so-called) for sustaining argument!

As far as content is concerned, I was frequently disappointed in the story-telling, and this is where the real problems lay with this work. It was too simplistic, and the main character, Emmy, was not a likeable one (nor did she look anything like the character on the cover, so no match there). She wasn't strong, nor did she become strong. She showed zero growth, which is sad because she was sickeningly immature. Instead of a girl turning into a young woman with purpose and drive, all we got was an unchanging, needy, whiny, and self-pitying mess.

The worst part about all of this was that she knew exactly what her problems were, but never once did she exhibit the strength to try changing herself, or even evince signs of some development of a will to change. She was a weak and uninteresting character who did not remotely deserve the reward she got. There was no justice in this book, and this was a problem.

I don't typically care about genre any more than I care about gender. A person is a person, and a main character is a main character, but what this book most reminded me of is a genre of novels that I do detest, which is the one where the woman runs away from a bad relationship back to her home town where she meets the love of her life. I despise that kind of a story, and while this novel was not quite that bad, it had a lot of the hallmarks of such a story.

Emmy is so desperate to be popular that we meet her blowing the school hot guy, Ty, in some disgusting stairwell one night, just in hopes that from this she will become popular. How that thinking ever made sense is a mystery. All it told me was that she was profoundly stupid. I didn't mind that. I can work with that, because my hope was that she would wise-up and grow a pair, but she never did.

Emmy is 'overweight'. That's never actually defined, but that's not necessarily a problem, especially not in a society where anorexic actors and models are perversely considered the standard of beauty. 'Overweight' is not a problem unless you're unhealthy with it, and Emmy is, because she's overweight from binging on junk food for emotional comfort.

She knows this perfectly well, but never once does she even consider stopping the rot. Instead, she hangs around like a maiden trussed to a tree, awaiting her shining knight to come shield her from the dragon of life. This is why I did not like her. Throughout this whole story she never initiated a single thing; she was never the actor, always the one acted upon, and her inertia, passivity and complete lack of metaphorical balls was sickening to read about.

The Saint George in this story is Jude the somewhat obscure, the artist formerly known as Judy, who is a guy who was unfortunately born in a woman's body. Again, he looked nothing like the character on the cover, so no match there, either. Other than that, we never really get to know him.

Jude is living as a guy but has had no surgery yet. He's trying to save money for it, but is of limited means, so it's taking a while. He's a barista, and Emmy meets him when she visits his establishment with her cousin, Paige, whose parents Emmy is now staying with in Vancouver, having fled Winnipeg fit to be Ty-ed. Paige also looks nothing like the character on the cover, and she's such a caricature and a non-entity, it made me wonder why she was even in the story at all.

The story-telling effectively ends here, and instead of a flowing tale, what we get is a series of vignettes from this point onward. Emmy, who writes poetry that we never get to read, is all but forced onto the stage at the coffee shop on poetry night. She's laughed off the stage, but we never learn if the laughter was at her, or in enjoyment of the poem she read. We're left to surmise it was at her, but this incident never goes anywhere else. She never comes roaring back. Instead, her poetry drops out of sight after this. In the same vein, she starts cycling, but paradoxically goes nowhere. The poetry felt like it ought to have been an overture to her regaining some confidence, and the cycling a lead-in to her getting fit, but the cycling disappears as well!

Another vanishing act is her father's notebooks. Her father is dead and her mother has married a guy Emmy doesn't like. Those issues are never resolved either, but in staying with her uncle, she discovers that he has one or two of her dad's notebooks from when he was Emmy's age. She takes possession of them, but she never reads them - or if she does, we're not party to it, so it's yet another dead end street. Her stay in Vancouver seems full of them.

Emmy begins fantasizing about Jude, gazing at him simperingly whenever he's around, and the attraction seems to be entirely physical - at least that's the most common part that's shared with us: that he looks like he ought to be on stage or on the big screen.

Although some token attempts to broaden his appeal are made, they're too few and too shallow to be believable. Consequently, the elephant in the room here is not Emmy despite her lackluster attempts to convince us otherwise. The problem is the complete lack of any viable reason why Jude is interested in Emmy, because we're never offered a glimpse of any such reason. He just falls into line with her fantasies and is won effortlessly. She doesn't deserve him and we're never given any reason why she should.

I could see a great story here, but it's not the one we got, and the title was wrong. This was far too fast to be love. Infatuation is Lust might have been a better title. I found myself more interested in Jude's sweet-hearted friend, Clarisse. A story about her might have been a lot more engrossing than this one was. I wish this author all the best; her heart is in the right place, but this particular story is one I can't get behind at all, and I'm sorry for that.
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This is a romance novella about the relationship between an overweight insecure girl and a female-to-male trans*boy. While this sort of representation is always welcome and was well-done, the story failed to knock my socks of. 3,5/5 stars. 

Again, the representation - both of the anxious, comfort-eating overweight Emmy with glasses, as well as the trans*boy Jude - was done well. There was understanding and healthy conversations. Characters misgendering Jude are called out on their unacceptable behavior by both the narrator and other characters. However, a lot of the plot was based on stereotypes and the plot was a bit thin. That is fine for a book around 170 pages thin, but I wish things could have been more fleshed out. It was really nothing more than a cutesy summer-reading romance story, so do not expect any deep discussion about trans*-issues, or much character development. It was enjoyable, though, especially for a middle-grade book! 

Just one thing, dear publishers - WTF is that cover?? Is that supposed to be Emmy? Because that girl is not overweight at all, and neither does she wear glasses. Or is it supposed to be Jude? In which case: still shame on you for taking an ambiguous image of Shutterstock of a person who looks much more feminine than someone passing as a boy after transition.
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Love is Love by Mette Bach is my first (LGBT) novel I have ever read and I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. Love is Love, no matter your race, religion or sex. No one should be judged with who your heart lies with. 

This story begins with a young girl named Emmy, who is dating a boy that is bad news. Tired of being criticized she decides to move in with her aunt in Vancouver. Thus meeting Jude, a transgender man who Emmy met years ago but he was Judy. 

Jude and Emmy fall for another, hard and fast. But insecurities about themselves push these two to the brink. But their love for another conquers all.
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Excellent writing, i was impressed with this quick read.  Finished it in one sitting.  The story line was easy to follow and the characters flowed. Would recommend to anyone looking for a new read in this genre. Thank you for the advanced copy.
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I'll post this review on Amazon once the book is open to be reviewed.

4 stars
Interesting book, good message but somewhat shallow

I’m glad I read this book.  I found it interesting, but it’s not a favorite.  The message of loving yourself is a good one, but the book came across as shallow to me.  The writing was okay and I didn’t notice any editing errors, such a rarity these days!  The main character is likeable but I didn’t really feel like I knew her well.  And I didn’t get a good sense of any of the other characters, either.  In my opinion, the book needs more depth and background.  It is so simplistic.  And I can’t believe the publisher is charging $27.99 for the hardcover.  Amazon says the book is only 176 pages (my Kindle says it is only 99!).  I know that’s a typical length for a YA novel, but I have to say that I would not recommend the book at that price!

I received a free ebook from the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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4* The blurb isn't entirely true, and the book feels a little incomplete, but I was moved by it. 

Ignoring the above, this was a decent read. I have two friends who are trans, and I hope I've learned about respect from them, and a little about what being trans means. 

I loved the respect that Emmy showed Jude in this tale, and how she took issue with her cousin, Paige, supposedly a friend of Jude's, but who didn't respect the person he was. I also loved how Jude saw the entire person that Emmy was, and that he stood up for her when she was mocked for being a fat girl. I thought the author was sensitive about Emmy's admittedly unhealthy relationship with food, and loved that Jude never had an issue with that. 

This is a NA/YA tale, with Jude being slightly older than Emmy's 17yo self, and already he'd been disappointed by 'the system' - his parents who could accept Judy, but not Jude, and the Canadian health care system, that turned him down for surgery. This was sad and hurt him, but he didn't seem broken, which showed his strength of character. His option was to work hard and possibly get a better job so that he could do what he felt he needed to be the Jude he always was and will be.

I loved the line in the dedication - Thank you, Kat (the author's editor), for believing that girls like Emmy should get the guy, and that guys like Jude should get to be the romantic interest. That kind of tells you more about this tale than a reader ever could.

ARC courtesy of NetGalley and James Lorimer and Company, for my reading pleasure.
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Love is love is a sweet story about a seventeen year old girl, who lack confidence due to weight issues that falls for a transgender guy, but feels like she doesn't deserve him.

This is a short book that sadly doesn't allow the author to build on the characters or add much depth to the story.  I would have liked it to be longer.
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Love is Love is a  story of discovering self worth and love so others can see the beauty that lies within. Emmy sees herself as a ugly and fat, but Jude sees her as beautiful. Emmy sees  Jude as a handsome man even though he doesn't have the money to transition yet. Neither one judges the  other, as others have harshly judged them. They accept each other and no longer feel alone and out of place. They belong to each other.
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I loved the description of this book when I saw it in Netgalley's Pride Month email. Sadly, it just didn't work for me at all. It's much more of a short story than a "book" and the lack of depth to the characters and their relationships with each other left me feeling cold. 

All we know about Emmy, our cis female MC, is that she likes to write poetry and has anxiety. She considers her weight her main feature, and admits herself that she has no personality. She's a 17 year old, but acts like someone much younger and less mature. At the beginning of the story, her mother packs her off to live with her aunt and uncle in Vancouver, and because the book is so short, we have no real idea why - just a hint of Emmy not being happy. When she arrives there, then hits the insta-love for Jude despite knowing barely anything about him except that he's the hottest person Emmy has ever seen and is a trans male. They meet approximately 4 times before she's head over heels in love with him. I'm vaguely baffled by the entire thing. Such a great concept and I would have loved to see it done justice. 

*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book.*
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This is not my kind of book, but as a high school teacher-librarian I am looking for titles that speak to our population. That being said, we will likely purchase a copy of this for our library for several reasons: we are working on diversifying our collection with a focus on LGBQT+ literature and this kind of teen romance is incredibly popular. 

My dislikes, and reasons I would not adopt this for a course reading, stem from the fact that is a bit on the shallow side of author's craft, the dialogue is stilted and the main character of Emmy is not well rounded and developed. Some of this is probably because I'm a adult, not a teenager, reading this book.

All that being said, there is something still real about Emmy and her over-the-top past and speaks true of being a teenager. She has real struggles (weight, boys, self-criticism, family issues)and the book is frank about them. Emmy's father died years ago and her mom is currently seeing and living with a guy presumably to help make ends meet as they live with him. Following a sexual incident with a popular, male classmate, she agrees to go live with her aunt and uncle in Vancouver. It's there that she meets transgender Jude and very quickly (unbelievably so) falls for him. The rest of the book details their up and down relationship in which Emmy comes to love herself as well.
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Emmy is dating Ty, a guy her friends Tiana and Michelle along with her mum and subsequently her stepfather, don't approve of because of him being bad news. Emmy can't take their criticism anymore and decides to stay with her aunt, cousin and uncle, back in Vancouver where her dad was previously before he passed away.

Whilst out there, she unexpectedly finds herself falling for Jude a transgender man whom she met briefly years before by her cousin Paige when he was still Judy.

The two's relationship develops through shared interests of creative subjects from music to poetry and acceptance of each other showing they are creative and open minded individuals.

Through the book we see Emmy struggle and compares herself to Paige and other women around Jude, feeling inadequate because of being the bigger girl and comfort eating away her emotions instead of helping herself feel better in other ways as she learns to bike around as she can't drive around for example and use that as a stress reliever.

Emmy also had a complicated background with her dad and her uncle gives her old notebooks of his along with telling her about his love of Kurt Cobain of Nirvana hinting that maybe her dad's drinking was to do with depression possibly.

The book dealt with complex issues surrounding Emmy and her friend's lives. It was a great read and appreciative of all people and a celebration of acceptance.
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