Cover Image: Love Is for Losers

Love Is for Losers

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This was an interesting LGBT+ YA story. Really enjoyed the characters. The plot felt weak at times but didn't really detract from the story- which is told through diary entries! Fun, quick read.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this title before its US publication date.

I'll be honest, I haven't been reading or enjoying as much YA lately so I didn't have super high hopes for this. I thought it would read as young YA and that I might enjoy it but not love it. But I was so pleasantly surprised!

First of all, this is told in diary format and our MC Phoebe's frankness and angst immediately reminded me of Georgia from the Georgia Nicholson series and Mia from the Princess Diaries series. But this book went a lot deeper than either of those series. 

I loved how much Phoebe grows throughout the book. I loved the found family aspect of the people who work at the thrift shop. I loved Phoebe's godmother, Kate! I loved how frank and open and positive it was about sex and discovering your sexuality. It also deals with grief and death and somewhat absent parents, all of which I thought was done really well and was age-appropriate.

A big recommend to any reader who loves angsty, funny, queer YA with a great cast of characters!
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Such a cute LGBTQ+ love story. I think Phoebe really encompasses teen angst when it comes to love and also how teens harbor the hook up culture that runs rampant so the attachments are hard to have.
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Love Is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann is such a fun young adult read. Phoebe is 15 and feels everyone around her are losing their minds due to this dumb thing called “love”. Her best friend just fell in love and forgot Phoebe even exists. Her mom is in love with her job as a traveling doctor for third world countries and leaves Phoebe to be raised by her godmother Kate for months at a time. And this is where she finds herself at the beginning of the new year: friendless, motherless, and living in someone else’s bedroom. It doesn’t help that she doesn’t particularly like people, but even when you don’t like people, you still need others (even if you don’t want to admit it). When Phoebe decides to help Kate out by volunteering for the thrift store she runs for cancer research, Phoebe doesn’t plan on making friends. Then she meets Emma. Everyone loves the friendly, beautiful, blue-eyed Emma. They become friends and Phoebe learns that sometimes, it’s OK to open up to others. 
#LoveisforLosers #WibkeBrueggemann Release Date: Feb 23, 2021
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This is so derivative of teens and YA, the voice of that crowd is so present in the writing. It's perfect lit for this audience. It's LGBTQ and I think it's a good read for young adults and presents a reality that we have within our society and community. Also, it's absolutely a hoot to read!
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After reading this novel, I can understand why others see the content as falling on deaf ears. The book itself is a little too quirky for my taste, but some people may like it, mostly teens around her age. (While I am still a teen, I do not feel like I had a connection to this book). Teens will enjoy the format of the novel, which is in a diary story style. Love Is for Losers discusses a few heavy topics while still remaining light.

I would recommend this novel for younger teens from 13-16, though they should know what kind of content is inside the book before starting (as anyone else should) to prevent them from falling into a negative headspace.
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This book was hilarious -- I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud as I was reading. Phoebe's voice is so unique and distinctive, and I really loved it. Highly recommend!
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I tend to enjoy a variety of books, including YA titles.

And the idea of a young girl who feels like a fish out of water compared to her one friend and those in her school is the type of story I tend to enjoy.

Overall, this title was okay. 

I liked the diary format used.
I could appreciate some of the feeling different from others. 
I can feel empathetic of her feeling like love is for losers and that she'd never want to fall in love. Because her untraditional upbringing contributed to her ideas about love and relationships.

Even with all this, I had times where Phoebe's writing was heading to extreme whining.  Having both been a teen and having parented teens and worked with them, I get that they make poor decisions and are still rather self-centered. But, Phoebe's character seems to have taken it to an extreme that bothered me a bit.

But, if you are looking for a title that has an LGBT component, then this could be a good option.

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC of Love is for Losers.  “Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.”
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Thank you Farrar, Straus and Giroux and NetGalley for an eARC of Love is for Losers. All opinions are my own, as usual. 

DNF at 30%
Trigger Warnings will be discussed in the review:

Yikes.

I've never started a review off this negatively, but what I read of this book I think deserves it. Phoebe is the definition of a stereotypical 15-year-old who thinks the world revolves around her. I was really excited to read about a girl loving herself and being queer. Unfortunately, within the first few chapters, Phoebe had said so many terrible things and it only got worse. I'll include the two worst quotes here.

-Phoebe's mom's job is to help people in natural disasters, so she leaves home often. I understand how that would be extremely difficult but Phoebe decides to say, "There are seven billion people in the world. That's seven million million. So why, oh why, does my mother think she has to be the one helping out in a major catastrophe?"
-Phoebe's mom's friend works at a thrift store so when she goes to the store, she meets a worker with autism and tells him to "Shut up!" when he yells to the workers that a customer arrived. Phoebe defends herself by saying, "Well, yes, because why would I discriminate just because he has a disability?"

Phoebe's diary-style story allows her to share her feelings and opinions, but they are super offensive. I know this probably would have gotten turned around by the end, but her ignorant and hurtful comments caused me to put this book down.
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When I saw the cover for this book, I already fell in love a little bit with it. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a good cover. With that said, the book itself was a bit too YA for me. But that's not a bad thing. I'm in my 40's and this book will be perfect for the earlier teen set. I would say from 13-18 is the perfect age range. We don't get a lot of books about the earlier teens and I think this is the perfect book for those readers, especially those dealing with their sexuality and all the emotions that come with growing up and going through that awkward stage of life. 

Phoebe is 15 going on 16. She is a cynic and does not see the value of love. In fact, she thinks "love is for losers", hence the title. When her best friend Polly starts dating a boy, she feels like she has lost. her friend and a part of her life since they were BFFs. She's a bit unusual and maybe a little bit of an outcast, but her quirkiness is what endeared me to her. I liked her sense of dry humor and the way she just tells it like it is. Her father died before she was born and her mother is always away trying to save the world, so she often stays with her godmother, Kate. That's where this story primarily takes place. At Kate's, Kate's thrift store and school. It's told in diary form, but even there we get dialogue so it has that sense of character familiarity. 

Love is For Losers is Funny, Uncomfortable, and feels like a teen wrote it. I didn't always agree with what our main character said, but it was nice to see how a young person in today's society grapples with life and figuring out who they are. From friendships, family, school, tests and outside life, this is a book that will appeal to teens. I never thought for one minute that this book was for anyone but that age group with the content and the way it was written. 

Overall, this book deals with some very important teen topics and I like the way it handled those subjects carefully. It was a little slow at first, but that just helped me get to know Phoebe more. It's honest and fun and will engage the right audience. It took me a second to get into it, but the angsty teen voice of Phoebe rings strong. A solid debut.
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So, I got about 30% of the way through this book. I'm not in a great place mentally and don't want to push myself through a book I'm not enjoying just to give it a bad rating. My expectations for this book were vastly different from what I got, and that's partially my fault. I loved how this book is on the younger end of YA, since many new books have characters at the end of high school / early college. I hope this book will reach teens that are questioning their identity.
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4 stars

This book is so quirky in the most appealing way. 

Phoebe is 15 (going on 16), and she's in a state of flux. Her father died before she was born, and her mother is out of the country so often providing medical services in war torn areas that Phoebe actually has her own room in her godmother's (Kate's) home. She spends the bulk of the novel with Kate, and without her parents physically, but they both spend a lot of time on her mind! There are fantastic cameos by "designer cats" and a really fun cast of characters, and Phoebe is a growing but likeable (and highly amusing) character herself. 

There's a lot more here than one might expect at first blush: burgeoning identity, sexuality, friendship, connections to parents, feelings of abandonment, death and grief, and - of course - love of all kinds. This is a truly charming book, and I look forward to more from Brueggemann.
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rating: 3 stars

trigger/content warnings: cancer (mention), death, death of a parent, mental illness - anxiety

Love Is for Losers is a solid read. It was definitely different from what I was expecting, but I did enjoy the diary format, which gave us a direct window into Phoebe's mind. Although it left some gaps, I thought it was an engaging way to narrate through her perspective. I had difficulty getting into the novel and Phoebe's personality nettled me a bit at times throughout the book. I found myself wishing that she had more character growth, but I did think she was a very realistic portrayal of a teenager.

For me, highlights of the book included: 1) The sapphic representation for this age group! I would love to see more LGBTQ+ books like this targeted towards/centering the younger side of YA. 2). How sex-positive it is! This is another topic that I think is extremely important for teenagers to be educated on and feel comfortable discussing with people they trust. Even if it may have seemed over the top to some, I think it's preferable to be informed as a teenager rather than reinforcing shame around the topic. 3) Brueggemann perfectly captured the teenage experience. While I found her irritating at times, I can also recognize that Phoebe's intense, seemingly overdramatic emotions and angst are extremely true to how teens really do feel. 

Overall, Love Is for Losers was a sweet and funny read that also addressed some heavier/deeper topics. Unfortunately it wasn't a favorite for me because the plot felt slow at times and Phoebe often irked me, but I might still recommend it to others who enjoy YA (especially for the LGBT representation). 

Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for providing this ARC!
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Love is for Losers follows Phoebe, a girl who has decided that love is the most dreadful thing to ever happen to someone. However, once she starts working at a local thrift shop, her perspective begins to shift.
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This was such a fun book! It perfectly filled the Princess Diaries shaped hole in my heart, but with more sass and snark! Phoebe was an unlikeable character, seeing as she was an “edgy 15 year old”, but I found myself sympathizing quite often with her. The premise was light-hearted, and as a whole this book didn’t take itself too seriously.
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There were also some darker topics sprinkled in that gave the story some depth! Absent parents, loss of siblings, and loss of a close friend was added in this book in the same pages that also contained the lives of two designer cats.
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Overall, I would recommend this book! It was a little hard to get into, but once I was about 20 pages in, I was hooked!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an arc of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I was so pleasantly surprised by this book! I started off a little unsure how I felt about it. Phoebe is definetly a narrator with a very strong personailty that took some getting used to. But I'm so glad I stuck with it because once I got into it I couldn't put it down. Phoebe's narration reminds me of Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series in a lot of ways. She's unapologetically teenagery and struggles to figure out her place in the world and I loved following her on that journey. I think teens will definetly be able to relate to her over honest take on life. And I'm so pleased that this sort of book now exists that LGBT+ kids can find themselves in. The fact that the main love interest is a girl is never a problem for anyone. In fact, the only thing Phoebe is really worried about is having a crush in the first place. (Which I found all too relatable.) The transition from friendship to more was so beautiful and seamless that by the time Phoebe notices and is freaking out about it you the reader can't help but be rooting for her to get with Emma in the end, It was adorable and emotional all at the same time and I highly highly reccommend it.
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This book was different than expected yet very well written! Phoebe is definitely a pessimist, especially when it comes to the idea of love and can be too realistic around the ideas of loss. Emma is however the opposite, she is optimistic and loves life to the fullest. When Phoebe realizes that she may have feelings for Emma, she treats it as a disease that she needs to get rid of. Not to mention that Phoebe also has to deal with abandonment issues, school, and trying to understand her best friend. The only down side to this novel was being written as a diary format where Phoebe is jotting everything down by the day. This can be in some peoples favor, while it wasn't the best format for me. Overall, a very solid coming of age novel.
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This book is an absolute delight. Phoebe has a fun, spunky voice that teens will surely relate to and love. The short and punchy diary-style of writing is easy and quick to read, and the characters all feel real and authentic. It's been a while since I found a new YA I liked so Love is for Losers was a breath of fresh air. 
PS: The cover is perfect.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the ARC. I voluntarily read and reviewed this title.
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~Love Is For Losers~
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4/5 stars
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I got approved for this book on Netgalley not really knowing too much about the plot besides that it involved a queer romance and had a really fun cover! This book was very British and reminded me of a mix of the movie Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging and the show Sex Education so if you liked either I think you’d really enjoy this book. 
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Pros:
+I think the formatting really allows for a uniquely authentic teen pov. It really feels like a 15 year old wrote this story in her journal.
+Honestly I can appreciate how much of a pessimist Phoebe is because I was also extremely angsty when I was 15 (who wasn’t an emo teen at some point?)
+The portrayal of how teens deal with grief, abandonment, and change was very honest and raw. She deals with everything poorly because all 15 year olds deal with everything poorly
+Her absolute PANIC over everything to do with Emma is a) hilariously too real and b) very well written. There needs to be more sapphic YA stories like this!
+There are some good unexpected moments that are just effortlessly funny and made me want to keep reading til i found the next one. I actually laughed out loud at some points LOL
+I really appreciate the different healthy role model figures in this book especially Kate!!
+The character growth wasn’t flawless but it was so fun seeing Phoebe learn and grow and experience life! She was finally someone I was rooting for near the end.
Cons:
-The lack of chapters makes it really difficult to read at first because it becomes repetitive. Each journal entry is to short to stop after just one but reading too many in a row is a little draining. I got used to it eventually but the first 10% of the book was rough for me.
-Sometimes Phoebe moves past being “relatably angsty” and into “i’m mean for no reason but it’s okay because it’s me”. 
-there seems to be some aspects of the “i’m not like other girls trope” in this and I can’t express how tired I am of seeing this in books.
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Overall this book ended up being a surprisingly fun read for me! At first I was skeptical because of the format and Phoebe’s angsty voice but I ended up really enjoying it and was sad when it ended.
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I loved Love of For Losers. It reminds me of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontle Snogging, but for older teenagers. Hilarious, snarky, and a lot of fun. I would finely recommend this to my students who like romance with a little cynicism and LGBTQ themes.
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About the book:
Phoebe is a 15 year old living in London who knows one thing for certain: love is for losers. Her best friend's gone crazy with it and her godmother is obsessed with finding it, but she knows it's not for her. When Phoebe's Mom decides to go on a 6 month Doctors without Borders trip, she loses it. Everything seems like it's falling apart at the same time: friends, family. Even GCSEs are coming up! When she's forced to take up work in a charity shop she meets a group of people who, much to her incredible dismay, are actually pretty cool. And is she, maybe, falling in love too? 

TL;DR:
- Content warnings: death by cancer mention, side character death by stroke, side character with severe anxiety, death of a parent 
- 3.75 stars
- Diary style story of girl trying to get through a semester at school without her mom, her best friend, and without falling in love. Worth reading if you're looking for a painfully accurate experience of the emotions when you're a young adult, good and bad. 

Loved:
- I loved the diary style. Princess Diaries really set the subgenre up, and this does not disappoint. I think the structure helped provide a much needed timeline to Phoebe's story.
- Super sex-positive. I know some reviewers have said it felt like too much, but frankly, I wish I knew half this information when I was 15. Every teen is going to do what they're going to do regardless of how much info they have about sex, so why not give them the facts, so they're more educated!?
- Absolutely loved how casual Phoebe and everyone in her life were about her realization that she was lesbian. I appreciate YA that includes meaningful coming out stories, but I'm a really big sucker for casual ones. I hope I don't have to explain why that makes my heart warm.
- Very sweet, slow romance.

Less into:
- In many ways Phoebe's voice was not unlike Mia's (Princess Diaries) in that they're both rather immature and need to undergo a significant amount of growth. The thing is, Phoebe never really had her growth - she just kind of, became less frustrating? And everyone in her life was like "we love you anyway! but you suck sometimes!" which, like alright, didn't we all, at 15. But there was no inflection point where she realized she was being consistently rude and grew from it. Again - this is VERY realistic. It's not bad, just the truth.
- Related: it didn't feel like there were explicit resolutions between Phoebe and her mom, or Phoebe and her best friend, the two people she spent a lot of time complaining about. Would have been nice to see some more there. Maybe a sequel?!!

Overall it was such a quick read, a page-turner, and I would 100% read a follow up. Just saying.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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