Title: Love is Love
Author: Mette Bach
Publisher: James Lorimer & Company, Real Love
Date of publication: August 1st, 2017
Genre: LGBTQIA, Young Adult
Number of pages: 176
POV: 3rd person
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
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 warns 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.
Trigger Warning: None
Love is Love is one of those books that I actually ugly cried too. It is also a book where a character that was so unlikable at the beginning of the book did a miraculous thing and became likable towards the end. I also finished Love is Love within one night. I started it with every intention of putting it down after an hour and going to sleep (I read in bed) and I ended up staying up and finishing the book. This book is that good.
I couldn’t stand Emmy at the beginning of the book. She wants to be popular, so she gives the popular guy at school a blow job (and not a very good one by the description) and she spends the night at his house. When her mother calls her out on it, which she had every right too, she calls her mom a whore. Why a whore? Because her mother moved on from her father’s death and is living with a man who takes care of her. She also says a few other things that were pretty unforgivable. By the end of the first chapter, I really couldn’t stand her.
Then she moved to Vancouver and I slowly started to see her in a different light.
My changing of opinion of her was when Paige told her that Jude was trans and used to be Judy. Emmy was kinda like “Ok” and treated Jude like a normal person when she met him. What impressed me was when she asked Jude what pronoun he would like for her to use (he, she or they)….after doing some research on the Internet. I think that Jude was impressed and touched that Emmy went through that effort.
Emmy was still a mess, though, and I felt bad about it. Living with anxiety and eating to deal with my emotions, I can totally relate to because I do it and have pretty severe anxiety. Add in that she has low self-esteem and feels that she needs to sleep with people in order for them to like her and that she was still dealing with her dad’s death and I felt awful for her. Honestly, I think that her friendship and eventual romance with Jude was the best thing that happened to her. What I didn’t like was that Paige and her mother kept telling her to stay away from him. Paige’s reason: Jude wasn’t a nice guy and she didn’t want Emmy mixed up with him. Then she goes and introduces them which made me go “Huh, why did she introduce them“. Now, Emmy’s mom, I can understand. She didn’t want her to get hurt and she wasn’t exactly thrilled that Jude was transgender.
I absolutely loved Jude and I think that the author captured what it was like for a transgendered man is like in the real world. From the reactions that his parents had (and unfortunately there are parents who do not love unconditionally) to the issues that he was having getting surgery on his top half done to the fact that he really liked Emmy but was scared to act on it, it was perfect.
The romance between Jude and Emmy was very slow and at times I really thought it was in Emmy’s head (because she was a bit obsessive). But when Jude confessed his feelings for Emmy, I felt tears well up and I didn’t stop crying until the end of the book.
The end of the book was kind of happy ending. There were no declarations of love and I didn’t know if Emmy and Jude would actually stay together but it was perfect.
How many stars will I give Love is Love: 4
Why: Memorable characters, a good storyline. This would be a book that I would encourage my children to read
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Older Teen
Why: Language, sexual situations
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**