Wednesday, 9 September 2015

This Is Not A Love Story by Keren David

Kitty dreams of a beautiful life, but that's impossible in suburban London where her family is haunted by her father's unexpected death. So when her mum suggests moving to Amsterdam to try a new life, Kitty doesn't take much persuading. Will this be her opportunity to make her life picture perfect? 

In Amsterdam she meets moody, unpredictable Ethan, and clever, troubled Theo. Two enigmatic boys, who each harbour their own secrets. In a beautiful city and far from home, Kitty finds herself falling in love for the first time. 

But will love be everything she expected? And will anyone's heart survive?

I wanted to read this because A- Amsterdam and B- romance. And I did get a cutsy romance set in a great city but I also got some great friendships, a bit of mystery and a cool exploration of self.

It followed Kitty and Theo, both Londoners, recently moved to Amsterdam for different reasons but instantly connected, and Ethan, a nearly-native Dutch. Through alternate perspectives, we saw them both explore the city and rediscover themselves as new people. For Kitty, it was a chance to reinvent herself, and Theo, semi-banished there as punishment for inappropriately dating his teacher, was brooding and angry. But as they came together, it became a possibility to be seen as new individuals. 

David had an interesting way of pacing it, after, then before and back again - really kept the tension, made things interesting and really highlighted how much the three of them had changed. We saw the city from new eyes and old as Ethan, her almost step-brother, shows Kitty around. Being in a new city changed all of them and changed the way they saw each other. Ethan was another case like this; he was awkward and stand-offish but inside, really quite insecure. It took a lot for him to open up and a lot of drama to get anywhere near a happy ending but I warmed to him and am really glad he ended up happy.

As well as the typical sexuality explored, there was also religion; Jewish traditions were a big part of this book which was fascinating, as I know next to nothing about them. Overall, I got much more than I expected out of this book and it was a exceptional read. 

Published 7th May 2015 by Atom.

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