Review: It’s About Love by Steven Camden

Recommendations, Review
Image from Goodreads

Title: It’s About Love
Author: Steven Camden
Publisher: Harper Collins Childrens
Publication Date: Aug 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis from Goodreads
Real life is messier than the movies. A bold, thought-provoking novel from the exceptionally talented, Steven Camden.
He’s Luke. She’s Leia.
Just like in Star Wars. Just like they’re made for each other. Same film studies course, different backgrounds, different ends of town.
Only this isn’t a film. This is real life. This is where monsters from the past come back to take revenge. This is where you are sometimes the monster.
But real life? Sometimes, only sometimes, it turns out just like in the movies…
… maybe.
It’s About Love is a modern-day love story. The author of Tape, Steven Camden, has written a story from the point of view of a sixteen-year-old boy named Luke. In his first week of college he meets a girl in his film studies class. Her name is Leia and, ignoring the Star Wars connection, their passion for film makes them the perfect partners.
Luke, however, comes from a very troubling background. He has purposefully chosen a college two bus journeys away in order to escape his past. He can try to hide his relationship to his brother who is due to be released from prison , but he cannot cover up the scar on his face. Initially, Luke wants as little attention as possible, although once he starts developing feelings for Leia he enjoys being around her and her friends.
This was my favourite part of the book because we get to see a different side of Luke when he is with his friends from college. We hear more of his opinions and see him in a more comfortable environment. However, when he is with his family he is often in the shadows of his older brother. I think Steven Camden also shows us in this part of the book that it does not matter what your background is, it does not affect how well you successful you are in life.
Yet, everything changes when Luke’s past life and friends collide with the new. All of his efforts to keep his past life and present fail, and Luke is left with less than what he had. Believing he has ruined everything with Leia, Luke needs all the encouragement he can get from his film studies tutor, Noah, to keep on going. Surprisingly Noah was my favourite character throughout It’s About Love. Even though Noah was not a main character I felt he played an important role. He often helped Luke through dark times and believed in him when others didn’t. I felt as if Luke and Noah had a special connection  throughout the narrative. Noah also inspired Luke to follow his dreams and showed the readers that you can make your dreams come true no matter who you are or where you come from.
Steven Camden writes the story through first person narrative, film directions and ideas in Luke’s notebooks. This is an interesting method and helps to create a clearer picture of Luke’s personality. He is a teenager with potential and the ability to think for himself. It is his past history that makes him feel like he does not deserve happiness or success.
Despite the title, I felt It’s About Love is more suitable for young adult males rather than females due to the nature of the story and the main theme within the plot. However, I would still recommend this book to females. Steven Camden clearly has the young adult audience in mind as he writes and I am sure there will be many readers who will love this book.
I would love to read a book by this author again, I find Steven Camden’s writing very captivating throughout the whole story.  I am also looking forward to reading Steven Camden’s first book Tape.
The only issue with the content of the book is that it does contain explicit language throughout along with violence towards the end. I do think Steven Camden was right to add violence into this story as it really describes Luke’s background.
There weren’t that many flaws in Steven Camden’s book however one flaw that I did encounter was the way Steven Camden portrayed Leia. I felt as if it was hard to get to know this character and I also felt as if she changed personalities throughout the story. I think Steven Camden should develop on Leia’s character and also give a more clear image of the ending.
I think Steven Camden should have developed Luke’s and Leia’s relationship; very often Leia would not appear in the book for chapters. Also I would have liked to have seen their relationship after they started dating, to give us an insight on whether Luke and Leia stayed together or ended you going their separate ways.
I think the cover of this book does give the reader the wrong impression. This book is the opposite of what the cover looks like. I guess this just goes to show you, don’t judge a book by its cover!
Taking all this information into consideration I will be giving It’s About Love 4 out of 5 marks.

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