I was lucky enough to be sent a proof copy of this book a couple of months ago, but I’ve finally had a bit of time to read it – I’m not sure why I didn’t read it sooner as I devoured it in about a day. Love is for Losers was a fun and refreshing F/F read, and I’m sure that some teenagers will certainly be able to relate to some of the moments in this book!
As far as Phoebe Davies is concerned, love is to be avoided at all costs. Why would you spend your life worrying about something that turns you into a complete moron? If her best friend Polly is anything to go by, the first sniff of a relationship makes you forget about your friends (like, hello?), get completely obsessed with sex (yawn) and bang on constantly about a person who definitely isn’t as great as you think they are.
So Phoebe isn’t going to fall in love, ever.
But then she meets Emma . . .
I was really glad that I picked this book up – it’s so refreshing to read a YA contemporary about an awkward girl falling in love with another girl – without actually realising that this is what was happening. Love is for Losers had some relatable moments that I can picture from my own teenage years, as well as some truly sweet moments of friendship, first crushes and plenty of kittens! There were also some truly awkward moments thrown in which did make me wince, but they reminded me of one of my other favourite contemporary LGBT+ books, Noah Can’t Even, which I truly loved!
The book focuses on 15 year old Phoebe, who doesn’t believe in love – hence the book title. Her best friend has just found a boyfriend and is obsessed, her mum has taken on another high-risk job as part of her career, and one of her godmother Kate’s designer cats has been impregnated by a local stray which may be Phoebe’s fault for leaving the back door open…oops. With this in mind, Phoebe decides to look for a job, and ends up volunteering for Kate at her charity shop, where she meets Emma.
This book had all the signs of a book character In Denial. Phoebe is very obviously crushing on Emma from early on, but doesn’t actually realise this. The friendship blossoms first which is so sweet to see, and you read on and watch as the two grow closer together. It was also great to read and see into Phoebe’s head – with diary entry books, you’re getting an unfiltered stream of thoughts from the main character so it was funny to see Phoebe’s thoughts about Emma and just know that she was falling for her!
Phoebe is certainly an outspoken character, often snappy and a bit rude without realising she’s said something that might offend someone. She can be unlikable at times, but she is a fifteen year old and still going through ups and downs in her life. She’s got her GCSE’s ahead of her, feels like her friendship with her best friend is crumbling, and feels like her mum is never there for her which is often true. Despite feeling irritated with her on some pages, I know that she’s a teenage girl written accurately. I actually really liked this about the book too – a lot of books have the characters as perfectly crafted and loveable who have never said a wrong thing in their lives. I was glad of Phoebe’s character, and glad for her moments of education where she learned and apologised for her behaviour.
Despite the book being HUGE (500 pages), it’s diary entry format makes Love is for Losers a quick read. Each diary entry was short, snappy and none of them ever broke character, which was fun to read. I don’t usually get on much with diary entry books, but I found this one surprising and enjoyable and can’t wait to recommend it!
Final thoughts: Enjoyable, awkwardly relatable joy featuring an accurate moody fifteen year old! 4/5