(July 5, 2005)
I loved this book--so much so that I've ordered the second and third ones already (used though because the second one isn't 'new' anywhere oddly). Principles of Love the first in a currently (and maybe permanently, I have no idea at all) seven part series, is the story of Love Bukowski, the sixteen-year-old daughter of a principal who has just taken a job at Hadley Hall. Hadley is a boarding and day school 'just outside of Boston'.
Love lives only with her dad (the fate of her mother is a mystery), but there's also groovy, music loving, coffee shop owning Aunt Mable, and of course, leaves so many plot possibilities on both fronts. I know one author (maybe Holly Black??) has said that they write single parent stories because it's all they can handle (but it was said smarter), but I think that in really does work for some books. This story was so focused on Love and her life that, while her aunt was a big character, having one 'parental' character worked better than I think two would have because the relationship was closer and could be focused on more. It also kept the focus between Love and her dad as they both started the new school as opposed to her dad and his wife or Love and her mother. It offered nice parallels.
This book also didn't do the 'Two Guys are Madly in Love with MC How Will She Choose?' thing that so, so many teen books and movies seem to do. That didn't mean there was only one male character, but things were more confusing for Love, less obvious who was who. I really liked that.
The few things I didn't like were the fact that one character (I won't say which because it doesn't really happen until later on) ended up being a fairly stereotypical one that while almost fitting with past doings, didn't quite--and I didn't like the amount of drinking there was. That might be because I'd just read Jet Set that was in a similar setting and had drinking but less of it?
When fifteen/sixteen-year-olds are drinking a lot in teen books and it doesn't seem like it's really necessary to the plot, I have to wonder if the author is just trying to see 'cool' to their audience and, while I know teens do drink, I don't think it's always needed. It's one of those things that I wonder whether the teens drinking affects the writing of the books or the books maybe affects the teens drinking a little bit?
That aside I felt like Love's voice was very true to a sixteen-year-old and I really liked the little added notes (oftentimes in parentheses). Love was a unique character that, a few things aside, I have to praise Franklin for creating...she had her little neuroses, she loved her music, she could be incredibly oblivious, & she loves her family.
I have a feeling I've made this whole review make no sense--maybe I'll rewrite it later because I really did love this book.
I give it 8/10 for a few character things I didn't like and the drinking/drug bit that I wasn't sure needed to be there to the extent it was.
|Barracuda ~ Heart|
Syrup & Honey ~ Duffy
Sorry ~ Madonna
part (#1) of the Principles of Love series; other titles in the series-in order: Piece, Love, & Happiness (this one seems to be out of print), Love from London, All You Need is Love, Summer of Love, Labor of Love, & Lesson in Love.
Also, I really think that if you like(d) this book/series, that you'll really like Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway--and the other way around as well :)