Book Review: A Love Story for Bewildered Girls

You know what, I liked this book. I really liked it a whole lot.

It follows three women - Grace, who tells herself her life is happy and fulfilled until she falls in love with a woman at a party; Annie, who meets the man of her (and her Mother's) dreams; and Violet who lives with crippling anxiety and who for the first time in her life has fallen for a girl.

It's an easy read, and a quick one, and I found myself staying up too late reading it which is always a good thing. It is, actually, what I think I wanted Dawn O'Porter's The Cows to be but wasn't - feminist, diverse, fun, a little bit quirky (I'm still not over how underwhelmed I was by The Cows. Damn you, instagram.)

I mean it isn't perfect: Grace fell in love with Sam too quickly for my liking (we all know how I feel about instalove) and Sam as a character didn't make sense for me; she seemed to undergo a weird personality transplant partway through and she wasn't fully fleshed out enough for the amount of page time she got; I find it hard to believe that Annie would have made the choices she made - although she was super badass at the end and I loved it - and again she fell harder and faster than felt believable; I think actually that overall these women felt younger than they were supposed to and there some things I would have liked to have been explored more deeply.

On the whole though - this was a good book. I especially like how Grace and Violet's sexuality is just a thing that is - I haven't read many books where there is a lesbian character whose sexuality isn't a key part of her story or made into a massive deal and I loved that that's how it is here. Even though Grace's arc is about her love life, it's not about the gender of the person she's in love with and it was so refreshing. We need more books like this. The same goes for Violet's anxiety, actually. It's just a part of who she is and WOW but don't we need more things where mental health issues are normalised? I've seen a little bit of backlash over the choice to call it 'the fear.' Honestly, I don't get that; it made sense, for me, for this to be a choice Violet made, to give a name to how she felt that made sense for her.

I was a fan of the multi-person narrative and I really liked how all three stories came together. Yeah ok I could totally see it coming but did it matter? Not so much, because this wasn't a book about suspense, where the beauty lay in the way it all unfolded and caught you by surprise, it was a book about people and real life struggles and about love and friendship and families and the fact that I was perhaps about a third of the way in when I thought -oh well we all know how this will pan out - didn't take anything away at all. Not for me anyway.

Also - and there are so many times that I can't say this - I liked the ending. I know, right?! Hurrah.

A Love Story for Bewildered Girls was published at the beginning of February so you can get your paws on a copy now should you want to. And you should.