Love Is For Losers by Wibke Brueggeman
Reviewed by Ginny
**We picked up an advanced copy at ALA Midwinter A YEAR AGO… Thanks Covid. We’d like to thank Wibke and Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) for the opportunity. This book comes out on Feb 23, 2021 and you can get it here**
What I drank prior: I started with Froze and then moved to normal wine.
In this wry and hilarious queer romantic comedy, fifteen-year-old Phoebe realizes that falling in love is maybe not just for losers.
Did you know you can marry yourself? How strange / brilliant is that?
Fifteen-year-old Phoebe thinks falling in love is vile and degrading, and vows never to do it. Then, due to circumstances not entirely in her control, she finds herself volunteering at a local thrift shop. There she meets Emma . . . who might unwittingly upend her whole theory on life.
This is a laugh-out-loud exploration of sexuality, family, female friendship, grief, and community. With the heart and hilarity of Netflix’s critically-acclaimed Sex Education, Wibke Brueggemann’s sex positive debut is required reading for Generation Z teens. Think of this as Bridget Jones’ Diary, if it were written by Bridget’s daughter.
Drunk Overview: Phoebe’s best friend is newly in love and Phoebe thinks its disgusting. To fill up her time she volunteers at her aunts charity store (think goodwill) where she meets a cast of characters including a fubky older couple, a man with downs syndrome whose a great baker, and the coolest teenager ever (a cute oxymoron)
Spoiler-free Thoughts: this book was fun. Phoebe was clearly on the spectrum from the way she handled her friend, her mother, and her crush. And yet, she was super relatable from the side of not being quite advanced enough fie the experiences her peers were having. The way she grows in this book is also reLly interesting. I found myself rooting for her even when she waa acting kind of rotten.
Characters: Phoebe has her best friend Polly (with the new boyfriend who is mostly mentioned by his inability to cause an orgasm). Plus there’s Emma who is cool anf perfect (only in the mind of another teenager) the mom who is away and in Phoebes mind a nonetity and plenty of other characters who show up. The cast felt well rounded. It was a lot of people to keep track of, but each person had their role to play. It made it feel like the world was more complete.
Plot: the plot on its own isnt much to write home about. There are tons of books about awkward teen tries to win other teens heart. But I enjoyed the fact our main character was both a lesbian and neurodivergent. Her first instinct is to run away. Its kind of refreshing to have a characyer not immediately realize what theyre feeling AND not immediately act to make it happen.
Writing Style: Fine? This book is written in the style of a diary which means you’re getting a somewhat unreliable narrator. The format worked especially well for getting into Phoebe’s headspace.
World building: this book covered a corner, and a fairly small corner, of the world. And yet, I loved the detail about the Aunt running heavily into Scottish when she was angry, and the varioua brittishisms that appeared. It doesnt have to be large to set a scene.
What to pair it with: two sips of champagne after a big win. Just two, so that you kind of want the soda that was offered more regularly as a kid
Rating: 5/5 Shots