This is Not a Love Story by Keren David
Publishing Date: May 2015
Goodreads | Book Depository
Kitty dreams of a beautiful life, but that's impossible in suburban London where her family is haunted by her father's unexpected death. So when her mum suggests moving to Amsterdam to try a new life, Kitty doesn't take much persuading. Will this be her opportunity to make her life picture perfect?
In Amsterdam she meets moody, unpredictable Ethan, and clever, troubled Theo. Two enigmatic boys, who each harbour their own secrets. In a beautiful city and far from home, Kitty finds herself falling in love for the first time.
But will love be everything she expected? And will anyone's heart survive?
The setting is beautiful
I absolutely loved the setting of This is Not a Love Story. It is set in Amsterdam and it was so immersive and gorgeous and has made me want to visit the city again as soon as possible! There are a lot of little authentic touches that make it so easy to picture the streets the characters are wandering through. I really can't praise it enough; I would recommend reading the story for the setting alone. But there are lots of other great things too!
Look how gorgeous!
The portrayal of sexuality
This was an unexpected twist in the story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Kitty meets two boys when she arrives in Amsterdam: Ethan and Theo. On first impressions, Ethan is the dark, moody and mysterious type whilst Theo is more upbeat and incredibly clever. Kitty is attracted to both boys and we follow her growing feelings and expectations as she embarks on a relationship. There is a twist in this love triangle, however, and I really loved the exploration of sexuality by all three characters as they try to figure out how they feel and question things they thought they knew about themselves. It is quite rare to wholly like all love interests in a book but I really did. I loved that they each have their own story and issues and that they are all given ample exploration.
This is the first of Keren David's books that I have read but it certainly won't be my last as the writing is so good. I loved the way the story was told in three parts and that each character is given their own story and voice. I also like that social media was incorporated as it helps with a realistic representation of who these teens are (and that not everyone is an active user). Friendships, sexuality and religion are all treated with an equal amount of care which made for an incredibly enjoyable read.
Have you read this book before? Let me know your opinions!
What are your favourite book settings?