Title: Because of her
Author: K.E. Payne
Source: Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review
Tl;dr: Aww, they’re so cute! Recognizable emotions (as I remember my teenage years) and a fast-paced story.
I rarely read romance novels. They don’t appeal to me, because of the heteronormativity, mono-normativity (similar to heteronormativity, but themn towards monogamous relationships; and most books would be so short if they decided having more than one relationship is fine too!), and trope-filled plots. Other themes in books interest me way more. But since there was a Romance-square on the Book Bingo 2014, I was forced (*ahum*) to read a romance-book this year. Then I came accross “Because of Her” on Netgalley and because of the obvious lack of my first objection to romance novels, and the interesting description, I decided to request it.
If I had not forced myself to go to sleep because of my early alarm the next morning, I would’ve read it in one sitting. This book is relatively short (264 pages) and is quick to read because of the simple language (it’s YA, after all). I loved reading about a developing crush and the recognizable thoughts and feelings that arise. Especially the extra doubt that comes to be when a girl likes another girl: is there a chance she’s into girls too? I also liked the parts that dealt with the Long-Distance-Relationship of the protagonist. Since I was in an LDR when I was her age, past-me could really relate to her. The difficulty of the coming out to friends and family was also touched upon, and this was that was equaly relatable, and described in a realistic way, both from the side of the person that comes out as gay as from the persons that they came out to. I would have really loved to read this when I was about 15, just coming to terms with the fact that I liked girls as well as boys.
There are a few things I liked less. It happens several times, characters do something that is out of character for them. I understand this is probably meant as character-development, but it’s often a bit too sudden and without a nice and slow transition. Also, there is a clear straight/gay dichotomy in the book: bisexuality does not exist. Being bisexual myself, that irked a bit. And there is the title of course! Whenever I read it, there’s Kelly Clarkson singing in my head. (okay, that is not a -real- downside; it is distracting however).
If I look at this book for what it is, a YA romance novel with a LGBT theme, it’s a good read. I would especially recommend it to young people, straight, gay, bi, not sure, or something different all together, for the recognizable themes and likeable characters. My advice for adults would be to read this if you want something light and simple between more complex books, but not something that is completely without substance. This book will be published at the 1st of march of this year.