The Principles of Love
Meet Love Bukowski
I really enjoyed this book. Dare I even say that I loved it? Described by the publisher as "Gilmore Girls" meets "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," I found Principles of Love to be a great coming of age story told in an authentic voice. Love Bukowski is, in some ways, every girl. But she's also unique.
I especially like how she makes mistakes, sometimes even wondering what she's doing as she makes them, and then owns up to them later. And it's easy to make mistakes when you're the daughter of the new principal at a prestigous boarding school. And there's a bunch of cute guys around...
Like most of us, Love isn't sure what her feelings are. On her first day, she falls in lust with Hadley hottie Robinson. But then she becomes friends with him and his girlfriend (that strange combination of very athletic, beautiful girl with a nice personality that you'd like to hate, but you just can't). Then there's music-minded Jacob with the lovely eyes and curly hair that really gets her.
I'd love to be able to hang out in her aunt's cafe: Slave to the Grind (a brief aside: how come all the cool coffee shop names are only in books?) and take a peek at open mike night, where Love even tries out her own musical and songwriting skills.
At the end of the book, the love stuff is (mostly) worked out and Love is faced with a big decision about what to do that summer. And you'll just have to darn well wait for the next book to find out what she's going to do.
I recommend this book for ages 12 and up. Sexual activity is discussed, but not in any particular depth (and not gratuitously, this is boarding school after all), but if parents are uncomfortable with it, check it out first or reserve it for 14 and up.
Music and Love at Boarding School
Reader reviewed by Stephanie
When Love Bukowski moves with her principal dad onto the campus of Hadley Hall at the beginning of her sophomore year, shes determined to have no illusions about her decidedly un-movie-like life. She knows she will have New Student status. There is no way she can do anything with her love of music and singing. And her love life will probably be nonexistent, particularly as the guy shes singled out as the object of her interest is an extremely hot senior with a serious girlfriend.
But then things dont turn out the way Love imagines them. The hot guy Robinson Halls girlfriend, Lila, turns out to be a genuine, beautiful, and atypical blonde who becomes Loves good friend. Love lands several commercials on a local radio station. And, most surprisingly to her, it appears that Robinson just might like her as well.
Then again, there are many things that Love doesnt see. Shes not sure how she feels about her fathers and her aunts respective new romances, as they will both affect the two main adults in her life. There are also two guys for her to worry about: one is DrakeFan, an anonymous musician she exchanges email with. The other is Jacob, a sensitive, talented musician whom she enjoys spending time with. And most of all, what if everything shes thought about Robinson doesnt turn out the way she thought it would be?
For a book belonging to the rapidly expanding genre of boarding school stories, THE PRINCIPLES OF LOVE is still an enjoyable read. Love is a witty narrator whose well-expressed struggles makes up for the lack of shine some of the other supporting characters. Emily Franklin attempts to be poignant with Loves questioning her past and the mystery that is her mother, and she succeeds&sort of. Obviously the focus of the book is to be teen angsty and dramatic. Still, it makes for a slightly more intellectual read than, say, Gossip Girl, with its plethora of obscure music knowledge.
Reader reviewed by Ashley
When I saw the review for this book on the homepage I knew I would love it! I was so right! This book will really capture your attention.
The main charactor Love is the Principle's daughter. The principle is her dad. She is starting at a new high school for her sophmore year. She loves music and wants to find out more about her mother. She really doesn't know all that much about her own mother. The only motherly figure she has in her life is her aunt Mable. Who owns a coffee shop. That is Love's background now let me give you the story line.
Starting at a new high school is one thing but when your the principle's daughter it is another. Love is thrown into the life of Hadley Hall. It is a boarding school and a day school. She meets a guy on her first day, that is a totally unattainable senior and knows that she feels some attraction towards him. Yet, she finds out he has a long time girlfriend. That girlfriend happens to be the person that Love thinks she can be really good friends with. What will happen? Read and find out.
Wit, Mystery, Plots Twists, Crazy Twister Games and every thing inbetween is in this book. A new author that I will be looking out for. GREAT READ!
Love-not your everyday YA heroine
Reader reviewed by Kannika
The Principles of Love is fairly not your everyday young adult novel--that much I can say. First of all, Love Bukowski is not your usual teen heroine (as she is, more often than not, bound to tell you in the novel)--not the pretty girl-next-door, not the best friend of the pretty girl-next-door who is decidedly less pretty, not the ugly girl who later becomes too stunningly beautiful it's not hard to believe she's a different person, literally. She's a total mix-up of personalities. She's not all around intelligent, but she's got a quick tongue. She's not broody and philosophical, but she can be. Her musical references are a joy--I have yet to meet another young adult character like her. In short, Love Bukowski is your seemingly ordinary girl--the type you probably sat next to in algebra who seemed like she didn't have a life--who actually has a life. She's the unexplored side of young adult literature. And the fact that she's so well-rounded actually makes you think that you know her after reading the novel. I know this much has been said about a lot of fictional characters, but Love and her sometimes annoying habit of inserting parenthetical remarks (they're kind of jarring, and yes, I'm doing it right now) and her life-as-a-movie state of mind are so consistent, it's like talking to a childhood friend who had habits you hated so much but who is so endearing with his/her habits you can't help missing them.
What I didn't like, though, about the book, is the happy endings that seem to be unworked for in the whole novel. I'm all for the Jacob-Love relationship, but it just seemed that Love getting over Robinson and his cheating because of a guy who knows her so well is just too abrupt. Is this the state of attention spans of teenagers nowadays? What I love, though, about Love's relationships with both guys is that the reader is really made to like both the state of their, er, affairs. Maybe also the fact that Robinson the filmmaker, and Jacob the musician, mesh so well with Love's artsy side contribute to the appeal of the romances. And while I like Jacob (I mean, who doesn't like a silent guitar-slinging guy with dark blue eyes, right?), I just wish the author had made him more complex, or rather, make him stand out from all the other silent guitar-slinging guys that seem so prevalent in all young adult movies and books.
Our fiction prof always makes it a point to tell us about payoffs in stories, and I guess with The Principles of Love there are lots: musical references, boarding school routines, open mike nights at cafes, voice-over carreers. All of them are so well-blended in with the story a reader would rarely notice them, but the thing is, after getting to know Love a while, it's even impossible not to see them all in her life. And the author manages to make them all seem normal, and at the same time, worth making a story about. Sure, maybe Love's story has been told many times, but this one, it's worth reading.