Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

It’s About Love

Camden, Steven (Author)
HarperCollins 2015. 438 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780007511242 (paperback)
9780007511259 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

conflict, dialogue, multigenre, point of view, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Luke is a tough kid from a tough neighbourhood. The scar down the front of his face makes everyone, including the reader, wonder: what happened?

When the novel opens, Luke is on edge because he is starting his first year of college and his brother is about to get out of jail. Luke is sensitive, but quick to anger, and is often fighting to control his aggressive urges. Then he meets Leia. She’s biracial like him and shares Luke’s obsession with film. Their potential love story is propelled by the script they are working on for class and is constantly thwarted by family trouble, old ghosts, violence and misunderstandings.

Luke often fights with himself. His inner dialogue appears in fragments, interspersed throughout: “Get your head up, you idiot; Say it, you chicken; They’re just a bunch of rich kids, they’re not like you.”

The novel is centred on Luke and Leia’s relationship. Luke’s feelings for Leia are a source of tension throughout. He is shy; neither one is upfront about how they feel, but sex is an unspoken possibility.

Since film is a recurring motif in the novel, dialogue is often in the forefront. There is also a creative mix of phone texts, screenplay snippets, quotes and memories that appear in a handwritten script. This variation in font and voice contributes to one of the novel’s underlying ideas: the messiness of life.

  •  

    Realistic YA fiction offers opportunities for readers to explore how youth is represented and consider how this representation functions as a part of a larger conversation about adolescence. Here, the protagonists might be considered “new adults,” having finished secondary school.

  •  

    In small groups, discuss how the novel represents young adulthood. Consider what determines “adult” versus “adolescent” behaviour in the text and discuss the different meanings that might collect around age-based behaviours.

  •  

    Reflect on how the representations of youth either reinforce or refute ideas about adolescence/young adulthood. Share ideas generated with peers.

  •  Is revenge ever justified? In a small group, discuss both sides of the question and reach a consensus.
  •  

    Several thought-provoking expressions and words of wisdom are presented to the reader throughout the book. Take note of your favourites. At the end, compare notes and discuss them with a partner.

  •  Decide on the direction Luke and Leia’s relationship will take and write the screenplay to the final scene between them at the hospital. Perform it with a partner.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use information
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development
  • Social Sciences