Hi everybody! Today is release day for Wibke Brueggemann’s Love is for Losers, here’s my review! – Amber
Wibke Brueggemann’s Love is for Losers follows 15 year old Phoebe as she navigates through her difficult like and some major changes to her home life. I rated this book 3/3.5 stars!
Phoebe is set on the idea that love is stupid. She hates couples who are constantly wrapped up within themselves; she’s grossed out at the thought of kissing and has decided that love is not for her. But she meets Emma, who challenges everything she believed in when it came to love, maybe she can have her happy ending after all…
This book, for the most part, is the happy, queer romantic comedy it was pitched as. However, some of the things our main character Phoebe says and believes are what brought my rating down from the potential 5 stars. In the beginning of the book, Phoebe says things that are ableist and has some problematic viewpoints. One of the nice things about this book though, is that we actually get to see Phoebe educate herself on some of these problematic stances and grow as a person as she realises her previous thoughts were wrong. Phoebe’s growth away from some of her harmful ideologies is very important for younger viewers, it conveys the message that, you can change, and if something you previously believed in is wrong, you can decide to be a better person.
Phoebe’s home life is a mess, really. Her mum is constantly going away to save people all over the globe during crises, and Phoebe resents her for it. So when her mum tells her she’s going away for 6 months to save lives overseas, Phoebe is not surprised at all, in fact, she’s angry at her mum for leaving her again. Kate, (Phoebe’s godmother) plays such a big role in this book, and I absolutely loved her crazy, funny, outgoing character. While living with Kate, Phoebe decides to do some volunteering at Kate’s charity shop, where she meets Emma, who is a slightly secretive, kind and loving person who instantly sparks Phoebe’s interest. Phoebe finds herself thinking about Emma all the time, and wanting to know more and more about her, while also trying to convince herself that she’s only interested in a friendship way.
Phoebe’s sense of self worth seems to be non-existent in this book, which is truly heart-breaking, yet something lots of young viewers will be able to relate to. Phoebe feels as if her mother surely doesn’t love her, if she jumps at every chance presented to leave her, and this results in her self confidence being shattered. She finds it hard to trust people, and when her best friend from school gets a boyfriend and is seemingly uninterested in her, she finds herself feeling very alone. This leads to her spending more and more time at the charity shop, making friends with Emma and Alex and learning that actually, life can be pretty enjoyable when you put yourself out there.
One scene in particular warmed my heart in this book, and that was when the charity shop workers all came together to help someone in need. When a tragedy strikes all of their lives, but one person in particular, the rally together to cheer them up and make sure they have a strong support system to help them through it, which is truly amazing to read and we see just how much Phoebe has grown from the very beginning of the book.
The relationship in this book is, quite frankly, ADORABLE. Emma and Phoebe are your typical shy, head-over-heels, friends-to-lovers relationship, and it’s just the cutest to read about. I love how Phoebe tries to impress Emma all the time, without realising that Emma already likes her back, and I enjoyed reading Phoebe’s realisation that love isn’t gross or something scary and that actually, if you just let it come to you, it give you so much more than you’d ever realised you needed.
This book is written in a diary format, which is great as it keeps the pace up and makes this book sure easy to fly through! Overall, despite some problematic parts at the start of the book, this story tells us about self growth, coming out and finding love, and it’s a really, really good read!