Lover Birds by Leanne Egan

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Lover Birds by Leanne Egan

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A beautifully inclusive will they, won't they sixth form romance that's smart, funny and moving.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: July 2024
Publisher: Harper Fire
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780008626570

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When new girl Isabel moves to Lou's hometown of Liverpool from London, Lou immediately feels Isabel's disdain for everything around her. A misunderstanding between them leaves them hating each other, but Lou feels her pulse racing every time she looks at Isabel or speaks with her, and that's definitely because Isabel makes her feel so cross, isn't it? Because Lou is straight, isn't she? Even though none of her relationships with boys have gone very well so far, and she's never had a good kiss with any of them? So she just finds herself watching Isabel, and wanting to hang out with her because fighting with her is fun, and she definitely just hates Isabel, doesn't she?

I really enjoyed this light coming-of-age story that manages to capture that feeling of being in the sixth form, where you're on the cusp of taking that next enormous step towards being a grown up, but still dealing with all the many rivalries and dramas of a teenage girl's life. It's been a long time since I was a sixth former, but I could feel all those high emotions come rushing back as I read. The friendship group is really well written, and I was fully caught up in the story as I read. I really liked Lou. She's terrible sometimes, but I was fully invested in her story! She's recently been diagnosed with ADHD, and she knows she needs to get her emotions and study skills under control to be able to get through her A levels, but when Isabel is assigned as her study partner in English things get even more complicated as slowly Isabel slips from being a rival, to being a friend.

I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of neurodiversity in the book, and it's a great insight into the life of someone newly diagnosed, with interesting discussion around their day to day realities, and Lou's thoughts and worries around the decision of whether to take medication or not. You understand the chaos in Lou's life, and how she gets into difficulties at school and with her studies. Her English teacher is a great champion for her, and it's an interesting point of how just one good teacher can change someone's life for the better.

I found the relationship between Lou and her mum to be particularly well depicted and very moving. There is a beautiful moment when Lou's mum tells her that she doesn't need to be fixed, and it made me cry. And of course the love/hate relationship between Lou and Isabel is fun to read. It's a sweet and funny exploration of Lou discovering that she is queer, and all the misunderstandings and mishaps between Lou and Isabel along the way in a very slow-burn romance. I also enjoyed how the story isn't just about Lou and Isabel, and that the other subplots and storylines for the friendship group work well together, intertwining together and making them all seem very real.

The only thing that really bothered me as I read was where Lou got the money to be constantly going out…she's off on the train to the city, out to Starbucks, out to a museum, out for food or coffee all the time! We know her mum doesn't have much money, so every time Lou and Isabel went somewhere I was internally muttering to myself 'how is she affording to do that?!' But honestly, that's probably just my Gen X viewpoint! It's a great story, and a great debut for the author - I look forward to reading more!

The Bookbag would also recommend Loveless by Alice Oseman.

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Buy Lover Birds by Leanne Egan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lover Birds by Leanne Egan at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy Lover Birds by Leanne Egan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Lover Birds by Leanne Egan at


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