Title: No Love Allowed
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Swoon Reads
Date: April 19th, 2016
Source: from Publisher, for a review
Synopsis (from Goodreads): It’s all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.
Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!
„Love destroys people to the point where they don’t even care who else they hurts in the process.“
It has been three days since I finished this book and still, it is all I’m thinking about.
Ask me why is that, what makes this novel so special that it captures my mind like there’s no important things in my life, and I problably wouldn’t know what to tell you.
But what I do know is that I don’t think that any review I write for this piece can do it justice.
The story is written in third person, following two perspectives: Caleb’s and DiDi’s.
Caleb comes from a wealthy family and all he wants is to have a gap year between going to college, so he could travel trough Europe with his cousin Nathan. In order to earn that, he has to spend the summer attending certain events with his family, and have a girl that will make him a company.
That’s where Didi comes in. She’s a girl raised by a single mother, not poor but definitely far from being rich. She agrees to pretend to be Caleb’s girlfriend for the summer, so she could experience the lifestyle she never had. Also, Caleb agreed to pose her for her painting, since she’s an artist.
They make an agreement: One mustn’t fall in love with the other.
What took me by surprise in this story is it’s characers and how the story kept me inrigued.
Nor Caleb or Didi were likeable. They were gray, had their flaws, but still, I cared about them and wanted to know everything about them: why they acted the way they did, what made them think the certain way and how they are going to deal with cards that life throws at them.
This is the story you read for it’s completeness. Even though main characters aren’t the ones you want to befriend, you still root for them and want the best for them.
Side characters are so interesting, I really got attached to Preston, Nathan and Natasha.
They have that impact on you as a reader: you want to know more about them.
When I heard that the story about Preston and Nathan is planned to be published later this year, I welcomed the news with all my heart.
Although at first this novel gives an impression as a cute ya spring/summer read, with it’s goergous cover and warm colors, that is not the case.
Yes, it does have cute moments and swoon worthy situations, but it also deals with some serious topics like mental illness and suicide.
I think when it comes to those, the writer did her research well.
What I liked the most about this book is Didi’s passion for Van Gogh. You can feel it trough the whole novel.
The story starts with quote by Van Gogh, and when following Didi’s perspective you can notice that everyday things like clouded sky reminds her of his work. She also talks about him with passion, but still she doesn’t overdo it.
Her affection for Van Gogh’s work and him as an artist is almost touchable, like it has a personality on it’s own (just like Paris had in Stephanie Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss).
This novel also has some beautiful, memorable scenes, like 4th July scene and the one at (almost) very end with paintings.
The story is not only full of vizuals, but music also plays a part in it. Not a big one, but you can still feel it.
I guess it had an impact on the author while she was creating her story.
The writing style is good and you can speed trough this book.
It is not poetic and has not many memorable quotes, but it is still really beautiful.
I couldn’t help but be reminded of Katie McGarry‘s books while reading.
The writing style is still very different from McGarry’s, but I think that her fans would enjoy this novel as well.
Note: You can read my interview with an author and win yourself a copy of No Love Allowed here.