TITLE: One Or Two Things I Learned About Love
AUTHOR: Dyan Sheldon
PUBLISHER: Walker Books Ltd
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2012
NUMBER OF PAGES: 294
PERSONAL SOURCE: Bought from Amazon
Hildy has only had two and a half dates in her life – and she doesn’t count the half. The whole “love” thing is new to her, so when Connor Bowden comes into her life, she’s almost immediately falling in love – or, so she thinks. His bursts of jealously, she thinks, are just him adoring her and being protective. But, eventually, he takes everything a step too far.
I’m pretty sure I’d read this before, but I couldn’t remember it, so I re-read it. I love Sheldon’s writing style, it’s fabulous and makes the book so quick to read – I would’ve read it in a couple of days if I had taken it to Duke of Edinburgh with me (but I didn’t want to be carrying around an extra book for however many days!).
The characters: I liked Hildy, even if she was really naïve, and her friend Nomi, but Connor was a bit of a creep to me and I didn’t like him that much at all. Even if he hadn’t done all of the crazy stuff he did (although, I guess that’s why I didn’t like him) he would’ve made the book unenjoyable anyway.
I read this book quickly, and I think that’s down to the teenager-y type writing style. Sure, not every teenager texts and speaks how grown-ups imagine us to (ie, hey r u free 2nite? (in fact, I doubt any teenager actually uses “text speak” anymore, although this book is a little old) and not every teenager is as daft as Hildy, nor as sensible as Nomi, but I think Sheldon’s captured the extremes of teenagers perfectly, and when you read any book, that character is simply a caricature of an aspect of society anyway. I just happened to notice it more in this one.
Overall, I gave this book 3/5 stars, and whilst that is one of the few ratings I’ve done that won’t go down, it’s not going to go up, either. It was a nice, end-of-term easy read, but wasn’t particularly thought-provoking and I thought that the relationship between Hildy and Connor went on way too long before anyone intervened – and, when they did, it was Hildy. Her grandma knew what was going on and why it was wrong, but didn’t intervene, which I thought was wrong of her. If any of my friends were in a relationship like Hildy and Connor’s, I would like to think I would have stepped in. That being said, these types of relationships do happen and that is something I enjoy about Sheldon’s novels – they all press boundaries of stigma in society, such as her book And Baby Makes Two, about teenage pregnancy. That being said, I probably wouldn’t recommend this one if you’re looking for a “pleasant” book – ‘though it seems to be, this one certainly isn’t!