Monday, July 23, 2012
L.M. Preston - Flutter of Luv - Review
In high school, girls generally tend to fall in two categories. The extroverts brimming with self-confidence regarding their physical appearance and their ability to attract the opposite sex; and the introverts doused in self-consciousness about their looks and their belief that no boy would ever be interested in them. Young adult author L.M. Preston explores the feminine dynamics between the guy magnets and the romantically inexperienced in her novella, Flutter of Luv. What makes her spin on the age-old dichotomy unique is that she infuses the realistic reaction of a good-looking boy into the equation. How he responds to the advances of the physical versus the emotional speaks volumes about how young love is confusing yet rewarding.
Our heroine is Dawn, an African American sophomore living with her grandmother in an urban environment of row houses and raggedy yards. She is described as looking young for her age with a flat chest, protruding braces and thick-rimmed glasses. Her so-called best friend is Poochie, a girl who attracts boys like bees to honey with her provocative clothing and her come-hither attitude. She gets her kicks by putting Dawn down every chance she gets and flaunting her romantic conquests in her face. But things turn heated when Poochie sets her sights on Tony.
Tony is the new boy in town who joins the high school team as a star running back. Dawn, an amateur football player, herself, immediately falls for the handsome athlete. The two eventually strike up a strong friendship based on their mutual interests, and Tony comes to feel a sense of protectiveness for his tomboy sidekick. However, he is a teenage boy and Preston demonstrates how he follows his hormones over his heart by dating more good-looking girls while keeping Dawn at bay. He is innately drawn to Dawn, but he cannot reconcile her outward appearance with her inner qualities.
Tony is immature at the start of the story succumbing to peer pressure and his role as a football jock. Yet time and again, he returns to Dawn. He calls her every evening relating his dates with other girls as she kisses the phone receiver good night. It's heartbreaking that he can't get past her looks to recognize the true connection that has formed between them. He encourages her to wear her hair down, takes off her glasses, etc. in order to mold her into what society says is acceptable in terms of beauty. But ever so gradually, he learns to appreciate her for who she really is.
The push and pull is evident in the following passage:
"Hopefully, he won't say anything about my rubbing his back. It could've been seen as nothing, but I knew I did it because I wanted him. I wanted him to see me as someone he could date. But it was stupid. It would never happen."
Preston's ear for adolescent dialogue is once again right on the money. Her characters speak to each other in taunts and jabs whether it's a Dawn and Poochie cat fight in the back of the prom limo or Tony exercising his verbal prowess with the other guys on the field. Their interplay rings true. Sparring is the ultimate form of communication.
Here's a tidbit from a Dawn and Poochie exchange:
"You can't even pass for an 8th grader."
That's it. I stuck out my small chest. "I can too!"
"If you think those little things can catch a guy, why haven't you got one yet?"
Where the novella leaves you wanting more is the abrupt ending. Preston makes the reader feel for the relationship that has slowly been building throughout, and a longing for a continuation of Dawn and Tony's story is keenly felt. There is also a time gap near the conclusion when the two are separated that yearns to be filled, even possibly by a shift to Tony's point-of-view. But overall, Preston brings her story to a conclusion that will satisfy teenage readers regarding the possibility of establishing an enduring connection with someone that can last far beyond the bounds of a fleeting high school romance.
Overall, Flutter of Luv keeps it real when it comes to portraying adolescent attraction.
About the Book
Dawn, the neighborhood tomboy is happy to be her best friend’s shadow. Acceptance comes from playing football after school with the guys on the block while hiding safely behind her glasses, braces and boyish ways. But Tony moves in, becomes the star running back on her school’s team and changes her world and her view of herself forever.
Release: June 1, 2012
Buy Link: Kindle
Other Links: Goodreads
About the Author
L.M. Preston loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. She worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years. Her passion for writing science fiction was born under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids. Her obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds feeds her creation of multiple series for Middle Grade and Young Adult readers thirsty for an adventure. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.
Links to connect with L.M.:
About the Blog Tour
Flutter of Luv blog tour site
Tribute Books Blog Tours