Review: Because of Her – K.E. Payne

Posted 11 March, 2014 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 8 Comments

Review: Because of Her – K.E. PayneBecause of Her by K. E. Payne
Published by Bold Strokes Books on 18 March 2014
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult
Pages: 264
Source: Netgalley

5 Stars

For seventeen-year-old Tabitha "Tabby" Morton, life sucks. Big time. Forced to move to London thanks to her father's new job, she has to leave her friends, school, and, most importantly, her girlfriend Amy, far behind. To make matters worse, Tabby's parents enroll her in the exclusive Queen Victoria Independent School for Girls, hoping that it will finally make a lady of her.

But Tabby has other ideas.

Loathing her new school, Tabby fights against everything and everyone, causing relations with her parents to hit rock bottom. But when the beautiful and beguiling Eden Palmer walks into her classroom one day and catches her eye, Tabby begins to wonder if life there might not be so bad after all.

When Amy drops a bombshell about their relationship following a disastrous visit, Tabby starts to see the need for new direction in her life. Fighting her own personal battles, Eden brings the possibility of change for them both. Gradually, Tabby starts to turn her life around—and it's all because of her.

*I received a free ARC of Because of Her from Bold Strokes Books via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

Because of Her is a different kind of YA romance, as it involves a main character who is lesbian, and not afraid anymore because she has figured out that people who judge her are not the ones who would really be her true friends and present in her life anyway. After moving to London, she is upset with the whole world because she is far away from her girlfriend, Amy. Tabby has new friends in school, and they are very supportive of her in every way. There is also this girl she can’t help but watch from afar. Eden is beautiful, with striking eyes and long, soft hair. Tabby feels guilty for thinking of another girl since she is still with Amy, but she really thinks nothing will come of it.

Little by little, Because of Her shows Tabby coming out of her shell, starting fencing, and becoming friends with Eden as well. As she deals with her long distance relationship with Amy, she realizes that she is changing much more quickly than she would have if she had never moved. Tabby finds that she enjoys everything in London – apart from Amy’s absence – and Amy doesn’t understand how she can like it there at all.

Coming out first to her friends, then to her dad, Tabby has the support she needs and deserves, the one person in her family who has difficulties with her being gay is her mother, which surprises me a little, even if I didn’t get to know the mom very well. I guess I projected myself into the mom, and I am certain I would not be hard on my kids if they came to tell me they were gay or bi. Because of Her deals with the coming out, and the trouble with having one or both parents not taking it well.

The budding friendship between Eden and Tabby is very well done as well, even if Tabby would love for them to be much more than friends, she is able to keep her feelings to herself. Because of Her is a very strong story about what love should be, and how we should all treat the one person we love more than any other, and I really enjoyed the soul-searching some of the characters needed in order to realize what is important and what is not.

I also thoroughly enjoyed that Because of Her is set in London, I could see myself walking towards the tube in Covent Garden, or high up on the London Eye. The descriptions of the various neighborhoods are well done, and that enhanced my love for the whole story. The writing is really good, too, and I don’t know if it’s because of the British spelling or something else, but I could totally hear the dialogs in my head in a British accent, and that was actually a great plus for me.

The way Tabby and her two best friends were able to stand up to the people who were complete bigots was very well done, too, and I wish that every person will have at least one friend like Libby or Greg in their lives. I think Because of Her can be read by any age, and people who are hetero, gay or bi, because the story is universal. I also think that the way it showed that being a teenager isn’t always easy, and adding the fact that Tabby also had to deal with judgmental people because of her sexuality rang true.

 Why? Because I was different from other girls. I knew I was different. I just didn’t need every idiot on the planet – including my father – telling me that, and I sure didn’t need some posh private school trying to mould me into something I absolutely wasn’t.

It was in the northeast that I fell in love with the girl next door. Such a cliché. Amy is seventeen, like me, and while it took ma long time to notice her, once I did, it was like a light being switched on inside me. My life was never the same again after that.

We said our goodbyes at Covent Garden, and as I watched her get swallowed up by the throng of people inside the station, all I knew was this: after ten magical hours together, I missed her the second she disappeared from view.

“And any ideas what turned you gay?” he asked. “Turned me?” My voice rose a touch. “Nothing turned me. I wasn’t out walking in the woods one day and got bitten by a huge gay monster, who with one chomp, sucked me into a vortex of gayness.”

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Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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8 responses to “Review: Because of Her – K.E. Payne

  1. This sounds like a great read, Lexxie. I think that teens have a difficult time no matter what their ‘differences’ are. My son told me this morning that he felt as though he’d never be accepted because he doesn’t have the latest and greatest techno gadget – and not because he was wanting said gadget…he was just frustrated. So yes, I think a girl dealing with coming out is very relevant and I’m glad authors are putting books like this out there. Tabby seems as though she’s very realistically written. And I love that the story is set in London…I can dream I’m there. 🙂

    Well, of course, I’m adding this to Mt. TBR, my dear. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. 😉 And thanks for sharing a lovely review!! I hope your Tuesday was wonderful and that Wednesday will be as well! **BIG HUGS**

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: **Review ~ Dear Emily ~ Trudy Stiles**
    • Yes, I think teens do have quite a difficult time no matter if they are truly different or not. And exterior things can be just as hard to deal with as the inner thoughts they have. I think it’s very important to have YA books about gay characters, too. Both because I think it’s important both for teens and adults to be a lot more accepting, and to help people who are afraid to be themselves.

      Thanks for stopping by, Brandee. I hope you’ll enjoy Because of Her when you find the time to read it! *BIG HUGS*

    • True, and that is partly why I enjoyed Because of Her so much, Brandi. I think that whatever our age and sexual orientation, it is something we can all relate to.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Because of Her sounds like a great story Lexx! I like how the main character and her friends stand up to bigots. The setting of London sounds beautiful, and I love how you could hear the accents in your head. As a mother, I have a four year old, I would love her and support her unconditionally. So, I completely agree with what your saying! Fantastic Review! I can tell how passionate you felt about this story, and I loved it!!!

    • I truly enjoyed everything about this story, apart from the mom not being completely accepting. I’m like you, I love my children so much I think I would accept any of their choices (apart from killing someone or something similar).

      Thanks for stopping by, Lindy 🙂

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