Published by Scholastic Inc. on August 25th 2015
Genres: Europe, Girls & Women, Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Inspired by Victor Hugo's classic, Les Miserables, A Little in Love beautifully conveys the heartbreaking story of street girl Eponine. Paris, 1832 A girl lies alone in the darkness, clutching a letter to her heart. Eponine remembers being a child: her swing and the peach tree, and the baby brother she loved. But mostly she remembers being miserable. Taught to lie and cheat, and to hate the one girl, Cosette, who might have been her friend. Now, at sixteen, the two girls meet again, and Eponine has one more chance. But what is the price of friendship--the love of a boy?
I hate to admit it, but I’ve never cracked down and read all thousand-and-something pages of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Miserables. However, I have watched the movie that came out a few years ago so many times that I’ve lost count. It would be a dream come true to be able to see Les Mis on stage, but so far that isn’t in the foreseeable future. When I heard about this book, I knew that I had to have it. One of the most distraught and tortured characters in the play is Eponine, the beggar girl who’s in love with the rich boy. In my opinion, it’s impossible to not instantly empathize with her, even when you know how her story is going to end.
That was the one fall back of reading this book: the ending can’t be changed. No matter how magnificent her story can be written, a happy ending just wasn’t possible. Since it was told in her perspective, though, it changed how I originally saw her character, even though I’ve always been a fan. Never had I thought about what she was thinking during those years that Cosette played the role of an indentured servant while her family robbed the guests at the grungy inn they lived in. But Eponine had a good heart. There was a lot that went into her becoming the girl willing to die for the boy she loved, not caring that he loved another. For some reason, it had not occurred to me that the brat she was portrayed as had more to her than a few fancy dresses and thieving parents.
I learned about a lot of characters whose significance I hadn’t caught before. The story was a good introduction into the Victor Hugo’s marvelous world without having to read the classic. It definitely piqued my interest and increased my need to read the novel from which the world was originally introduced.
A Little Bit in Love did have a few slow moments, but Eponine tried to stay out of trouble and to live a boring life. So the moments that were more slow going had their purpose, but it still took a little more willpower to get through them. On the plus side, each chapter was extremely short. Also, this is the author’s first Young Adult novel, and while I enjoyed it, it did remind me of more of Adult Fiction at times—not because of the content, but because of the way the story flowed and Eponine’s more mature decisions. However, I didn’t have a problem with that, but it was something that I had to reign in on and get used to.
This is the perfect book to read on a rainy or cloudy day, to just sit snuggled up on the couch and get lost in Paris with a girl only trying to find her place in the world.