Get out the tissues. This book was amazing. I’m not sure I use that term very often when describing books, but Love Punked by Nia Lucas is…amazing. I kept telling myself I needed to put it down, but it just sucks you in. I’m pretty sure I spent most of the book laughing through my tears. And I cried a lot. While I can’t say that I related to most of Erin’s life, I can say that Lucas makes it feel like I did. I understood the pain of being an outcast at school and not fitting in at mom’s groups, but most of Erin’s life would be a mystery to me. Lucas opens that up and somehow makes the feelings of loss, abandonment, hurt, joy, and everything else the reader’s feelings, too.
Often, the conflict of emotions in a character is glossed over. Lucas refuses to do that, which makes Erin much more real. She describes the difference between loving somebody and being in love with somebody to perfection. The maturity Erin embraces and the sacrifices she makes, not only to give her children a happy life, but to give the man she loves opportunities she knows she’ll never get…I was held captive by the way Lucas manages to convey all of that without breaking the flow of the story.
When trying to think of what this book is about, all I can say is…growing up, pain, and love. And pain in so many variations and love in so many variations. Lucas doesn’t even avoid the possibility of love. The fact that Erin finds herself on the cusp of loving people, but always knowing that she’ll probably only ever truly one person is heart-wrenching…and yet she still puts herself out there. She still experiences life. It’s this that makes Lucas’ characters truly amazing. They are real. They stumble, they fall, they try different things, they fail, and they get back up and keep going. The transformation of certain characters gives you hope, and brings you crashing down again.
Love Punked is a combination of coming-of-age and coming-to-self. Erin not only has to grow-up, she has to learn to accept and love herself. She has a good base, but she still puts a lot of stock into seeing herself through the skewed lens the rest of the world. Woven throughout this heart-breaking story is comedy that will have you laughing out loud through the tears. I’ve included a couple of my favorite quotes…because this really REALLY is an amazing story and the way Erin describes things are vivid…but also crazy hilarious.
My Uncle, Mum’s baby brother Gethin who has Downs Syndrome, has been taught to knit by his carer and he is furnishing me with the BEST baby hats and jumpers I have ever seen. Entirely lopsided, ambiguous holes for limbs and startling shades of cheap wool, I genuinely cannot wait to dress my babies like a drunk unicorn vomited rainbows all over them.
Also…no truer description of a spinal block has ever been given…
The ‘sharp scratch’ they warn me is coming is not how I would describe your man in green trying to force a garden fork up my spinal cord. Nope. They’d be better off just saying, “Brace yourself, this will hurt like a fucking bastard, love.” It’d be more honest.
For sure, 100% I recommend this book. It’s definitely 5 stars and going on my list of “books I will eventually own in hard copy.” Grab your copy by clicking below.
When her life is irrevocably altered by a post-Rave tryst on her mother’s floral patio recliner, Erin Roberts’ long-standing relationship with Humiliation takes her down a path that’s not so much ‘less well trodden’, more ‘perilous descent down sheer cliffs’.
Armed with a fierce devotion to her best friend and the unrequited love for the boy she might have accidentally married at age seven, when Erin falls pregnant at sixteen, life veers off at a most unexpected tangent.
Her journey to adulthood is far from ordinary as Erin learns that protecting the hearts of those most precious to you isn’t balm enough when your Love Punked heart is as sore as your freshly tattooed arse.
Whilst raising football prodigies and trying not to get stuck in lifts with Social Work clients who hate her, Erin discovers that sometimes you have to circumnavigate the globe to find the very thing that was there all along.
I am a UK based author of Contemporary women’s fiction who is passionate about telling the stories of strong, sympathetic, entertaining and engaging female characters and the lives that they lead. My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90’s and an adolescence spent immersed in clubbing culture.