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The Principles of Love

The Principles of Love

4.7 15
by Emily Franklin

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The Gilmore Girls meets The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in this fun, sophisticated teen novel about the lovable Love Bukowski. First in a brand-new series.

The "movie version" of Love Bukowski's life is picture perfect. She can roll out of bed and be at class in her new prep school within minutes because she lives in an amazing house on


The Gilmore Girls meets The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in this fun, sophisticated teen novel about the lovable Love Bukowski. First in a brand-new series.

The "movie version" of Love Bukowski's life is picture perfect. She can roll out of bed and be at class in her new prep school within minutes because she lives in an amazing house on Hadley Hall Campus, where her Dad just happens to be the principal. And though she's just joined the ranks of the nation's future leaders and lushes of America, they've all become her best friends. Gorgeous upperclassmen crowd around her doorstep just to catch a glimpse of her performing her original songs. Life is sweet!

Unfortunately, the not-so-glamorous reality of her life is that her Dad is the principal of the this prototypical New England prep school. Friends are hard to come by, and the only guys who come near her front door are the ones she wants to swat away. Not that there's a shortage of Hadley hotties; it's just that the one Love's singled out is an utterly incredible and totally unattainable senior. Now, Love will have to figure out the true meaning of her name to make her reality as awesome as her fantasies.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The traditional saga of high-school girl meets two boys, done up with a literary and mature style. When she arrives at an exclusive private school at which her father is the new principal, Love Bukowski anticipates that as a "fac brat" she won't make many friends. She's proved wrong on her first day when she falls for Rob, a Greek-god type boy, but also meets Jason, the sensitive, musical boy in her lit class. Love fits into the school just fine, getting into slapstick comic troubles, excelling in some classes and struggling in others, but mostly dealing with serious romantic possibilities when Rob breaks up with his girlfriend. Writing to appeal to serious readers, Franklin assumes that her audience feels comfortable with her overachieving student characters. As such, the book won't appeal to reluctant readers, but may do well with the honors lit crowd. Often funny, sometimes wise, a good read. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Fringe Girl Series
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.59(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Principles of Love

A Novel

By Emily Franklin


Copyright © 2005 Emily Franklin
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4804-5223-7


Just to get this out of the way: yes, it's my real name. And no, I wasn't born on a commune (not unless you consider Boston, Massachusetts circa 1989 to be a commune). In the movie version of my life, there'd be some great story to go with how I got my name — a rock star absentee father who named me in his hit song, or a promise my real father made to his grandmother in the old country, at least a weepy love story of two people so happy about their daughter they had to give her my name. But there's not — there's just me.

Love. My name is Love. Maybe this makes you think of your first kiss (mine = Jared Rosen, who managed to knock out my top left tooth at the beginning of the summer and provide my first kiss — a peck — by August's end). Or maybe you cringe when I introduce myself, wondering if I come complete with a tacky poster of cuddly kittens tangled in wool (I had one in third grade that showed a tabby clawing the wall saying Hang in there! Thank God for paper recycling).

Trust me, despite what my name conjures up; I am not the sort to have a bed piled with fluffy kitties or well-loved stuffed animals. I actually don't even like cats all that much, not since I hugged little Snowball, my old neighbor's cat right before the freshman formal last year and wound up sucking down antihistamines and nursing facial hives in my gown. Not pretty.

Then again, pretty's not all it's cracked up to be — or so I hear. I'm not what you'd call pretty, not the even more tantalizing beautiful, though maybe I've got potential. Right now I suppose I could fall into the category of appealing. My Aunt Mable's always saying the girls who peak in high school show up looking downright average at their tenth reunion, so I'm hoping (hoping = counting on) that my best years are still ahead of me. I don't want to look back on my life and have sophomore year of high school stand out as a blue ribbon winner, though the chances of that happening are slim at best. Part of me wouldn't mind trading places with the shiny, perfectly blonde and still summer-tanned girls who probably emerged from the womb with a smile as wide as a Cadillac and legs from a music video. But since my life isn't one of those Disney movies where the heroine gets to swap places for a day and learn the secret to life, I have to be content to only know what it's like in my own life — and all I can say is — it's too soon to tell.

We've been here (here = the Hadley Hall campus) for four days. Four days and six hours. And still not one decent conversation, not one promising smile-nod combination over mushy tuna sandwiches and lemonade outside, courtesy of FLIK, the school food supplier. When my dad told me about orientation for Hadley, I guess I imagined days spent lounging on the quad, soaking up the last of the summer rays while meeting cute boys, bonding with my two, amazingly cool new best friends, and somehow forgetting that I have a forehead label — New Girl. Love, the New Girl. And not only that (here I'm imagining some lowly freshman pointing me out as someone who's even more lost than they are); I have the privilege of being the principal's daughter.

When my dad and I arrived on campus, typical trunk loaded with boxes, laundry hamper filled with my still-dirty duds, some overly enthusiastic tour-leader showed us to the faculty housing. I followed my dad up the slate pathway towards the front door of a yellow Victorian house. Huge and with a wraparound porch, the house overlooks the playing fields and the rest of main campus. I stared at it, thinking of the card my dad gave me for my seventh grade birthday — one of those 3D cards that you unfold into a whole building — a large house with a turret and a carousel. I used to stare into that card as if I could get sucked into its landscape and experience some magical life for a while. This is what I thought of when I saw our new digs, minus the merry-go-round.

"This is Dean's Way," the tour guide boy explained, his hands flailing as he pointed out the features of our new abode — porch, view of central campus, doorknocker in the shape of a heart. I stared at the metal heart and wondered for a minute if this could be an omen (heart=love=me) but then I rolled my eyes at myself. I hate when I give myself Lifetime Network moments.

"This is for you," Tour Guide said and handed my dad a large manila envelope and reached out to shake my hand. It still feels weird to shake hands as an almost-sixteen-year old (almost = just under eight weeks until I'm highway-legal). Plus, Tour Guide never even asked my name. Around here, I guess I'm just a faculty brat.

My dad took the keys from the envelope (an envelope labeled, by the way, Principal Bukowski and daughter, as if I have no other identity) and began to fumble with the front door lock.

"Ready?" he asked and smiled at me.

I nodded, excited. Dad and I have lived in some pretty grim places before — the apartment on Yucca Street that lived up to its name, the rent-reduced properties on the campus of Seashore Community College — so I never planned on living large. We've moved around a fair bit, actually, and one of the reason's Dad signed the contract with Hadley Hall was to make sure we could stay in one place. The thought of living here, of calling this home, or not peeling up anyone's old apartment buzzer labels and slicking ours on top, feels both comforting (stability = good) and trapping (sameness = confining — or maybe I just mean revealing).

Dad rushed in, ever-eager to explore new places and see what problems (kitchen light out, bed in the wrong place for optimum light) he might fix. That's what he does, problem-solve and rearrange. Me, I'm more cautious. I lurked for a minute in the doorway, holding onto the heart-knocker and wondering what I'd find.

And I don't just mean that I stood there wondering what my new bedroom would look like. It was like right then, at the front door, I knew everything had changed — or would change, or was changing. The morphing process of leaving freshman year and the already hazy memories that went with it was happening. Soon, sophomore year at Hadley Hall— the Hadley Hall, with its ivy-coated brick and lush green lawns, its brood of young achievers, lacrosse-playing boys, and willowy girls — would begin. And I'd be in it.


In the made-for-television movie of this day, I'd wake up in my new house and while sipping my milky coffee, I'd meet my new best friend. We'd bond over loving the same sappy lyrics to 1970s songs (example = Brandi (You're a fine girl) — lame but awesome song from sometime in the late seventies). Then, later, I'd be getting ready to go for a jog (and by jog I mean slow, but hey — it's something) and the Kutcher-esque hot guy I saw yesterday by the track would happen to be running by and take time out of his exercise regime to give me a guided tour of campus ... and of himself. Heh. Unlikely — but then, it's a movie.

The reality of my life is this:

Outside, I can hear the buzz of bugs and the grunts from soccer and field hockey players from the fields near the house. I am decidedly unmotivated to get out of my bed — even though it's eleven o'clock. Last night, I caught my second third and fourth winds and wound up flipping stations between a 90210 rerun on cable and some infomercial that nearly convinced me to order that bizarre brush/hair die combo thing that supposedly makes it easy to home color. Not that it'd be useful for me since my hair is different enough already, penny-hued with some bright bits at the front (not so suitable for highlights or lowlights — more like dim-lights). I think about adding some wild streak of blue or something, but mainly this is when I'm PMSy and, as my Aunt Mable always says, Let No Woman Attempt Hair Change When Hormonally Challenged. This was, of course, after the Miss Clairol mishap that took her three trips to the salon to correct.

Actually, I kind of pride myself on never having ordered from tv before — not that there's a fundamental flaw with it — but there's a principle there. Maybe I feel like if I started, there'd be no turning back — and pretty soon I'd wind up with that weird mop and the orange goop that strips paint and the hair-braiding contraption that I know would create such tangles I'd need to cut great lops of hairs off. So I avoid potential psychological damage (and smelly fumes) by refraining from any and all made-for-tv offers.

Plus, Aunt Mable already signed me up for the Time/Life Singer-Songwriter discs. They arrive each month. She wants to edu-ma-cate me on the finer decades of rock and folk, long before OutKast and Britney. Most of the songs sound like an advertisement for deodorant, but I love the cheesiness of the lyrics, the mellow strumming of the guitars. Instead of John Mayer introspection, there's just old fashioned lust or odes to seventies fashion. Half the time, the guy's singing about making it with his lady or the woman's crooning about how her disco man done her wrong — what's not to appreciate there? Plus, sometimes Aunt Mable will listen with me and tell me about how a particular song makes her think of being a cheerleader, eating grilled cheese, and making out with Bobby Stanhope in the back of his Camero.

With so much late summer sunshine streaming in my window, I can't stay in bed any longer. It's harder to be a lazy slob in warm weather — hiding under the covers is much more gratifying in winter or heavy rains. I slide out of bed and onto the floor, pressing play so I can hear the latest disc — it arrived yesterday — my first piece of mail to this new address. The typed label proved that I don't even need a street number anymore — just my name, Hadley Hall, Fairfield, Massachusetts and the zip. Fairfield is "just outside Boston" — that's how the school catalogue describes it, although my dad and I clocked it in the car and it nearly twenty-four miles, so it's not as if you can walk it. Probably because of my own moniker, I am name-focused and tend to over-analyze place names, so when my dad announced ("Love, pack your bags — we're going to prep school!" as if he'd have to endure the mandatory school blazer with me) we were moving to Fairfield, I couldn't help but picture green expanses and fair maidens traipsing along in long dresses, books carried by the same guy who'd throw his blazer over a mud puddle for easy-stepping.

Anyway, I was partially right. Fairfield is easy on the eyes, as are most of the Hadley students I've seen so far. Doing my usual shower routine, lathering all parts and hair while naked lip-synching, I wonder for a minute what life would be like here if the town were called "Hellville" or "Zitstown" — but when I emerge, clean and wet, and wipe the steam from the window, I can still see the soccer players and beautiful full elm trees. No ugliness here.

"She's going to be here any minute," my dad yells up from his post in the kitchen. I know his routine so well that I can tell he's already come back from the gym eaten the first half of his multigrain bagel. He doesn't use jam, he squashes fresh fruit onto the bread and munches away. He will have already set aside the last cup of coffee for me in the microwave which he will nuke for forty-six seconds prior to my arrival in the kitchen. We have a system — it's what happens when you live with just one parent — either you don't know each other at all, or you're way-too-familiar.

"Hey," I say right as the microwave beeps to signal my caffeine is ready.

"Big shopping day?" Dad asks. He flips through a book. I shrug — I'm not Prada-obsessed or anything, but I enjoy looking around at what's out there. Mainly, it's an excuse to get off campus and be with Aunt Mable, who gives me regular reality checks.

"What's that?" I lean over his shoulder. Dad smells like strawberries and the original Polo from the green bottle. Dad smell. "Or, better yet, who is that?" The book in front of him contains black and white photos.

Dad puts on his game show announcer voice, "The Faces of Hadley Hall!" I reach for the book. He holds it back and says in a regular voice. "I'm just trying to familiarize myself with the rest of the faculty. You'll get your own copy later in the year."

"And the IPSs?" (IPSs=Issue Prone Students — teacher code for screw-ups).

"Maybe," Dad says and bites the rest of his bagel. "Eat something."

A car horn beeps. I can see Aunt Mable's car out the front window. She emerges from the driver's side and sits on the hood of the rusting black Saab 900. With jean cut-offs, black tank top and Ugg boots the same camel color as her ringlets, Aunt Mable always looks like a rock star herself — Sheryl Crow's lost sister or something.

"I gotta go," I say. "You know I'll eat more than my fair share with Mable — she's taking me on a culinary tour as well as showing me her personal fashion finds."

"Here," Dad hands me a key. "Your name here."

"My name here." I say back. This is our I love you.

I take the house key and head outside. He could ask when I'll be home and I could answer that I don't know or make up some time frame, but the truth is, Dad doesn't set rules like that for me. He knows I'll call and tell him where I am and what I'm doing and it's not a big enough deal to bother setting up some structure that I have to follow. Besides, I'm a lousy liar, and I never want to lie to him — it's his Jedi mind trick. He figures if he gives me enough freedom, I won't actually want it all. Here's the thing: up till now, it's been true.

Before I even reach the Saab, my senses are overwhelmed. Mable's new carfume wafts from the rolled down windows, and my aunt sits cross-legged on the hood of the car singing along to Guns n' Roses (Sweet Child o' Mine) at the top of her voice.

"Skipping decades?" I ask and join in on the chorus.

"After you are thoroughly informed of the 1970s, you will pass go and move on to obscure 80s tunes," she says.

"Axel Rose is not obscure," I say.

"True," she nods and slides off the hood to hug me. "But this is a classic."

Mable drives the twenty-four miles into Boston using back roads, and explains the various towns and subway stops along the way. We pass suburbs and slumburbs, a country club or two, industrial buildings, and a huge water tower splashed with brightly colored paints.

"Supposedly you can see faces and words in the mural," Mable says, pointing to the tower. "Personally, I think you can see Clapton's profile in the red part."

We make our way over Mass Ave, where hipsters and homeless people mingle. Passing by Berklee College of Music, I watch as students heft guitars, keyboards, and massive drums in the late summer heat. Aunt Mable watches me absorb the scene.

"Here we are, the Mecca of vintage apparel," she says, sweeping her arm towards a store front like it's a new car on display.

"Baggy Bertha's?" I'm skeptical. Let me state that my own personal style is not fully developed. Not that I don't know what I like — I do, and I'm well aware of what makes me gag — but I'm sort of all over the place when it comes to picking out clothes. I have no trouble finding items that appeal (a pair of black flip-flops with plastic red flowers on them, faded Levi's 501s, two close-fitting tops — one electric blue, one layered white and grey) yet I have no idea how to put them together. It's like I'm a crow drawn to shiny things. After shopping I usually get home and sift through my purchases, only to find there's not one presentable outfit in the lot. It's why I tend to stick to music instead.

"Perfect," Mable says of the suede jacket in front of her. "This, too. And let's try this."

She collects clothes and I wander around the vintage shoe section, agog at the array of coolness and crap up for grabs. Next to thigh-high pleather boots (think Julia Roberts in the hooker phase of Pretty Woman) are Mary Janes and saddle shoes, Elton John disastrous sparkly clunkers circa 1976, and then — the black ankle boots I've longed for, like a riding boot only not in a dominatrix way. Plus, the heel would give me an extra couple of inches (I'm what the pediatrician called "on the smaller end of the growth chart" — better known as 5' 2"). I hold up my footwear find to Mable, who's clad in a bonnet and purple boa yet still manages to be sexy.

Mable makes me try on the Aerosmith —inspired lycra outfit she's picked out and I make her don a dress out of a fairy tale — not a Drew Barrymore kind of fairy tale, the Little Bo Peep kind. We stand in front of the three-way mirror looking at the flipside images of ourselves.

"I'll never be this kind of rock star," I say, toying with the fringe on the sleeves.

Mable smoothes her frilly petticoat. "If I placed an on-line personals ad with this picture of myself, would I find the love of my life?"


Excerpted from The Principles of Love by Emily Franklin. Copyright © 2005 Emily Franklin. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Emily Franklin studied at Oxford University and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. She worked as a chef on historic yachts and sailboats, an English teacher, and a freelance writer before earning a master's degree from Dartmouth College. The author of Liner Notes, she lives in the Boston area with her family.

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Principles of Love 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is the type of books I like. the whole boarding school is one of my ultimate fav. I want to keep on reading more but theres no ebook in bn for this book. hopefully soon. I really recomende it...
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Allison_oo More than 1 year ago
The Principles of Love is a series, which I didn't know at the time I bought the first book. After I read The Principles of Love, I went online to find the other books in the series, but BN didn't have them in stock. So I had to buy them used on BN.com, which was just fine because it is an EXCELLENT series. The books are great and easy reads. Love is a fun main character whos thoughts make great books. Hope you love The Principles of Love as much as I did.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book because when while you read it, you think about how you wish this stuff could happen to you. I recommend this book for teenage girls. When I saw this book in the bookstore, I thought that it was going to be really crappy. The only reason I got it was because my name is Emily! When I started to read it, I just got sucked into what was happening to Love Bukowski!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a quick read. I didn't want to get up without finding out what happens next to Love. Love is a great narrator whose mastered the art of dry sarcasm and casual name-dropping. Can't wait to read the rest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to read the next book in the series (i.e. when I can afford it). Love's story is so cute, and as I was expecting a bit of a trashy novel, I was very pleasantly surprised! Love is a real girl, with real problems, real friends, and she's far from perfect. Even her friends (including Lila, who is totally human despite her prep-school/field-hockey-playing/popular-girl mould) are three-dimensional and extremely likeable. Best of all, I could totally appreciate the way she defines her life with music and has music for every emotion - I do the same thing. Again, I can't wait to read more of the excellent Miss Franklin's 'Principles of Love' series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was so great because of the mix of different things. It had the drama of love, friends, and family. When one thing happened, here came the next. Five minutes after finishing the book, I went online and searched about it. Keep up the good work Franklin!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A friend gave me the book to read. I am very greatful that she did. The Principles of Love is now a part of my favorite books list. It is so wonderful and leaves you wanting to read more. I never wanted to put this book down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and don't know what to get next, read this book! The character of Love is really real and the story (crush, boarding school issues, family drama) makes for addictive reading.