Hi friends, happy Friday! I hope you’ve all been doing well!
I’m back today with mini reviews for two books I’ve read lately and… well, I loved them both so, so very much, so be ready for a lot of happy feels in this post!
Also hello no I don’t know how to write less, sorry these are mini-medium reviews. Oops.
There are no spoilers in these reviews.
A million thanks to MacMillan International, Roaring Book Press and Swoon Reads for sending me free ARCs of these books. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and ratings.
Read the full synopsis ▼
When Chloe Pierce’s mom forbids her to apply for a spot at the dance conservatory of her dreams, she devises a secret plan to drive two hundred miles to the nearest audition. But Chloe hits her first speed bump when her annoying neighbor Eli insists upon hitching a ride, threatening to tell Chloe’s mom if she leaves him and his smelly dog, Geezer, behind. So now Chloe’s chasing her ballet dreams down the east coast―two unwanted (but kinda cute) passengers in her car, butterflies in her stomach, and a really dope playlist on repeat.
Filled with roadside hijinks, heart-stirring romance, and a few broken rules, I Wanna Be Where You Are is a YA debut perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon.
I Wanna Be Where You Are was one of my most anticipated debuts and… it didn’t disappoint, at all. This is the kind of adorable book you devour in one sitting and that makes you smile, care for the characters and stare at your copy of the book lovingly afterwards. I loved it so much.
Our main character Chloe is fighting to chase her dreams of becoming a ballerina and, despite it all, despite her fear of failing, of doing the wrong thing, of going against her mother’s wishes, she fights and cares with a fierceness that makes me want to hug her and do my best, too. Alongside Eli, her unlikely neighbor/childhood friend/adorable, swoon worthy love interest, they get in a car, towards adventure, re-discovering each other and fightining for their own dreams, too, both of them.
Their individual growth and the growth of their feelings, from getting over the past and re-discovering each other made my heart bust with happiness and fluff. We also get a great, badass sister on Eli’s side, complex, interesting family relationships on both Eli and Chloe’s side, both things I adored. Also, this book has the asking for consent before kissing someone that makes me just, heart eyes all over again.
This is the diverse romcom we’ve all been dreaming of and I’m definitely recommending this to everyone.
💬 To know more about I Wanna Be Where You Are and the fantastic author behind it, read my author interview!
Final rating: 4,5 drops!
Trigger warnings: broken ankle (not narrated, but thought of a lot. This was a little triggering for me so I thought I’d mention it), loss of a parent (not narrated), car accident.
Diversity: POC main characters (Chloe & Eli) and side-characters as well. Queer side character (Trey, gay)
Read the full synopsis ▼
Seventeen-year-old Bex is thrilled when she gets an internship on her favorite tv show, Silver Falls. Unfortunately, the internship isn’t quite what she expected… instead of sitting in a crowded writer’s room volleying ideas back and forth, Production Interns are stuck picking up the coffee.
Determined to prove her worth as a writer, Bex drafts her own script and shares it with the head writer―who promptly reworks it and passes it off as his own! Bex is understandably furious, yet…maybe this is just how the industry works? But when they rewrite her proudly lesbian character as straight, that’s the last straw! It’s time for Bex and her crush to fight back.
Jen Wilde’s newest novel is both a fun, diverse love story and a very relevant, modern take on the portrayal of LGBT characters in media.
Jen Wilde has been, slowly but surely, making her way into my favorite author’s shelves and, with Going Off-Script, she ones again blows me away and makes me want to scream, to fight, to get up and give this book to everyone I know because it’s just, that good.
Jen Wilde writes the most wonderful, inclusive and diverse books and Going Off-Script is no exception. Filled with an incredible cast of queer characters, POC characters and more that I adored, Going Off-Script made me so, so very happy for that, but not only. Our main character Bex was my favorite. She’s anxious, she’s having a hard time trusting herself at first, yet she transforms into this badass, fighting for what’s right kind of character and I rooted for her right from the very beginning.
The relationships between the characters warmed my heart so, so much. From Bex and her relationship with her cousin Parker to her growing romance with Shrupty that made me swoon, to her mentor relationship to Jane, I loved them all so much. The Hollywood, tv show setting, the manipulations, complications and power inbalance between men and women in the industry, as well as the importance of representation in these media were all topics that I loved exploring in this book, too.
OverallI just want to scream about how much I loved Going Off-Script and how it’s so, so, so, so, so good. In an entertaining, quick read, the author manages to talk about so many important topics, figuring yourself out, coming out, following your dreams and fighting for what’s right and I loved it all.
Final rating: 4,5 drops!
Trigger warnings: mentions of bullying, homophobia (challenged)
Diversity: Queer main characters and side characters, Black and Queer side characters (Alyssa), POC side character (Dante), POC & Gay main character (Shrupty, she is indian), questionning of gender identity for the main character, normalisation of medication (the main character takes Lexapro & Ritalin)
Other books by Jen Wilde I’ve reviewed:
Did you read I Wanna Be Where You Are or/and Going Off-Script? Do you want to?
What are some of the latest diverse ya books you’ve read that you would recommend? I’d love to hear from you in comments!