I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Penguin Teen). Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative.
I had previously read Yoon’s other novel, Frankly In Love, and loved it, so I knew I had to pick this one up.
It should first be said that this book is different than Frankly in Love. This book is less serious and more light hearted, so don’t go into this book expecting it to be just like Frankly in Love.
I thought this book was so fun. I found the whole “fake being in a band to impress a girl” premise to be well executed. I loved seeing how it all came together.
As for the actual romance, it was not the most exciting thing. I didn’t find Sonny and Cirrus’s relationship to be all that interesting or compelling. I just didn’t see the chemistry. In terms of relationships and dynamics, the book really shined in regards to Sonny and his brother. I loved seeing them reconnect. I also liked the friendship dynamic between Sonny and his two best friends, Milo and Jamal.
I was really glad that Gunner, the school bully, was so much more than that. Oftentimes YA authors just use bullies as an adversarial cliche, but in this book we discovered that there was more lurking under his tough exterior.
Lastly, I just love Yoon’s writing style. It flows so well and is highly entertaining. He is also so good at making big points in very subtle ways. For example, there is a short mention of the racist background of the national anthem. He writes, “ the crowd groaned along with its hoary antiquated lyrics, as always omitting the third stanza threatening murder for free former slaves” (pg 107). It was a brief nod, but I liked how it brought attention to it.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading what he writes next!
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