YA Book Review:
I Kissed Shara Wheeler
From the New York Times bestselling author of One Last Stop and Red, White & Royal Blue comes a debut YA romantic comedy about chasing down what you want, only to find what you need…
Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.
But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.
On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square.
Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.
Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.
“There was this one weekend, a million summers ago, when I sat on the shore drinking a frozen limeade, and I realized the only thing I wanted to look at was the way the sun hit the girls swimming in the lake.
The problem has always been this: When I look at you, I taste lime, and I see light on water.”
Angsty and entertaining, I Kissed Shara Wheeler is a wild coming-of-age ride!
Casey McQuiston is phenomenal at telling stories of self discovery. Combine that with their ability to captivate through their writing…I’m a fan!
There is such a fun, diverse cast of characters in this book set against the backdrop of a southern, Baptist community. The premise of a scavenger hunt of sorts (with Shara being “endgame”) makes for a lot of chaos and unexpected moments and both strained and budding relationships. It took me as long as it took our MC, Chloe, to understand and appreciate Shara Wheeler — nothing is as it seems, which was a huge part of the appeal for me in the end.
The audiobook is narrated by Natalie Naudus, who also narrated Casey’s One Last Stop. Natalie gives a lot of life to the story, having great range as she personifies each character. I really enjoyed this version of the book!
Overall, I absolutely recommend I Kissed Shara Wheeler! I hope Casey continues to write across age categories because both the adult and YA communities are lucky to have them!
*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook. This did not affect my opinion or the content of my review.
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