Yes hello, here is another book that I am *screaming into the void* about because it was so good, I can’t possibly string together a coherent sentence about it. But let’s try because that’s the joy of reviewing books!
I Kissed Shara Wheeler was the first book by Casey McQuiston that I read, and while I’ve heard amazing things about their previous books, I didn’t want to hype myself up too much. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but … THIS BOOK DESERVES ALL THE HYPE!!!
The story follows high school senior Chloe Green, the only openly queer student at her super religious, Conservative school in Alabama. She moved there four years previously with her moms, but has big dreams to attend NYU next year. She has the perfect grades, the perfect plan, and just needs to be picked as class valedictorian. The only issue? Her rival, the perfect, Jesus-loving Southern sweetheart, Shara Wheeler. That is, until Shara kissed Chloe (!!!) and then disappears. Even her Dad, the high school principal, won’t admit that he knows where Shara went.
Finally, with Shara out of the way Chloe can focus on finishing school. That is, until she finds a note left by Shara that sends her on a scavenger hunt to figure out what the hell is going on. Soon enough, Chloe finds out that she wasn’t the only person Shara kissed before disappearing, and she’s also not the only queer kid at school.
Sure, they eventually find Shara, but while putting all the pieces together they also discover some shady secrets the school’s administration has been hiding. That, paired with all the homophobia and bullying, sets these students over the edge.
And what happens? The best Gay Reckoning I’ve ever read.
Yes, there are a lot of deep, important, timely themes explored in this book, but the writing is also so FUN that it balances out nicely.
I absolutely loved this book. My only gripe was that on audio, there was one narrator for a cast of characters, which made it difficult to keep track of at times.
I can’t wait for more people to pick up this book and play along with Shara’s game and see how this group of teens takes over and shakes up their school, and their hometown’s way of thinking.
Thank you to Macmillan Audio for an advance copy of I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston on audio, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.