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She Drives Me Crazy Hardcover – 20 April 2021
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"A little sweet, a little sharp." --Booklist, starred review
High school nemeses fall in love in Kelly Quindlen's She Drives Me Crazy, a queer YA rom com perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Casey McQuiston.
After an embarrassing loss to her ex-girlfriend in their first basketball game of the season, seventeen-year-old Scottie Zajac gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person: her nemesis, Irene Abraham, head cheerleader for the Fighting Reindeer.
Irene is as mean as she is beautiful, so Scottie makes a point to keep her distance. When the accident sends Irene's car to the shop for weeks' worth of repairs and the girls are forced to carpool, their rocky start only gets bumpier.
But when an opportunity arises for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex--and climb her school's social ladder--she bribes Irene into an elaborate fake- dating scheme that threatens to reveal some very real feelings.
From author Kelly Quindlen comes a new laugh-out-loud romp through the ups and downs of teen romance, perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli.
*A little sweet, a little sharp, this romance will resonate with readers looking for an emotional journey.--Booklist, starred review
A cast of characters you'll fall in love with and a love story you'll be obsessed with--She Drives Me Crazy is one of my favorite rom-coms of the year. Trust me when I say you need this book. --Leah Johnson, author of You Should See Me in a Crown
Hilarious and full of heart, with a sizzling romance. SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY nails both the hate to love and fake dating tropes with expert execution. I want to live in this town and be friends with these characters so badly, and I'm deeply sad that I can't.
--Rachael Allen, author of A Taxonomy of Love and The Summer of Impossibilities
She Drives Me Crazy is the perfect romcom. It's the kind of romance that is sizzling with chemistry, but still manages to be utterly earnest and heartfelt. A must-read for every romcom fan." --Adiba Jaigirdar, author of The Henna Wars
Things are never easy when love is involved, and Quindlen (Late to the Party) offers a queer refresh of multiple romance genre standbys: enemies to friends (Irene once had Scottie's car towed), fake dating, sports romance, and surmounting a broken heart. Add in a supportive family whose members actually like each other, and the result is a satisfyingly feminist rom-com mash-up.--Publishers Weekly
PRAISE FOR LATE TO THE PARTY:
An absolutely stunning, but also incredibly important novel about best friends and discovering who you are. --Mason Deaver, bestselling author of I Wish You All the Best
"Perfectly captures the joys and hopes and thrills of being a real, authentic teenager . . . A fantastic read for queer teens today." --Kacen Callender, Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story
"Late to the Party is right on time to being your favorite read. I didn't want my time with Quindlen's characters to end." --Sara Farizan, Lambda Award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine
Kelly Quindlen has written a slow-burning, exquisite book well-worth savoring. --Aminah Mae Safi, author of Tell Me How You Really Feel
A deeply heartfelt and emotionally honest celebration of late bloomers, queer solidarity, and friendships both old and new. This book has a permanent place in my heart. --Dahlia Adler, author of Under the Lights.
A love letter to late bloomers, Late to the Party combines teenage angst with first loves and second chances and emphasises that true friends will always be there for you even as you discover new parts of yourself. -- The Nerd Daily
Heartfelt and fun, Quindlen's latest (Her Name in the Sky, 2014) brings together all the angst, excitement, and uncertainty of the teenage years in an LGBTQ+ friendly package. Fans of Becky Albertalli are sure to love this sometimes painfully relatable heroine and her journey of self discovery. Codi Teller may be late to the party, but readers will be happy she showed up. -- Booklist
Recommended for LGBTQ teens.--School Library Journal
Quindlen (Her Name in the Sky) deftly conveys both the awkwardness of outgrowing an old life without having a clue how to move toward a new one. --Publisher Weekly
About the Author
- Publisher : Roaring Brook Press (20 April 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250209153
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250209153
- Reading age : 12 - 17 years
- Dimensions : 14.61 x 3.3 x 21.72 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 156,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
About the author
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My first ever Kelly Quindlen book is a success! I’d heard that the strength in Quindlen’s books lay in her characters and this could not be more accurate. She Drives Me Crazy is a masterclass on creating messy, hurt and angry characters; characters that aren’t in a good place and act accordingly and then giving them space to heal and develop in the most natural way. Scottie, our main character, isn’t always likeable. In fact, she can be a downright bitch at times. She makes mistakes, lashes out and hurts people but she has an amazing support network who want what’s best for her and help her begin to find herself again and heal from the aftermath of a toxic relationship. Additionally, her behaviour is not excused just because she was hurting and I loved seeing her accept responsibility for her actions.
Now, this could all make the book sound heavy and not exactly like rom com material but that’s where the brilliance of She Drives Me Crazy lies. Scottie’s difficult and messy character development and relationships are juxtaposed over the most lighthearted and fun setting and tropes, creating a perfect balance. Set in a small town named for its year long Christmas emporium, this book is merry and over the top and so much fun! This really shines through the side characters, particularly Honey Belle who I adored! She’s just sugary sweet and soft and exactly what you’d expect from a family running a Christmas emporium. The characters of this book were all so loveable and I particularly loved Danielle, Scottie’s best friend, and Scottie’s family. They weren’t always perfect and had some of their own issues but I loved seeing their relationships with Scottie and the way they all came through for and supported each other. I could speak about how cleverly written the characters and relationships were in this book endlessly but I’ll let you experience that for yourself.
And this finally brings us to Irene, our love interest. I absolutely adored her character and found her so easy to relate to and sympathise with. I loved the way this book, and particularly Irene, handled assumptions and stereotypes surrounding the popular mean girl cheerleader figure and turned them on their head, creating a character with depth and nuance. This also played into a great conversation about the lack of recognition cheerleaders receive, and how they’re not regarded as ‘real’ athletes. Scottie and Irene’s relationship was so fun to read, although not always easy in the beginning as these girls knew exactly how to hurt each other. I also appreciated the development of their relationship once things began getting real, and the acknowledgement that Scottie wasn’t in a good place at this time.
The writing of this book was incredible. I read this in two sittings and absolutely flew through it – in fact, it could have been one sitting if I hadn't started it so late at night. The story and Scottie’s voice just immediately gripped me and I couldn’t put it down. With a fast pace, great dialogue and just so much fun, reading She Drives Me Crazy was a joy.
Unfortunately, I did have a couple of concerns with this book. Primarily, the fake relationship itself, and its rules. I wasn’t completely comfortable with the idea that Scottie essentially was paying Irene to date her, and that this wasn’t really addressed again once they developed real feelings. I also felt that Scottie, in her desperation to get back at her ex, pressured Irene to accept (and therefore come out to everyone) which wasn’t entirely fair, though it was ultimately Irene’s decision and she did not make it lightly. I would also say that they spent quite a long time being enemies and I’d have liked to spend more time developing their relationship once they developed feelings. I’d have also appreciated the word ‘lesbian’ being used as both of our main characters were written as lesbians and there is an unfortunate lack of the owrd ‘lesbian’ in YA.
She Drives Me Crazy is cheesy and campy and angsty in the absolute best way possible. With brilliant character development and dynamics, an exploration of heartbreak, the effects of a toxic relationship and the importance of looking past preconceptions, Kelly Quindlen has created a story that will resonate with lots of teens, especially queer ones. The characters of She Drives Me Crazy are messy and flawed which just makes them all the more real. With nods to classic rom coms and expert trope usage, this book is perfect for anyone looking for some good teen fun, a lovely sapphic romance and expertly written characters.