I kissed Shara Wheeler A novel

Casey McQuiston

Book - 2022

After seventeen-year-olds Chloe and Shara, Chloe's rival for valedictorian, kiss, Shara vanishes leaving Chloe and two boys, who are also enamored with Shara, to follow the trail of clues she left behind, but during the search, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to Shara and her small Alabama town than she thought.

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Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/McQuiston, Casey Checked In
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/McQuiston, Casey Checked In
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/McQuiston, Casey Checked In
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Mcquisto Casey Checked In
Young adult fiction
Bisexual fiction
Lesbian fiction
Romance fiction
Humorous fiction
School fiction
Queer fiction
Queer youth literature
LGBTQ+ fiction
LGBTQ+ youth literature
New York : Wednesday Books 2022.
Main Author
Casey McQuiston (author)
First edition
Physical Description
355 pages ; 22 cm
Ages 13-18.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Shara has been Chloe's academic nemesis since the day Chloe started at Willowgrove Christian Academy in False Beach, Alabama. Chloe refuses to feel at home in False Beach, where she and her moms moved to care for Chloe's grandmother and win valedictorian over Shara, the principal's daughter. But then Shara kisses Chloe and disappears, leaving behind one clue to her whereabouts. Shara also kissed her boyfriend, football player Smith; and her next-door neighbor Rory. As Chloe, Rory, and Smith begrudgingly work together to find Shara, the three peel back the layers of who she really was, doing the same with themselves in the process. McQuiston's YA debut is a compassionate look at what makes people who they are and what's left of us when we take away everyone else's expectations. Chloe and the supporting cast of witty, lovable characters are given the necessary space to be flawed and imperfect teenagers, and False Beach is a character itself, with Chloe discovering the ills and joys of what it's like to grow up in an Alabama suburb. Chosen family and LGBTQIA+ elders are given weight to the central romantic story lines in this thoughtful meditation on LGBTQIA+ identity, pride, popularity, academic success, jealousy, and idolization. A must-read for fans of dark academia with a hopeful spin on the premise that students can create real change in their environment.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In her YA debut, McQuiston (One Last Stop, for adults) spins a multifaceted plot narrated by sardonic high school senior Chloe Green. In False Beach, Ala., bisexual Chloe, who has two moms and moved relatively recently from L.A., is the only out person at Willowgrove Christian Academy, a school that she attends for its AP program and theater budget. The action is set in motion when Shara Wheeler--the beautiful, universally beloved daughter of the overbearing principal, and Chloe's rival for valedictorian--suddenly kisses Chloe, then, during prom, disappears. The departure kicks off a scavenger hunt that embroils Chloe; Shara's boyfriend, quarterback Smith Parker; and Shara's neighbor, stoner Rory Heron, all of whom Shara kissed before splitting. Chloe spends the last weeks of high school ignoring her close-knit friend group and responsibilities to puzzle together the clues. Slowly, the teens' high school hierarchy--subverting alliance helps break down barriers created, in part, by the school's particular brand of shame culture and prejudice. In a novel brimming with classic YA plotlines, crisp writing, humorous asides, and fully fleshed characters and relationships--many queer--keep things fresh, leading to a genuinely hopeful ending that centers themes of authenticity and autonomy. Chloe and Shara are white; Smith has dark brown skin; Rory is biracial (Black and white). Ages 13--up. Agent: Sara Megibow, KT Literary. (May)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A romance with solid queer representation set against the backdrop of an Alabama Christian school. Chloe Green is the only one who sees through Shara Wheeler's goody-two-shoes act, and now that Shara's pulled a disappearing act right before being crowned prom queen, she makes it her business to find her. This means teaming up with unlikely allies like Smith Parker, Shara's jock boyfriend, and Rory Heron, the brooding boy next door, both in love with Shara, just as Chloe claims she is not. What brings the trio together is a series of notes Shara has left them, along with the awkward fact that she kissed all three of them before vanishing. McQuiston's YA debut starts off as a fun page-turner with a rich cast of queer characters but ultimately disappoints with its predictable plot twists and protagonists whose journeys feel lackluster. In a story that uplifts the importance of friendship and found family, the main character's tunnel vision and indifference toward her friends' problems make for an ending that doesn't feel earned. Rather than coming across as a complicated but earnest love interest, Shara feels superficial and narcissistic, raising the question of why so many people drop everything to pursue her. Shara and Chloe are White; Rory has a White mom and Black dad, and Smith is described as having dark brown skin. Bisexual Chloe has two moms. An engaging, fast-paced story let down by character development. (author's note) (Romance. 14-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.