Grade : B+

Brynn Whitaker is a senior at Greenlough Academy where she is known as the Flirt Expert. Brynn helps students write texts to their crushes and, in return, they Venmo her $20 per text and $50 if they end up with a date. Students at her school are wealthy but Brynn is not. Her parents are divorced and her mom works as an assistant day care manager. Her father remarried and has a new family--he quit paying child support when Brynn turned eighteen. They live in an old home where there is always something that needs repair. She has an older brother Smith who has been in and out of expensive drug rehab. facilities. Brynn needs every penny she makes.

The trouble started when she wore a banana costume to a Halloween party and then she broke up with her boyfriend when she realized he just wasn’t that into her. She ended up dancing with her two best friends, Tahlia, who was dressed as Winifred Sanderson (from the film Hocus Pocus) with an orange hijab, and Marlowe who is trans and went as Lady Gaga. The next day Brynn wakes up to find that she has been cancelled by everyone except her two best friends.

Why? Well, there’s a (faked) video making the rounds on Snapchat of what looks like Brynn, in a banana costume performing a sexual act with Duncan, her ex best friend Lenora’s boyfriend. She thinks it will all blow over and that Duncan will explain that it’s not her but he doesn’t -he says it was her (for his own reasons). She becomes the most hated person at school. The odd thing is that no one is upset with Duncan, not even Lenora-she forgives him! The next day, Brynn is crying in the girls bathroom at school when she befriends Cadence, a pregnant teen and one of my favorite characters in the book. Cadence has also been shunned by classmates--for her pregnancy--while her baby daddy has had no repercussions!

Cadence and her twin brother Charlie join Brynn, Marlowe, and Tahlia to discover who the actual girl is in the video in the banana suit. They uncover clues to the mystery and I couldn’t wait to find out who it would be. Cadence comes up with a wonderful idea to start a femolution club to bring awareness to how guys are being treated differently than girls. Tahlia, Marlowe, and others join in and share how hard their school's double standards have been for them too. I felt the messaging was a little heavy here The book slowed down a little in the middle, but I stuck with it and I'm very glad I did.

There is a lovely relationship that forms between Brynn and Charlie who become close as they work on the mystery and he gives her surfing lessons. Brynn admires the artwork he creates and they share some kisses. Charlie is great--he is genuine and down to earth, and treats Brynn wonderfully.

I loved seeing Brynn’s growth in the story and how she found her way back after hitting rock bottom. It was wonderful to watch her and her friends bring change to their school by challenging attitudes towards gender equality and cyberbullying. This was an entertaining read that covered important topics with a diverse cast of characters and I found it thoughtful and compelling.

Reviewed by Kayne Spooner
Grade : B+

Sensuality: Kisses

Review Date : March 19, 2024

Publication Date: 03/2024

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Kayne Spooner

Kayne Spooner is a retired science teacher, dog owner, and proud grandma who lives in beautiful Colorado. While she's an avid reader of all genres, romances have always swept her off her feet. Kayne gravitates toward stories with humor, swoon-worthy love interests, and memorable furry sidekicks, although really, if there's a happy ever after, she's here for it! She loves sharing her passion for books with the romance community and connecting with fellow readers.
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