|Excuse me while I ugly cry
Author: Goffney, Joya
Quinn's journal is where she writes down everything -- in list format -- that she doesn't want to admit out loud, or even face; once they're written, she can release them and feel a little bit more at peace. When the journal goes missing and her list of biggest fears is posted online with a challenge to face each of them or else have the entire journal go public, it's time for Quinn to move out of the realm of her mind and into real life. She's not going quietly, however, and finds herself working to track down the blackmailer before time runs out.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.10
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 512715
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2021 *Starred Review* High-school senior Quinn has secrets that she has never told another person. Instead, she jots them all down in a red spiral notebook, never to see the light of day. This spiral notebook is full of lists related to secrets, crushes, and dreams from her childhood until now. It isn’t until an accidental notebook switch that Quinn finds herself at the mercy of a blackmailer who threatens to reveal all of her secrets to the high school. Quinn is a Black teen girl in a predominately white Texas neighborhood and school, who experiences microaggressions daily and is unsure how to navigate them. Not only that, but her parents’ relationship seems to be falling apart, and her grandmother’s dementia is slowly stealing away her memories. In this transformative year, Quinn doesn’t expect to make waves, but a blackmailer revealing her deepest secrets forces her into the spotlight. With the help of some of her classmates, Quinn unpacks what it means to be Black and creates lasting relationships that help her flourish. Goffney’s important debut novel navigates the messy feelings Black teens may experience in a supposedly post-racial world where their challenges often do not mirror the challenges their parents faced. This authentic look at the teen years will undoubtedly delight readers. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2021 Gr 8 Up—Quinn makes a list for everything in her spiral notebook: It keeps her grounded. But when her notebook goes missing and an Instagram account posts one of her lists, an anonymous blackmailer informs Quinn she needs to complete her list of seven fears or else the entire notebook goes public. She knows Carter is the last person who had her notebook, though he swears he's not the blackmailer. To prove it, he teams up with Quinn to complete the list, hunt down the real culprit, and show Quinn how to let go. Goffney's debut novel hits all the right points as a dynamic modern romance full of heartache and courage. Quinn's experience as a Black teen attending a predominantly white private school accurately emphasizes the racial prejudice that exists today. Even as Quinn faces horrible situations (like her white friends using a racial slur), Olivia and Auden are characters who show the importance of respect, true friendship, and allyship. Throughout the novel, Quinn struggles with her emotions, using her lists as a crutch. As she faces her seven fears, she discovers that a person shouldn't box themselves into a set of ideals; and always leave room for growth and forgiveness. Quinn and Carter are Black. Olivia is biracial and Auden is white. VERDICT For fans of Ben Philippe's Charming as a Verb or Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also a Star, Quinn's story is for readers seeking more than just a simple romance.—Emily Walker, Lisle Lib. Dist., IL - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.