|Love is a revolution|
Author: Watson, Renee
Harlem teenager Nala is looking forward to a summer of movies and ice cream until she falls in love with the very woke Tye and pretends to be a social activist.
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/20)
School Library Journal (+) (12/01/20)
Booklist (+) (12/01/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/21)
The Hornbook (+) (00/03/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2020 Gr 7 Up—Nala Robertson has a three-pronged plan for the summer before her senior year. One—Find a new hairstyle. Two—Spend time with her cousin and best friend, Imani. Three—Find love. When she attends a talent show hosted by the community group that her cousin is involved in and meets the beautiful Tye Brown, it seems like Nala's summer is shaping up the way she intended. Who cares if she tells a few white lies to get the civically minded Tye to think more highly of her? But as the summer progresses and Nala's relationship with Tye deepens, she feels her cousin pulling away from her and starts to wonder how long she can keep up the ruse. This book explores many different forms of love: family, romantic, and self-love. Will Nala find the courage to love herself? The protagonist's subtle humor pulls readers in, and while she occasionally muses on what it might be like to be wanted by others, she never wallows in self-pity. Notably, Nala's self-image issues are not physical. She's big and beautiful and comfortable in her body. Instead, her concern lies with her accomplishments, or what she perceives as a lack thereof. The cast of Black characters shines; each character is well-developed and relatable, even when they're not particularly likable. VERDICT In a time where books about teen activists, including Watson's own Watch Us Rise, are plentiful and teens try to make the world a better place, this title sends the necessary message that sometimes it's okay if the person you save is yourself.—Mimi Powell, Lib. Systs. and Svcs., Kissimmee, FL - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 12/01/2020 *Starred Review* Watson’s unforgettable new novel contains a heart-warming love story about a girl who has to learn to love herself first before she can find true love with another. Fun-spirited Nala Robertson attends an open mic night for her cousin’s birthday and meets Tye Brown. Tye would be the perfect beau except he is too serious about everything. He’s an activist intent on spending the summer entrenched in one community outreach project after another, and Nala just wants to binge movies and yummy ice cream. Tye and Nala couldn’t be more different, so, to impress Tye, Nala lies about her interests and claims she’s a hardcore activist too. However, when the lies start to pile up and the truth gets increasingly harder to hide, Nala is forced to confront who she really is. Only by looking at herself honestly and embracing her true self can Nala hope to keep the love she’s found with Tye. Watson’s story is a delightful, joyous coming-of-age tale that features dynamic characters and a sweet romance, and it doesn’t shy away from weighty social and political topics, all the while spinning the magic of Black Girl Joy. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.