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Friday I'm in Love : 03/24/23

Friday I'm in Love

Friday I'm in Love by Camryn Garrett (2023) takes it's title from the Cure song, one of many older songs referenced in this YA novel. Mahalia Harris missed the chance to have a Sweet Sixteen party, so she's decided to plan a Coming Out Party for herself.

Mahalia has three problems. Her first one is the budget. Mahalia has a job after school and she has to save from what she earns. Although her mother has promised to match whatever she saves, she still knows she'll have to be extremely frugal.

Her second problem is her BFF Naomi. She has money to spare and no sense of how to do things on a budget. It's hard to plan with her when Naomi expects to just buy whatever catches her eye.

Her final problem is Siobhan, the cute girl from Ireland. Mahalia is head over heels for her the first time they met. But she has a boyfriend and Mahalia just can't find the right words to express how she feels. Nor does she know if she should.

The novel unfolds over the final months of the school year: April, May, and June. Although it's a relatively short amount of time, I did find myself wanting less focus on the mundane details of school life. Of course I'm not the target audience and were I younger, I might have found those scenes more relatable.

The one place where I felt the novel fell short was in its setting. Mahalia lives in San Diego, and near UCSD. That's where I grew up. But there's nothing in the way of details, landmarks, or culture that pegs the setting as actually being San Diego. The city could have been anywhere.

Four stars

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