It’s been a while since I’ve read a YA contemporary novel, and even longer since I’ve read a YA contemporary with black characters, written by a black author. (The last one I read was The Sun is Also a Star back in 2016!) I was very excited to join this tour and read this spectacular book, which really helped me to break what felt like a never-ending reading slump!
The book is quite adorable, and it reads fairly quickly. It’s full of talk of both new and old Hollywood while being set in modern New York. I’m not very familiar with NYC (I’m from the Chicago suburbs and haven’t been farther east than Ohio) but the descriptions of the settings and streets helped me to understand the setting quite well.
I quite enjoyed the “mystery” elements in the book. It’s not a typical mystery novel, but the hunt for Evie’s grandma Gigi and the mystery behind Gigi’s past with her ex-husband were quite intriguing, and I liked the little clues and hints that were dropped throughout the story like breadcrumbs.
There were a few loose ends that I wish had been tied up better, like Simone and howthe relationship between Milo and Evie will go, but aside from those, everything wrapped up quite nicely. I thought it was a very cute read with a unique premise. Fans of La La Land, old movies, and Hollywood culture in general will enjoy this tale of young stardom, family, and public image.
To speak from a #ownvoices perspective, this book was quite fun to read. Hearing Evie talk about hair products for her curls was great, as well as the fact that she totally normalized wearing a wig to cover up your natural hair (which can be a great way to protect your hair or to cover up your hair after a big chop!) I also really liked that hairstyles like dreads and twists were mentioned throughout the book.
On top of everything – and this is a bit odd to say – but I’m glad that this book wasn’t really focused on race. Sure, out main characters are both black, but the overall story wasn’t about their race; it was about finding Gigi and redeeming Evie’s career and all of that. Sometimes it can be a bit exhausting for me to read books where the black characters are involved in race issues. A book where our characters just happen to be black is really great for showing that black people live normal happy lives too, and that narratives about people of my race aren’t only featured in novels about race issues or slavery. Definitely quite refreshing and just what I needed considering the current state of the world. Now That I’ve Found You gets a solid 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 on review sites.