#blackgirlmagic and adorable story in NYC

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Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Hear Our Voices Book Tours and Roaring Brook Press for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.

Okay first of all. This book was one of the best contemporary novels that I’ve read in a while, and it made me remember why I like to sometimes take a break from the fantasy/sci-fi universe. This also made me super jealous that I didn’t live in NYC, or at least have a family member that I could visit that lived in NYC so that I didn’t have to deal with the traffic that I remember, but could also feel like I was living my Gossip Girl dreams.

Second of all, I’m still mad at the fact that Simone never got what she deserved for what she did to Evie. I’m still hella mad about that, and I don’t know what that says about me as a person, but I felt terrible for Evie. I mean, it’s not a spoiler as much since it’s in the synopsis, but I’m not saying what Simone DID to Evie. But still, when you read it and you see what she did, I think you would be pretty pissed for Evie too.

Evie and Milo’s relationship, basically how it progressed in the span of this weekend basically was such an interesting one. You have Evie who is still trying to heal from the aftermath of what happened with her career, and she’s feeling sorry for herself because as an actor, her career depends on what people think of her as a person, right? I mean… maybe for her since she is a Black young woman and we know that people of color are scrutinized way more than their white counterparts, but I digress. Evie thought that she could go spend time with her grandma in New York before this award ceremony that she needs to convince her grandma to go to, but ends up going at it the wrong way. Like, the very wrong way. This has to be said because this interaction between Evie and grandma Gigi – aka the famous Evelyn Conway, aka Evie’s namesake, aka the one person that Evie trusts and looks up to above anyone – was super upsetting because it just felt like things were so misunderstood on both ends. Like… *sigh* it just made me super sad because I know that Evie and Gigi are super close and I know that Evie really wanted that conversation to go much better than it did. She really needed her grandma at that time, and unfortunately Evie wasn’t really seeing Gigi’s feelings about the topic, and yeah. Super upsetting but I totally get why it needed to happen, and it does end up being discussed later on in the book.

I would say that one of my favorite things about this novel was that I felt like I was satisfied with how things ended, like I felt like things were wrapped up pretty nicely and I got some closure. Of course, things may not have had a “movie perfect” ending – even though this revolves around Hollywood and stuff – and I think that made it so much better. It just felt like a more relatable ending if that makes sense. I just freaking loved this book, okay? And I am still so upset that this is my first Kristina Forest book! I still need to read I Wanna Be Where You Are!

Even if you *think* that you aren’t a huge contemporary fan, I would say that this one is one that you would want to read. It was so cute, so fun to read, emotional and well-rounded. It didn’t feel “typical” which I don’t even know what would be a typical contemporary but whatever, but I absolutely enjoyed my experience with this novel.