on May 31st 2016
Format: Kindle Book
Kyle Blake likes plans. So far, they’re pretty simple: Finish her senior year of high school, head off to a good college, find a cute boyfriend, graduate, get a good job, get married, the whole heterosexual shebang. Nothing is going to stand in the way of that plan. Not even Stella Lewis.
Stella Lewis also has a plan: Finish her senior year as cheer captain, go to college, finally let herself flirt with (and maybe even date) a girl for the first time and go from there.
Fate has other plans for Kyle and Stella when they’re paired up in their AP English class and something between them ignites. It’s confusing and overwhelming and neither of them know what to do about it. One thing they do know is that their connection can’t be ignored. The timing just isn’t right.
But is there ever a good time for falling in love?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Huge thank you to author Chelsea Cameron for being generous enough to send me e-copies of her books for review!
Style was exactly the fluffy, happy f/f story that I didn’t realize I so desperately needed. The plot is pretty uncomplicated: it follows two high school seniors– Stella, a cheerleader, and Kyle, a nerd– as they meet in their AP English class and begin to fall for one another. It was like a cheesy 2000’s rom-com, but f/f! AKA a much-needed addition to queer YA, in my eyes.
I really loved the coming out journey that both girls went through over the course of the story. Stella has known she was gay for quite some time, but was planning on waiting until college to date and tell people, due to some past bullying that has had a huge effect on her. Kyle, on the other hand, is blindsided by her attraction to Stella, and has to accept her attraction to women and figure out how she identifies. I like that the author represented varying processes of discovering your sexuality, because it’s quite different for everyone. I also loved that the girls faced little backlash from their loved ones after coming out to them– sure, it’s not everyone’s reality (and safety is absolutely the number one priority when deciding when/how/to whom to come out), but I think it’s so important for questioning teens to see stories where coming out is not a sad experience filled with hatred and backlash.
The romance is so sweet, it might just rot your teeth. But in a good way! It’s a classic high school romance– the popular athlete falling for the nerdy girl– and I loved every second of it. The story is filled with romantic gestures, falling in love, and lots of kissing. Plus, there’s a healthy amount of discussion and portrayal of sex between two women on the page! Woohoo! My one complaint is that the main characters could have been fleshed out a bit more. I felt like both Stella and Kyle fit into very stereotypical, archetypal boxes– which is totally okay (I mean, how many heterosexual romances fall into that category?), but it left me unable to fully connect with them. The novel is told through dual perspectives, and I sometimes found it hard to differentiate between the two POVs.
Overall, my main thought throughout reading this book was, “if only this story had been around while I was in high school.” I didn’t realize my attraction to women until my freshman year of college, and I didn’t come out until I was 19, so I really enjoyed reading about queer girls who went through a different journey than I did. Also, I feel like so much of the f/f I read is either New Adult or Adult. Style is seriously the first YA f/f contemporary I’ve read with pretty much a sole focus on romance (no other main plotlines or complications). And that’s saying a lot, because I read a lot of books that feature wlw! I know the author wrote this book in large part for herself, and I think Style will help so, so many queer girls find themselves. Overall, if you’re looking for a sweet, short summery contemporary, look no further! This book isn’t perfect, but I believe it holds a special place among queer YA, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA contemporary!
Have you read Style? If so, let’s discuss! If not, do you plan to read it?