I had more five stars in contemporary than any other genre in 2022 and this has to be another favorite! Friday I’m in Love is a story about friendship, love, and family. It will have your heart swooning and beating in apprehension in the same moment. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Mahalia Harris wants.
She wants a big Sweet Sixteen like her best friend Naomi.
She wants the super cute new girl Siobhan to like her back.
She wants a break from worrying–about money, snide remarks from white classmates, pitying looks from church ladies . . . all of it.
Then inspiration strikes: It’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if she had a Coming Out Party? A singing, dancing, rainbow-cake-eating celebration of queerness on her own terms.
The idea lights a fire in her, and soon Mahalia is scrimping and saving, taking on extra hours at her afterschool job, trying on dresses, and awkwardly flirting with Siobhan, all in preparation for the Coming Out of her dreams. But it’s not long before she’s buried in a mountain of bills, unfinished schoolwork, and enough drama to make her English Lit teacher blush. With all the responsibility on her shoulders, will Mahalia’s party be over before it’s even begun?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: racism, homophobia, biphobia, forced outting
From the premise alone, I knew I’d love Friday I’m in Love. I’ve adored Garrett’s previous books like Full Disclosure. It’s easy to get swept away in the romance of Friday I’m in Love. In the dance parties, sparks across tables, and butterflies. But I think where I loved Friday I’m in Love the most were the themes of family and dreams. The ways Mahalia’s has to balance her dreams and her finances. The realities of her economic hardships and those responsibilities.
All the things we have to give up for the future right now. How far away the future even feels for us and how – for some – it’s not even dreams they can actualize. The pain of setting ourselves up for potential disappointment on a scale other’s don’t understand. And, at the same time, the pressure which can cause us to buckle under the weight. Friday I’m in Love is a contemporary story about family, questioning our identity, and friendship all at once.
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Friday I’m in Love is a perfect contemporary to start 2023. With a perfect emotional balance of preciousness, charm, and emotions, it’s an easy recommendation from me. Find Friday I’m in Love on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org, & The Book Depository.