would it mean that you were g a y, or a l e s b i a n, or whatever word you were supposed to call it, if you liked only one particular girl?
Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after a series of events, she finds herself playing Romeo, opposite Gemma Braithwaite’s Juliet. Gemma, the new girl at school, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing—and, if all that wasn’t enough: British.
As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy named Elijah. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama! In this sweet and funny look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to be the lead player in her own life.
This was an incredibly cute read. Sometimes I found myself eye-rolling at the… obnoxiousness of middle school drama but I’m sure I was that obnoxious in middle school, so I got over it.
I remember, when I was a… senior? Probably a senior, I couldn’t figure out why I was so weirdly obsessed with this girl and I spent most of the homecoming dance orchestrating ways to walk past her and honestly I sympathize with Mattie so much with this inner realization of ‘oh shit I’m not straight’, and my friend was the one who told me what I was feeling.
Eventually, seven years later I realized I was asexual but that’s a different book.
“Just because I’m over Elijah doesn’t mean I can’t crush on a boy.”
*dances* explicit, positive bisexual representation in a middle grade book? This is a thing of beauty.
The ending wasn’t what I was expecting, not in the least, but now that I think about it, I think it’s definitely better that way.
10 out of 5 stars.
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5 stars)