Reviews tagging Deadnaming

I Kissed Shara Wheeler, by Casey McQuiston

9 reviews

ladythana's review against another edition

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emotional funny mysterious reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75


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emily_journals's review against another edition

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mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

I absolutely LOVED Casey McQuiston's past 2 books... and this one did not have the same standard as those two unfortunately. This book wasn't bad, but it definitely was not as good as Red, White, and Royal Blue or One Last Stop. Red, White, and Royal Blue didn't have the most incredible supporting cast, but the two main characters were so likeable and there was so much wit and humor in the book that it made up for the standard supporting cast. One Last Stop went a step further and took a lot of the whit and humor that shined in Red, White, and Royal Blue, and added an absolutely STUNNING supporting cast. This book... didn't have either of those things. Both of the main characters were.... awful? They weren't poorly written or characterized, but they both were genuinely not good people, and I could not find myself rooting for them. They're both mean to each other in the worst ways, and they are both equally as awful to their friends (Shara especially is really mean spirited and manipulative to everyone in her life).  Additionally, I absolutely could not feel any chemistry between them.  In addition, the supporting cast had the potential to be really incredible, but just ended up being somewhat uninspired aside from a few stand out characters.  The plot was the main driving force of this book, which is not true of Red, White, and Royal Blue or One Last Stop (I would say both of those books are very much character driven books with a plot added on as a nice ribbon to tie everything together). The exception to this is Smith and Rory; they both had really good character arcs and were really shining characters (and almost all of the wit came from one of them). The mystery of WHERE IS SHARA WHEELER? also felt really unnecessary and superfluous. I think this story would have been just fine without the little scavenger hunt that takes up more than half the book (which is fully of inconsistencies and confusion). If McQuiston was really set on having this weird mystery, I think they should have done a lot more work on it, because it ended up being quite clunky and boring to read.  I think this story would have faired much better if the clues and mystery and Shara just up and vanishing was replaced with something a little more believable and compelling. I get that the whole point of the letters was to get Chloe to talk to these people that she had subconsciously categorized as high school stereotypes with no substance, but I think the method to having Chloe discover this could have been handled a lot better to make the story more compelling.

Overall, this book was fine, but I found myself extremely disappointed with it because of how much I've loved McQuiston's previous works. This book was perfectly average, with (mostly) vanilla characters, and a dull plot, which is not a way I would describe either of McQuiston's previous works. I think that this book had a lot of important themes for younger readers, but I don't think it stands close to McQuiston's other works, and might recommend people to skip this one if they're reading it solely because they enjoyed those two books. 

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mallory10100's review

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

WOW i loved this book so much 

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studiouspoppy's review against another edition

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funny hopeful lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75

It’s a really good YA book and I think it would have made my sixteen-year old-self really happy and hopeful, and it would have been really meaningful. Unfortunately, I read this at 24 and although it was funny and interesting, it was not that meaningful & it got way too dramatic for me.
I appreciated Chloe’s attitude and how she stood up for herself and for others, I think she’s very loyal and funny, and I love her relationship with her moms (it kinda reminded me of my relationship with my mom). She did get way to dramatic over nothing sometimes and that was annoying in my opinion.
I didn’t like Shara at all, I thought she was a psycho. I didn’t dislike her at the end, she got great development, but I didn’t love her either. Some of her changes felt sudden and rushed to me.
It got a little predictable at times, and the first 60% was a 3.25 for me. the last 0.5 goes for the ending because it felt really great, and for the character development of the secondary characters, because they felt like real people with their independent lives instead of just extras. Great representation!

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emmaciarciello's review

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adventurous challenging funny inspiring mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0


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mayareadsxo's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Most of the time, when i read, I see pieces of myself in words or character descriptions. Maybe I even see myself in a character or two. I’ve never read a book where I can look at over 4 characters and say “wow! that’s me.”…until now. 

I honestly don’t have any words of my own. Read the book. It says all I could want to. 

This is one for the books. I highly recommend it. Because of its nature, please be cautious and check the trigger warnings. They are there for a reason. 💕

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arthur_ant18's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny hopeful lighthearted relaxing fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5


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lifeonasofa's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted mysterious reflective relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

AD PR I Kissed Shara Wheeler 💋 Review

Yes I did try to recreate this STUNNING cover. And no, I’ll never be as badass as Shara Wheeler 😩

“Chloe is, as she often is, and as she has in fact been every single time she’s thought about Shara since she first saw her of that cursed billboard, fuming” - Casey McQuiston 😂

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 4.25 stars 

I was SO excited for this readalong with @tandem , I think all of us in the group chat were unanimous on that. I’ve really enjoyed Casey McQuistons light and welcoming writing style in the past. Their representation in previous books has been STAND OUT. And let me tell you, this book was even better than I expected! 🤯 

The novel starts out very mysterious, still some classic high school moments but I had no a idea where it was heading. Whilst I found the first half a lot slower, it was still intriguing and it sped up rapidly. The friendships in this book were top tier. Rory and Smith were my personal favs, but the whole group gave serious Breakfast Club vibes. 🥰

Chloe was frustrating at times, but I got her and honestly see a lot of myself in her. So my heart was BEAMING for her by the end. Shara was that IT girl we all need in a romance book. That graduation scene had me melting and the bonfire was honestly the nicest ending. I hear full hearts everywhere. 🥹

If you’re looking for something a bit different, a merge of chick lit and mystery plus LGBTQ+ characters - this is your baby. This book is set around a religious school/area and therefore do be aware of some triggers: homophobia & racism. ⚠️ 

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alexafuson's review against another edition

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inspiring lighthearted mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Think “Mean Girls” meets “Paper Towns.”

“I Kissed Shara Wheeler” is the type of book that teenagers need in the world. As someone who grew up in a small, Christian, conservative town, I strongly relate to the queer characters in this novel that feel like their voices are demonized. However, these characters take a horrible situation into their own hands, and they create change. Even as a adult, I learned from this novel that standing up for what you believe in is never a small feat. It takes bravery and cooperation, and this shows that teenagers have the power to create change, even when it feels like their voices are ignored. Although the beginning of this book relied heavily on high school stereotypes that demonized jocks, cheerleaders, and anyone else the main character felt inferior to, eventually these stereotypes are overturned. The characters learn to work together, and through that, multidimensional and complex characterization comes through to show that people are more than just what we can see on the surface. This is a powerful message for teenagers and adults alike. 

McQuiston delicately handles complex topics that high schoolers are dealing with, like identity and religious trauma. As a Southern girl at heart, I appreciated that this book didn’t totally demonize Christianity. Instead, it highlights how a person can be queer and still practice Christianity, but it doesn’t undermine how the institution of Christianity has harmed so many LGBTQ+ people. 

Thank you NetGalley for providing me with this e-ARC. Another 5-star read from Casey McQuiston. May 3rd can’t come soon enough! 

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