Reviews tagging Death of parent

I Kissed Shara Wheeler, by Casey McQuiston

1 review

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


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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