• Michelle

Book Review: Late to the Party

4/5 Stars.

I wish I had this book when I was a teenager!

Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen is a lovely written queer coming-of-age and self-discovery book that covers all of the angsty teenage feelings of learning who you are, trying to fit in, and the struggles and joys of friendship. The story follows Codi, a shy and introverted teen who only sticks with her two best friends in their usual mundane and safe summer routine, until life throws a little twist her way to add some excitement and scary change to her summer.

As I mentioned before, I wish I had this book when I was going through high school. This book is very relatable for those who were also the "weird" teenager without many friends, and usually spent their weekends staying home instead of going to parties. I feel Codi is a good example of someone who is comfortable in their routine, and yet long for something more, despite fearing any sort of change. She feels stuck, in a sense, because she feels she can't grow when she's just with her two best friends, who she's known since sixth grade. Codi is also lesbian, so that brings in the struggles of not being completely out to family and friends. And because she is entering her senior year, she feels she is essentially "falling behind" since she's never kissed a girl. All of this hits home for me, and I see much of my teenage self in Codi.

I also really appreciate the numerous LGBTQ characters and diverse cast, especially with the mlm and wlw solidarity and friendships between them. Ricky and Codi's friendship is refreshing to see, and both of them work through their struggles with who they are and not wanting to be "boxed-in" with their identity.

Late to the Party is a simple book with an easy writing style, but I understand this book. It's not a book just for teens and young adults. It's a book that's a good reminder that, no matter one's age, you can continue to grow and change and explore. You're never falling behind, by any means.

Late to the Party is out now! Follow the author

Where to purchase: Barnes and Noble Books-A-Million

Book Depository


Check with your local Indie Book Stores!

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