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Smash It!
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Smash It!
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Refreshingly authentic and bold... Don't miss this smashing novel from Francina Simone, filled with heart, humor and a heroine to root for!Olivia "Liv" James is done with letting her insecurities get...
Refreshingly authentic and bold... Don't miss this smashing novel from Francina Simone, filled with heart, humor and a heroine to root for!Olivia "Liv" James is done with letting her insecurities get...
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  • Refreshingly authentic and bold... Don't miss this smashing novel from Francina Simone, filled with heart, humor and a heroine to root for!
    Olivia "Liv" James is done with letting her insecurities get the best of her. So she does what any self-respecting hot mess of a girl who wants to SMASH junior year does...
    After Liv shows up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts—why, God, why?—she decides to set aside her wack AF ways. She makes a list—a F*ck-It list.
    1. Be bold—do the thing that scares me.
    2. Learn to take a compliment.
    3. Stand out instead of back.
    She kicks it off by trying out for the school musical, saying yes to a date and making new friends. Life is great when you stop punking yourself! However, with change comes a lot of missteps, and being bold means following her heart. So what happens when Liv's heart is interested in three different guys—and two of them are her best friends? What is she supposed to do when she gets dumped by a guy she's not even dating? How does one Smash It! after the humiliation of being friend-zoned?
    In Liv's own words, "F*ck it. What's the worst that can happen?"
    A lot, apparently.
    #SMASHIT
    "Smash It! smashed it."—New York Times bestselling author Christine Riccio

About the Author-

  • Francina Simone believes in one thing: authenticity. She writes YA stories full of humor and hard life lessons with sprinkles of truth that make us all feel understood. Her craft focuses on stories about girls throwing caution to the wind to discover exactly who they are and what it means to love. Francina is also known for her BookTube channel, where she discusses controversial topics in books.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    July 15, 2020
    Inspired by Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes (2015), a teenager makes a list to change her life. Olivia Johnson is a 17-year-old Black girl tired of living her life in the background. Spending most of her time with her two best friends, Eli and Dr�, as their No. 1 supporter despite more-than-platonic feelings for one of them, and navigating a complex relationship with her mom, Olivia has her fair share of reasons for feeling she is better off hiding in the shadows. An unfortunate experience with being the only one not wearing a costume at a Halloween party due to self-consciousness about her body and being afraid of standing out leads to her making a list of things she wants to do and opportunities she wants to embrace in order to experience a fuller life. It begins with doing the thing that scares her most: auditioning for the school musical. Following her list spurs welcome changes and unwelcome drama in her life, and Olivia finds she has to rise to the challenges despite feeling unprepared for all of it. Simone's prose masterfully crafts an honest and likable voice in Olivia that is bolstered by the cast of diverse supporting characters and combines that with compelling, well-paced plot points. Readers will find themselves rapt with anticipation and excitement and filled with compassion for Olivia's journey to self-acceptance and self-love. Stellar. (Fiction. 14-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 20, 2020
    In a loose retelling of Othello, Simone (The Keeper’s Vow) follows Black high school junior Olivia Johnson as she sheds her insecurities and embarks on a Shonda Rhimes–inspired Year of Yes, embracing everything that scares her. Hoping to catalyze a bolder life, Olivia introduces a bevy of new undertakings into her routine: she auditions for the school theater department’s rap production of Othello, makes fearless new friends who help her take risks and stand up for herself, and whirls between three love interests, including her two best friends: suave jokester Dré, who is Puerto Rican, and lovelorn poet El, who is half Palestinian, half Israeli. Determined to achieve happiness whatever the cost, Olivia sometimes makes choices that hurt those around her; though she eventually apologizes, a lack of reflection causes her transformation to feel somewhat flat. Simone (The Keeper’s Vow) deftly captures the cadence of modern teenagers, however, offering gems of wisdom on sexuality, responsibility, family, and love: “My love story isn’t tragic, and it’s not about a boy. It’s about me loving me.” Though the premise is familiar, Simone crafts an entertaining and inclusive cast to accompany Olivia through the peaks and valleys of friendship, romance, and self-love. Ages 13–up. Agent: Devin Ross, New Leaf Literary & Media.

  • School Library Journal

    August 1, 2020

    Gr 9 Up-Seventeen-year-old Olivia has decided she is done being in the shadows. She creates a list of things that she wants to do to face her fears. Try out for a part in the school musical. Say yes to a date. Find new friends. Be bold. Move on from her crush on her best friend and neighbor, Eli. Even a small thing like learning to take a compliment. When she gets the part of Bianca in the school's musical, Othello, Olivia can't believe it. She starts to make new friends and before she knows it is asked out on her first date. What Olivia does not know is her plan to do things she's afraid of might also mean she becomes someone she doesn't like or recognize. Told in first person, readers are taken through a realistic journey of Olivia's self-discovery and mistakes. Olivia is flawed and learns how she needs to love herself. The characters in this story come from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, and Olivia's family is African American. Fair warning, there is a lot of swearing and some sex scenes, although not explicit. VERDICT Recommend to readers looking for realistic stories with romance, with a little teen angst and identity-searching thrown in.-Natalie Struecker, Cedar Rapids P.L., IA

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2020
    Grades 9-12 Smash It! is an engaging look at the messy nature of high school against the backdrop of an Othello stage production. Wallflower Olivia has been crushing on her next-door neighbor and best friend for years, but she is too reserved to act on her feelings. After being called out at a Halloween party for not dressing up for the event, she decides to take a page out of Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes. Olivia makes a list of things she hopes to accomplish and insecurities she is determined to shed. Once she auditions for her high school's hip-hop version of Othello, Olivia finds new friends and more love interests than she would ever imagine. Through Olivia, Simone explores difficult relationships with parents, navigating love and friendships, and discovering what it means to be your authentic self. Smash It! will speak to teens who are trying to carve out a space for themselves in high school while making mistakes along the way.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

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