eARC Review – I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Title: I Kissed Shara Wheeler

Author: Casey McQuiston

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication date: May 3rd, 2022

356 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of One Last Stop and Red, White & Royal Blue comes a debut YA romantic comedy about chasing down what you want, only to find what you need…

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.

But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square.

Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.

Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.

Review

This book was very reminiscent of Paper Towns by John Green – the main concept is very similar, popular girl goes missing and concocts a plan for certain people to come find her in order to further her end goal. It honestly was a little off-putting how similar the books are UNTIL the main character, Chloe, makes a reference about how it’s so like Shara Wheeler to rip off Paper Towns and the thought the author put into it was supreme.

On a more serious note, I had a good time with this book. I did not foresee anything that happened which is always a plus with the more mystery-esque books. There was stellar LGBTQ rep in a state where that is not accepted, especially in a very small town. The scavenger hunt type clues were really intense and well thought out, and I know for a fact if it was me I would’ve been stumped by the very first clue to be honest.

I will say that I didn’t really love Shara and Chloe in the end. I was much more interested in the background characters than I was in these two. By the end I felt like they went back and forth too many times for it to be really be believable. Also, I’m not even sure I understand why Chloe even broke into Shara’s room to start the book – even if I loved or hated someone in high school I would not have broken into their room if they went missing and I didn’t believe it was foul play.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

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