Everyone Hates Kelsie Miller

S. & S. Oct. 2022. 288p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781665906975.
Gr 9 Up–Ireland takes the age-old friends-to-lovers story and injects it with relevant social commentary for teens, balanced with a healthy dose of comedy. Kelsie Miller and Brianna Hoffman have been inseparable for most of their childhoods, until Bri ups and moves to Seattle to be with her mom, leaving Kelsie in radio silence for a month. Not sure what to do, Kelsie tries emailing and texting her best friend, hoping for a clue as to what happened. In walks Eric Mulvaney Ortiz, the best-looking and most well-liked boy at her high school, who is equally confused as to why he hasn’t heard from his girlfriend Jessica. He offers Kelsie a deal—to drive together to the University of Pennsylvania, where both Briana and Jessica are supposed to be, to see why they were ghosted. Hilarity ensues during their adventure, and the tension between them is palpable. Throughout the story, readers catch glimpses of sexual assault and racial prejudice, along with topics such as children of adoption and surrogate parenting. While none of these themes takes up a particularly large amount of text, Ireland handles them gracefully and with enough intent that they will resonate with teen readers. The novel’s main characters are Asian and Latine.
VERDICT An excellent addition to any YA collection, especially those seeking love stories with diverse characters.

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