Love Radio

S. & S. May 2022. 320p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781665908153.
Gr 9 Up–Danielle Ford knows who she is and what she wants—to move to New York City and become the next great Black woman writer, alongside Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison. But ever since someone attempted to sexually assault her, she has been unable to write—not even her all-important essay for NYU. Prince Jones has already found success, as a beloved DJ who dispenses relationship advice on one of Detroit’s most popular radio stations. Although he dreams of reaching a wider audience, his family responsibilities have him planning to stick close to home instead. A chance encounter at the library gives Prince the opportunity to talk to his middle school crush, Dani, and after an awkward beginning, Prince issues a bold challenge: he can get Dani to fall in love with him in three dates. Dani, normally love-averse, surprisingly agrees, and as they get to know each other through a series of thoughtfully elaborate dates, she may even be falling for Prince. But the complications in their lives are still present, and sometimes, love may not conquer all. Although Prince and Dani’s romance is at the forefront of this story, the importance of all types of love is highlighted through the main characters’ strong relationships with friends and family. Chapters alternate between Prince and Dani’s voices, allowing readers to experience the romance from both perspectives, but also to get to know the main characters’ friends and family in greater detail. This YA debut is a romance, but it is also a love letter to Black cultural history.
VERDICT A great choice for readers who enjoy the work of Renée Watson, Nicola Yoon, and Brandy Colbert.

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