She Drives Me Crazy

Roaring Brook. Apr. 2021. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250209153.
Gr 8 Up–After losing spectacularly to her ex-girlfriend’s basketball team, Scottie is at her lowest. However, a minor fender-bender creates the opportunity for Scottie to team up with the gorgeous (and supremely annoying) cheerleader, Irene. Until the basketball district championship, they’ll fake-date to make her ex jealous. Irene may be insufferable, but Scottie can handle a few months of hanging out with her. With a Hallmark movie–esque Southern small-town backdrop, Scottie shines as the basketball-loving, queer lead to root for as she grows into a stronger, wiser, and more empathetic human being. Building off vintage rom-com tropes, Scottie and Irene’s story arc is delightfully upbeat while still leaving room for serious moments. Both girls are at different stages of moving on and discovering who they are after devastating break-ups. This leads to many clashes of consciousness, which in turn fuels healthy communication and understanding, creating characters who feel not only human but are highly relatable. The heart of the story is simple but sweet: If you want to get the girl, do it the right way...and maybe do one big cheesy romantic gesture. Scottie is white and Irene is Indian American; supporting characters range in skin tone and ethnicity.
VERDICT Pulling vibes from classic 1990s movies such as She’s All That and 10 Things I Hate About You, this campy and fun queer romance is a breath of fresh air.

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