This is such an under-rated book and by the end of this review, I hope I’ve convinced you to read it.
I study PR so hopefully I’ve learned a thing or two about persuasion. Our exams are actually based on hypnotism, did you know that?*
*Disclaimer: I don’t actually have exams for PR
This book was recommended to me by my incredible name buddy Emily who you can find on Twitter here. She has the BEST recs so I couldn’t go past this one.
To me, this book is mainly about the power of supportive female friendships.
The main plot of the book is about Hermione Winters being raped at a cheerleading camp (so TW for that if you end up wanting to read it). BUT to me it was more about how she gets through that. And she gets through it with the amazing support of her best friend Polly, who is the fiercest Hufflepuff you’ll ever meet.
Female friendship is not rare in YA, but it is rarely done so well as it is in this book.
Another one that does it really well is Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour (and it also has an f/f romance so double points there). And it wasn’t just from all the girls around her – it also came from her parents and from her therapist and from the police, and it paints a really great picture of the fact that support networks are invaluable after a traumatic experience. So props to E. K. Johnston for that.
It’s also, loosely, a retelling of Shakespeare’s A WINTER TALE.
Hence the fantastic title, as well as the main character’s name (Hermione Winters). While I don’t really know the story, I’m all for retellings of more obscure classics and stories. If you know the story I’m sure you’d find parallels throughout this book.
The cheerleading itself was another aspect I really enjoyed.
For whatever reason, sport in YA is not very common – maybe because authors themselves aren’t particularly sporty? (#me) But it was fantastic to see that passion and drive that these girls had in the book.
Overall, a sad but incredibly hopeful story about trauma and the importance of good support networks in getting through it.
What are your favourite retellings? What’s a story you’d love to see a retelling of?