Popsugar Reading Challenge category: A Sapphic book
Book: I Kissed Shara Wheeler, by Casey McQuiston
There are certain things I've come to expect from Casey McQuiston: a wonderfully over-the-top premise, a bisexual main character finding first love, new friendships that bring the main character out of isolation, a lot of laughs, and of course a happily-ever-after ending.
Chloe is a heathen Californian at a very Jesus-y private high school in Alabama. Her rival for valedictorian is the principal's daughter, Shara Wheeler, who's almost too perfect: beautiful, smart, friendly, devout but not obnoxious about it. Over the course of 24 hours, Shara kisses her football player boyfriend Smith, her bad-boy neighbor Rory, and, inexplicably, Chloe. Then Shara disappears, leaving a series of mysterious hidden notes that lead the other three on a sort of treasure hunt to find her.
By the end, all four of them have discovered things about themselves they hadn't known, the school's pristine reputation is upended, and Chloe and Shara have to confront how they really feel about each other. Equally important, Chloe discovers how many of her classmates felt as out of place as she did. There's a lot of playing against stereotype: Smith is a jock, but he's neither dumb nor macho, and Rory isn't quite the "bad boy" he tries to appear. Unlike McQuiston's other books, there's no sex in this one, but there's a lot of characters rethinking their notions of gender, sexuality, and who they are vs. who they thought they were supposed to be.
A lighthearted, entertaining ride, all the way to the final kiss.