My rating: My ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Published: April 21st, 2020
LGBTQ+: Lesbian, gay, bisexual
Seventeen is nothing like Codi Teller imagined.
She’s never crashed a party, never stayed out too late. She’s never even been kissed. And it’s not just because she’s gay. It’s because she and her two best friends, Maritza and JaKory, spend more time in her basement watching Netflix than engaging with the outside world.
So when Maritza and JaKory suggest crashing a party, Codi is highly skeptical. Those parties aren’t for kids like them. They’re for cool kids. Straight kids.
But then Codi stumbles upon one of those cool kids, Ricky, kissing another boy in the dark, and an unexpected friendship is formed. In return for never talking about that kiss, Ricky takes Codi under his wing and draws her into a wild summer filled with late nights, new experiences, and one really cute girl named Lydia.
The only problem? Codi never tells Maritza or JaKory about any of it.
From author Kelly Quindlen comes a poignant and deeply relatable story about friendship, self-acceptance, what it means to be a Real Teenager. Late to the Party is an ode to late bloomers and wallflowers everywhere. – synopsis from Goodreads
“It would say, There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re doing just fine.”
I grabbed this one mainly because of the title and the cover. I wasn’t a person that went out a lot in my teens. While all my friends went to parties and clubs I much preferred to stay home and just read or watch TV in a time where Netflix didn’t exist! Gasp! The horror. So this book called out to me like the beacons of Gondor.
Late to the Party was such a good read. It made me relive my teen years all over again but with a different outcome in the end. Codi feels a bit trap in her relationship with her best friends. She wants to experience life but doesn’t seem to know how to do it with them. They keep calling her reliable and it’s a word that she is tired of hearing so she decides to live a double life and have a summer of firsts. Codi was so relatable to me. Her journey reminded me so much of myself back then and maybe a little of me now. It also got me thinking about how we put each other in certain boxes. I am still friends with people from primary/secondary school and I wondering if I am still that same person to them. It’s strange when you think about it how you can be a different person to everyone. Don’t you wish sometime you could reinvent yourself like Codi?
I loved the diversity in this book. There was so many LGBTQ+ reps it warmed my little black heart. You could also feel the solidarity and support between them. Codi and Ricki were there for each other even if their friendship was really new. They helped each other figure things out no questions asked. It was nice to see a story with such a great cast of LGBTQ+ characters.
I really enjoyed Late to the Party it was a cute short-ish book that you could read in one sitting. I haven’t read anything else by Kelly Quindlen but I will be keeping an eye out for her.