I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.That's Not What I Heard by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Scholastic on February 26, 2019
Also by this author: Love à la Mode
Format: eARC (368 pages) • Source: Fantastic Flying Book Club, Publisher
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What did you hear?
Kimberly Landis-Lilley and Teddy Lin are over. Yes, the Kim and Teddy broke up.
At least that's what Phil Spooner thinks he overheard and then told Jess Howard, Kim's best friend. Something about Teddy not liking Kim's Instas? Or was it that Teddy is moving to Italy and didn't want to do long distance? Or that Kim slid into someone else's DMs?
Jess told her boyfriend, Elvis, that he needs to be on Kim's side. Especially if he wants to keep her as his girlfriend. But Elvis is also Teddy's best friend.
Now, Kim's run out of school for the day. Jess is furious. Elvis is confused. And half the lunch period won't talk to Teddy. Even the teachers have taken sides.
William Henry Harrison High will never be the same again!
Stephanie Kate Strohm is one of those authors where I continued to add EVERY one of her releases to my TBR… and just let them sit there?? I’m not sure why because they ALL sounded like Lauren books. I finally read LOVE A LA MODE after requesting it from Netgalley and fell in absolute love with it. Her writing was wonderful and I knew I’d have to finally work my way through her backlist. THEN, I saw tour sign-ups for this new release and couldn’t resist. Phew, now that you’re up to speed…
I have to admit that books where ONE misunderstanding is the entire plot (the kind where the MCs just need to have one single conversation to clear up the whole premise of the book) do not work for me usually. I tend to get frustrated because the whole thing can unravel if they just SPOKE to each other about the issue. HOWEVER, with this story, the experience was quite different for me. There were so many points of view, including everyone from teachers to students to the principal, which really made it awesome. I actually preferred all of those points of view over reading from Teddy and Kim’s perspectives. That was when I would be reminded that the two just needed to talk to each other to make everything better. The other people were more interesting as rumors were spread and the breakup somehow affected the entire school (including the faculty).
My two favorite points of view (and characters in general) were Elvis and Phil. They just had funny perspectives and internal dialogues, and I loved the messes they got themselves into. They were both directly related to the goings-on and the split-up of Kim and Teddy in different ways. I feel like I should have liked and appreciated Jess for being a super loyal friend to Kim, but she frustrated me by jumping to conclusions and making the situation WAY worse from the get-go. (Again, talk to each other! Especially your best friend!)
I liked that the story, as a whole, was fairly unrealistic (would a high school really get divided in half over a breakup? To this extent?!), but the individual events, rumors, conversations, and reactions were so real. Those things felt just like high school. I loved the overt Mean Girls references (yes. more than one!) and other “that’s so accurate to my old high school” moments. For example, there’s one scene where someone randomly showers in the gym and they comment on how people haven’t used them since the 1990s.
I love books and movies where a bunch of people’s lives are tied together in ways you don’t expect, where each individual character you meet somehow affects the main storyline and it doesn’t come together until the end. This felt like one of those stories, which is probably why I enjoyed it in spite of the whole misunderstanding and “JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER” feeling throughout the book.
About the Author
Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of The Taming of the Drew, Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink, Confederates Don’t Wear Couture, It’s Not Me, It’s You and Prince in Disguise. She grew up in Connecticut and attended Middlebury College in Vermont, where she was voted Winter Carnival Queen. Currently she lives in Chicago with her fiance and a little white dog named Lorelei Lee.
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