|Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein|
pub 5/3/16 by Random House Books
for Young Readers
YA - Contemporary
Shuffle, Repeat is told from June's point-of-view but there would be no story without Oliver and we see that right from the get-go. Their moms have been best friends forever and since June doesn't know how to drive, they've made an arrangement to have Oliver drive June to school every day. From the moment she sits in his car, it couldn't be more apparent how different they are. They don't like the same music at all (I immensely enjoyed their bickering about it) but their biggest difference of opinion came from how they each viewed high school (oh man, this was even better!). For June, high school is just something to get through because it's a pre-cursor to "real life". For Oliver, he's all about making the most of the experience. The book becomes this battle of wits as they try to convince the other they're right. I loved what they were able to teach the other, particularly in June's case, because I think we all need reminding sometimes that we do now does, in fact, matter.
I adored June and Oliver. Even though it seems like they fit into some stereotypical teenage tropes, they don't and we see more than just the blossoming relationship between them. She's got a diverse set of friends and (dun dun dun), a boyfriend. There's a lot about expanding your circle of friends, being more open, stuff with her family (and his) and just a lot of growing up and learning about yourself in the process. Likewise, Oliver isn't some popular guy at school. He's genuinely nice, friendly and goofy. Totally the guy you'd want or hope to fall for at that age. (Heck, even my age now!) I was really impressed by how the author juggled multiple storylines, a ton of characters and made them all fit together by the end.
Do I recommend?So much yes. The writing, the pacing, the characters – all totally on point. I can't wait for more from this author!