Thursday, January 31, 2019

Book Review: That's Not What I Heard by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: That's Not What I Heard
Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: Hardcover; 368
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Source: FFBC Tours / Publisher
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Content Screening: Nothing of note.

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy high school drama at it's adorable best!

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
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!

Oh, this sweet, sweet book. It's been quite a while since I've read a YA book that didn't contain tragic romance, or tough lessons. Not that I don't love those books, don't get me wrong, but That's Not What I Heard was like a breath of fresh air in a genre that's starting to feel a little heavy. This book is pure fun, really. It's almost like a satire of high school, except it's even smarter than that. While I didn't absolutely love this book, I saw the brilliance in it. Plus, I definitely giggled out loud more than once. Trust me, this is something YA readers are going to love.

You know how the high school rumor mill is. One little thing overheard, and suddenly it's morphed into something that is nowhere near what was originally said. That's this book in a nutshell. Perfect couple Kim-and-Teddy have been together for what feels like forever. Now it's their Senior year, and it's time to start thinking about the future. Except... are they on the same page? A fight begins, and what follows is a breakup story for the ages. Seriously, it's on that type of scale.

I had to keep reminding myself that yes, school really was as absurd as this book felt sometimes. It did feel a little over the top at points, but what I really enjoyed was the fact that the reader actually gets to see the rumors progress as they move along the telephone line of gossip. Each chapter would pick up with the last person who had heard something, and I honestly laughed more than once at how that next person interpreted it. There are school hijinks, plans to get back together with lost loves, and more friendship than I think I've ever seen in a book like this. You can tell that Strohm has been there. You can tell that she knows just how silly things can get when the rumor mill activates. There's just a flair on top of that to make things seem funnier, and that's the pat I had the hardest time with.

Final verdict? This wasn't quite my book, but I do know that a ton of YA readers out there are going to love this. Young YA readers especially, who are just entering the wide world of high school, will probably really enjoy this story. It's silly, it's a little too quick moving at times, but it has a ton of heart behind it too. I enjoyed getting to know the residents at William Henry Harrison High! I know that others will too.

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FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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