Saturday 16 July 2022

, , , , , , , , , ,

Review: She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott & Alyson Derrick

She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott & Alyson Derrick is held up in front of rainbow shelves by a white hand.

Links with an asterisk (*) are Ad: Affiliate Links, which means if you make a purchase through them, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott & Alyson Derrick

Published: 14th April 2022 | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books | Source: Bought
Rachael Lippincott’s Website & Alyson Derrick’s Instagram

Alex Blackwood is a little bit headstrong, with a dash of chaos and a whole lot of flirt. She knows how to get the girl. Keeping her on the other hand... not so much. Molly Parker has everything in her life totally in control, except for her complete awkwardness with just about anyone besides her mom. She knows she’s in love with the impossibly cool Cora Myers. She just...hasn’t actually talked to her yet.

Alex and Molly don’t belong on the same planet, let alone the same college campus. But when Alex, fresh off a bad (but hopefully not permanent) breakup, discovers Molly’s hidden crush as their paths cross the night before classes start, they realize they might have a common interest after all. Because maybe if Alex volunteers to help Molly learn how to get her dream girl to fall for her, she can prove to her ex that she’s not a selfish flirt. That she’s ready for an actual commitment. And while Alex is the last person Molly would ever think she could trust, she can’t deny Alex knows what she’s doing with girls, unlike her.

As the two embark on their five-step plans to get their girls to fall for them, though, they both begin to wonder if maybe they’re the ones falling... for each other.
From The StoryGraph.

Purchase from*
The StoryGraph | Goodreads

I'd wanted to read She Gets the Girl by Rachael Lippincott & Alyson Derrick ever since I first heard about it's announcement. It sounded like such a cute story! But I was surprised to find I loved it so much more than I expected to.

I have been on a major fantasy kick lately, and hadn't read any romance for months. So while I was excited to read She Gets the Girl, I was worried that perhaps I wouldn't enjoy it as much; was I in the right mood for romance? Should I have stuck to fantasy? Whatever concerns I had vanished almost immediately; I was completely captivated by this story and gripped from the very start. It's such a sweet, fun romance, and reminded me why YA romance is just so awesome! I've stayed away too long.

Alex and Molly are both starting college, and both plan for it to be a new start. Alex has just broken up with her girlfriend Natalie, who doesn't believe she can trust Alex not to stray. Alex is determined to prove to Natalie that she can commit, that she can stop flirting, and that she can make connections that matter, rather than casual flirtations. Molly is anxious and socially awkward, and has no friends beside her mum, but she's decided that things will change at college. She's going to put herself out there more, and she's determined that now is the time to tell Cora how she feels. But Molly finds it a lot more difficult than she thought, too stuck in her head with her fear of embarrassment and rejection, whereas Alex has no trouble talking to girls. They meet at a party and instantly dislike each other, but when Alex realised that Molly has a crush on Cora, but is getting in her own way, she knows she can help her, and in doing so, show Natalie she's changed. Molly isn't sure she can trust Alex, but has seen what her confidence can do, and knows she needs help. They reluctantly agree for Alex to help Molly get the girl, but the more time they spend together the more they're drawn to each other.

I adored this book! I loved both Alex and Molly, and watching their relationship blossom. They're both somewhat judgemental, and completely get each other wrong at the beginning, so it's just so lovely to see them get to know each other, realise they were wrong, but also how their judgements hurt each other. Seeing there's more beyond the flirt or the anxiety. Alex's five step plan, which she makes up as she goes along, challenges Molly to get out of her comfort zone and help her grow in confidence, and it's so sweet to see Molly amazed at how they work, at her successes, and Alex's own Joy at seeing Molly do well. A friendship grows between as the story progresses, and it's the sweetest as neither have really had a good, close friend before. It's just so beautiful seeing them open up to each other as the trust begins to grow. And slowly but surely feelings develop between them.

The character development was just beautiful. Alex really does help Molly, to Molly's great surprise, and her successes mean she sometimes deviates from Alex's advice, and makes steps of her own. It's so lovely watching her confidence grow, and feeling more sure of herself and who she is. That she is worthy of someone else's feelings. Because of her mother's alcoholism, and and how difficult that's made life, Alex tends to keep people at arm's length - even Natalie to a certain degree. It's gorgeous seeing how slowly she allows Molly, without even realising it. Suddenly, she's just talking. It's specifically because neither of them are trying to win over the other that they grow so close. Having to talk about Molly's anxieties and insecurities in order to help her automatically leads to a small amount of trust, and it's as that trust that builds that their friendship blossoms. They help each other without even realising it. Because they're not trying to impress the other, they can just be themselves, and in revealing themselves, they are drawn to each other.

For the most part, She Gets the Girl is a light, joyful story, but it does touch on the more serious. As I've mentioned, Alex's mum is an alcoholic, and she has been for as long as Alex can remember. When her dad left several years ago, it fell on Alex to look after her mum, and get multiple jobs in order to keep a roof over their head. Her mum wasn't dependable, and would always spend money on alcohol, so Alex had to work so hard to keep things together, and she was still a child, really. Going to college is a struggle for her; it's part freedom, but she's also worried about what might happen to her mum while she's not there. She's got a neighbour to check in on her regularly, but she's no longer earning for the household, and her mum can't keep down a job. She feels a responsibility, but also wants a life of her own. It's complicated. She's been let down over and over by the person who should have been taking care of her, so letting people in is hard for her. On the other hand, Molly's only real friend is her mum. They have been so close, and Molly adores her mum, but she wants more now. A fresh start, away from her family, to make new friends and have more of a social life. But her mum can't seem to let go, and calls her often, and wanting to come down to hang out. Molly feels kind of smothered and doesn't deal with the situation very well. On top of that, she has mixed feelings regarding heritage. Molly is half Korean, but her mum was adopted by a white family, and due to the racism she experienced when she was younger, completely rejects her heritage. As such, Molly has no real connection to that side of her. Her mum refuses to acknowledge it. She has some of her mum's own feelings about their heritage from being brought up around it, but also doesn't want to hate parts of herself. Again, it's complicated. I really liked how both these elements of the story were explored and discussed, and how they were resolved. They added more depth to the story, on top of the romance.

But one serious topic that is completely missing from She Gets the Girl is homophobia. Everyone in the book who is queer is out to everyone. Neither Alex nor Molly have an issue saying their lesbians, and no-one has an issue with them being lesbians. There are other queer characters and a non-binary side character, and it all just is. It's absolutely not a thing. It's just completely normal, and it's just so beautiful. There's no stress in this regard whatsoever, and I was surprised by my own reaction over how wonderful it was. It made me so bloody happy! And I definitely want to read more books where queer people are queer and that's it, there's no question or eyebrows raised, or anything. I loved it!

She Gets the Girl was just a beautiful read; it was fun and light and so sweet, and I am so excited to read more by Lippincott and Derrick in future. In fact, I will be getting my hands on The Lucky List, Lippincott's last queer title, and cannot wait for Derrick's debut solo novel Forget Me Not, publishing April next year. I'm so excited for both! I can't recommend She Gets the Girl enough, and implore you to do yourself a favour and allow this joy into your life.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following / supporting me:
Bloglovin' | Twitter | Goodreads | StoryGraph | Ko-Fi


Post a Comment