Author: Kelly Quindlen Published: 2020 Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary Rating:
Synopsis A poignant and deeply relatable story about friendship, self-acceptance, and what it means to be a Real Teenager. Late to the Party is an ode to late bloomers and wallflowers everywhere.
This story is much more than your typical high-school set contemporary. It had a sense of realness to it that many young adult books fail to capture. The main character, Codi, was awkward and atypical. She didn’t go to parties, and had a small tight-knit group of friends. However, there were times that I found her to be a bit irritating and selfish, which does reflect some everyday teens. I found her treatment of her brother to be a tad unkind, but I do realize that some siblings don’t get along, and she was trying to find herself without the opinions of others.
Once Codi is accidentally introduced to high school parties, new friends, and teenage antics, she discovers a whole new side of herself. The book showcases that as teenagers, kids are still finding themselves, and no two people are alike. However, it is okay to put yourself out there and meet new people. This is a lesson that many of us forget as we grow into adulthood and find it harder to make friends.
There were so many different types of personalities that teenagers could easily relate too. Not everyone is outgoing and social. Some people are scared to share who they truly are with others. And, some of us are shy and introverts. Along with the mixed personalities, there was a lot of focus on different sexualities. There were bisexual, gay, straight, and sexually unsure characters. Codi was, in fact, a lesbian. So the book was very diverse in a lot ways.
The overall premise was enjoyable and entertaining, but boring at times. It was as if I was reading about the lives of daily teenagers. I mentioned that this gave the story a sense of relatability, but a bunch of teens’ everyday lives can only be entertaining to a point. However, I am an adult reader, which makes me not the target audience for the book.
“Saying what you’re afraid of makes you brave.”
The main con with the plot was how much focus these kids put on relationships. As someone that was home-schooled and very sheltered, I didn’t have my first dating experience until my twenties, so I can’t say for certain if teenagers are all about finding a relationship. Also, I found the negative outlook on meeting someone online and a Tumblr forged relationship hurtful.
True, one must be super cautious when talking to people online, and must go in a group when meeting anyone from the internet. But, I for one found my husband on Tumblr of all places. Best thing that has ever happened to me. So, I am kind of biased in that front. I was pleasantly surprised that a book published in twenty-twenty featured Tumblr, since it is kind of a forgotten about platform. Does anyone still have a Tumblr?
Overall, the story was cute, and something that a lot of teenagers could find comfort in. If you are a more mature reader, then the book probably isn’t for you. Although, it might bring you back to your teenage years, and give you the nostalgia feels. For me, it was just an okay read with a solid enough plot. Please let me know your thoughts on the book in the comments below. Also, what were you like as a teenager? If you enjoy my blog, then give it a follow to get notified about all my new posts.