Love is a Revolution
by Renée Watson
🍦🍦🍦 (three stars as rated in ice cream cones on a hot summer day in Harlem)
Nala has big plans for kicking back and enjoying her summer break. What those plans dont include is a lot of grueling volunteer work. That is until her cousin and BFF, Imani, invites her to an event hosted by Inspire Harlem; a local community service organization for teens. There, Nala meets Imani’s friends including a very cute activist-in-training named Tye. Suddenly all of Nala’s summer plans unravel and, in the hopes of winning over Tye, Nala decides to don a more service minded version of herself. She feigns vegetarianism and even invents a fake job helping out at her grandmother’s care center. Maintaining this false persona is no easy task and quickly strains her relationship with Imani. After a summer of pretending, will there be anything left of the real Nala? And would Tye still be interested in her if he knew the truth?
I was really excited to get my hands on this book so close to the publication date. This is exactly the kind of book I wish I had read as a teen. So many important themes are explored; body positivity, Black joy, community involvement, self acceptance, and more. I appreciate everything that this book is and strives to be, particularly for young Black readers. I will say that the text reads a bit more like middle grade than young adult which is not what I was expecting. I enjoyed it well enough, regardless and, though, I probably wouldn’t recommend it to many adults, it was a very solid middle-grade-style read.
“You two are family. Family. That alone ought to be enough for you to respect each other. You’re also two women. Black women. The most radical thing you can do is love yourself and each other.”Renee Watson, Love is a Revolution
✨ Rep in this book: Fat rep, entirely Black cast of characters, own voices
✨ Content warnings for this book: absent parent, medical stuff
About the Author: Renée Watson
Renée Watson is a New York Times bestselling author, educator, and community activist. Her young adult novel, Piecing Me Together (Bloomsbury, 2017) received a Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor. Her children’s picture books and novels for teens have received several awards and international recognition. She has given readings and lectures at many renown places including the United Nations, the Library of Congress, and the U.S. Embassy in Japan and New Zealand. Her poetry and fiction centers around the experiences of Black girls and women, and explores themes of home, identity, and the intersections of race, class, and gender. (copied from the author’s personal website)
Personal note: girl on feeling like there is finally a small light at the end of the tunnel
I have read more in the past year than ever before in my life. While I obviously am really pining for a world without a pandemic, I wonder if I may come to miss this bit of my life a little bit? That being said, the days are getting warmer and brighter. And last weekend I got to hug my mom for the first time in a year. So I feel anxious but excited. And I’m doing my best to lean into both.
That’s all from me today! Much love,