Kyle Blake likes plans. So far, they’re pretty simple: Finish her senior year of high school, head off to a good college, find a cute boyfriend, graduate, get a good job, get married, the whole heterosexual shebang. Nothing is going to stand in the way of that plan. Not even Stella Lewis.
Stella Lewis also has a plan: Finish her senior year as cheer captain, go to college, finally let herself flirt with (and maybe even date) a girl for the first time and go from there.
Fate has other plans for Kyle and Stella when they’re paired up in their AP English class and something between them ignites. It’s confusing and overwhelming and neither of them know what to do about it. One thing they do know is that their connection can’t be ignored. The timing just isn’t right.
But is there ever a good time for falling in love?
Genre: Young adult, romance, LGBT (f/f)
I read this book several weeks ago, but my memory of Style has not wavered much since; it’s an adorable story, featuring the quintessential nerd and hot babe mash up that’s taken over popular media. Kyle and Stella (shipped as Style, get it?! Like the title!) are two teenagers who never had a reason to interact before, until the two fall in love with one another in their senior year. For Kyle it’s a real shocker, since up to this point not only has she seen Stella as the queen bitch, but she didn’t even accept that she was into women. Stella on the other hand, who’s been counting down the days until college so she can date freely, is trying to figure out what it is about Kyle that makes her so attractive, especially since she assumes Kyle’s straight. What unfolds between these two is an undeniable attraction that pushes them to accept themselves faster than they ever anticipated.
Chelsea M. Cameron has indeed crafted a great little novel for the reader looking for a sweet, heartfelt, teen romance with a quirky f/f couple. Despite our leading ladies’ differences, they come together through their mutual appreciation of English to serve up a relationship that blossoms in an almost kismet way. The scenarios Cameron puts her characters through, from questioning sexuality, coming out, and first romantic encounters kept me entertained and cheerful throughout my afternoon reading sessions.
While I enjoyed this book, I did find it to have some issues – as most books undoubtedly have – that took away from the experience, mainly the implementation of double POV. As we go through the story, we constantly switch back and forth between Stella and Kyle, but what I found disenchanting about this was the lack of distinct voice separation between the two. A more optimistic reader might argue that this was a stylistic choice to illustrate how in-tune these girls are to the other’s thoughts, but I would gather that it’s more likely a lack of character development. Often I would forget who was talking and have to go back several lines after reading it as the wrong girl. Besides this functional issue, it doesn’t hurt to bring up the fact that this isn’t a story built to make you think.
While I have no problem with reading a more laid back story, where everyone’s happy, and nobody dies, if a you’re someone who lives for true drama and life shattering realizations, this would be a disappointing choice. Stella and Kyle do undergo the stress of having to come out to their families and friends, but both receive a warm reception from those closest to them, and experience minimal backlash from their classmates when they become intimate in the public. The tension in this story is almost nonexistent and Stella and Kyle continue their lives almost as if nothing has changed. Again, not great for fans of conflict, but perfect for someone wishing for something light.
All in all, if you’ve got some free time that needs filling up, or want something to use as a breather between your more intensive reads, Style certainly a fun book to add to your shelf.
About the Author
Chelsea M. Cameron is a New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. She’s a red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car, tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman) and playing fetch with her cat, Sassenach. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.