What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

by Jenna Guillaume
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publisher: Peach Tree Publishing
Publication Date: April 1st 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷

I picked up What I Like About Me at ALAMW because Jenna Guillaume is an Australian author. I've only had good luck with Australian authors so I went into the book with high hopes. Thankfully, What I Like About Me was not an exception. It ended up being witty, funny, and extra swoon-worthy book!

Maisie, our protagonist, was delightful in every way. I loved being inside her head. She was such a teenager, full of sass and drama, but she was incredibly endearing. This is really a book about her character's growth as she deals with the struggles with her body image and the fact that she is often overlooked by her crushes for her prettier best friend. I related to Maisie's struggles and I felt so much for her. Maisie was also stronger and braver young woman than I was at that age because she goes through this incredible journey as she discovers more about herself and learns to love and accept herself as she participates in the beauty pageant. We see her push past her usual boundaries and befriend new people who become hugely important pillars in her life. I loved that this was written in a diary format because we get to see all the chaos that goes on inside Maisie's brain. The girl was really funny and I loved that she made me laugh until my stomach hurt at times!

What I Like About Me also seamlessly depicts all kinds of relationships. The friendship between Anna and Maisie was probably my favorite. The two have always been very close, but things change when Maisie's crush, Seb, falls for Anna. As you can imagine, it brings complications into their relationship and the two had to work hard to overcome together. The family dynamics in What I Like About Me were also brilliant. Maisie's relationships with her family, especially her sister, were so convoluted and realistic in many ways. It's not easy to watch the people who are supposed to love Maisie unconditionally make comments in passing that have major implications on her self-confidence, but that is the reality for many teens that struggle with their weight. One of the more positive relationships that Maisie has in What I Like About Me was her romance with the most unlikely boy, Beamer. It was so adorable. They had the kind of relationship where the boy would endlessly tease the girl and pull at her pigtails and they would constantly be at each other's throats. It was super cute and I found myself easily shipping Maisie and Beamer. Beamer truly saw and liked Maisie for who she was. He was definitely the sort of swoony book boyfriend I would have drooled over as a teen.

I don't read as much YA as I normally do, but books like What I Like About Me remind me why I used to love YA as much as I did. If you're in the mood for a laugh-out-loud, poignant story of self-worth that also happens to have a swoony romance, you're going to want to add this book to your TBRs. Jenna Guillaume has a very witty voice and I can't wait to read more from her.

What's the last book that made you laugh?
Let me know in the comments below!

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