Title: Follow Your Arrow
Author: Jessica Verdi
Genre/s and Tags: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary, Romance, Feminism
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, this is a riveting and irresistible take on love, life, and identity — both online and off.
CeCe Ross is kind of a big deal. She and her girlfriend, Silvie, are social media influencers with zillions of fans and followers, known for their cute outfits and being #relationshipgoals.
So when Silvie breaks up with her, CeCe is devastated. She’s lost her first love, and now she can’t help but wonder if she’ll lose her followers as well.
Things get even messier when CeCe meets Josh, a new boy in town who is very much Not Online. CeCe isn’t surprised to be falling for a guy; she’s always known she’s bi. And Josh is sweet and smart and has excellent taste in donuts… but he has no idea that CeCe is internet-famous. And CeCe sort of wants to keep it that way.
But when CeCe’s secrets catch up to her, she finds herself in the middle of an online storm, where she’ll have to confront the blurriness of public vs. private life, and figure out what it really means to speak her truth.
Thank you to @TBRAndBeyondTours, the publisher and the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
CeCe Ross is one half of the internet famous pair #Cevie. But when Silvie breaks up with her, CeCe is devastated. She’s lost her first love and worries she’ll lose her followers as well. Then she meets Josh, new boy in town trying to make his way into the music world. Josh is not a social media person and CeCe doesn’t want him to know she’s internet famous just yet. But when her secrets catch up to her, CeCe is left to confront the hazy border of private vs public life, and figure out what fights are worth staking your reputation on.
This book was so freaking cute! Every time I picked it up, I didn’t want to put it down and the pages would whiz by. I really hope this book helps fight bi erasure in all its forms. It had such a strong message of bi visibility and not assuming people in opposite gender relationships are straight.
Follow Your Arrow is such a timely novel, especially with how popular social media influencers have become. The app in this book sounds very similar to Instagram, and while I’m part of the small subset called Bookstagram, this book was so easy to relate to.
CeCe is a disaster bisexual and I love her. She’s faced a lot of unresolved childhood trauma due to how her father left her family and it is addressed a bit in the story. There were so many causes close to CeCe’s heart, yet she was hesitant to make waves due to the above trauma. Whenever CeCe would blame herself for her father’s actions I wanted to give her the biggest hug and be like please no lil babe you are an angel.
I loved CeCe’s friendship with Josh that slowly edged into more. It was so freaking cute and I loved them. I really appreciated that we also see CeCe and Silvie begin to reconcile and become friends again after their breakup. There’s also several other queer side characters, as the GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) is in charge of planning prom. The ending of this was so freaking cute and I definitely had some happy tears.
“I was scared of pushback. That people would think I wasn’t ‘gay enough’ and didn’t deserve to wear the rainbow.”
“People nay have heard me say B, but they saw me and Silvie, and saw the Pride announcement, and they decided that meant L or G.”
“It shocks me, sometimes, how badly I want him to know my whole story. The experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met,…I want to tell him about the day, back in middle school, that changed my life.”
“Where does she live? Silvie asks. My stomach dips nervously at her assumption. Why do I feel like I’m coming out all over again?”
“Something was set in motion when he heard his music playing from my speakers, and how neither of us is going to stop it. I know I don’t want to. I get out of the car.”
“From now on, when I go online, I want to be the real me. And I’ll warn you–sometimes that means I’m going to be loud, and political, and angry.”
“I’m bisexual. Always have been, always will be. I am that B that people rarely talk about, even online, even today. Bisexual people in opposite-sex relationships are often seen as straight and bisexual people in same-sex relationship are usually presumed to be lesbian or gay. But bisexuality is a thing, and it’s time we do better at recognizing and celebrating that.”
“I didn’t need you all to tell me that if I dated a guy it wouldn’t fit in with that the world saw and knew and loved me as. That fear has been deep inside me for a long time.”
“Yes the labels, the letters in the initialism–LGBTQIAP–are important. Owning your identity is powerful and something to be proud of. But sometimes the letters also box people in, put margins and rules on what does and doesn’t qualify, and who is and isn’t welcome and what someone who IDs a certain way is and isn’t allowed to do.”
About the Author:
Jessica Verdi is an author of books for kids and teens about identity, family, acceptance, and love.Though she’s always been a bookworm (her childhood was basically defined by the philosophy that working your way through giant stacks of library books is far superior to playing outside), she remained convinced throughout high school and college that theatre and music were meant to be her creative outlets. After nearly ten years in the NYC theatre world, she got an idea for a novel. While that first attempt at a “book” will never see the light of day—nope, don’t ask—it was the book that started her love affair with writing. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else.Jess received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School and is a freelance editor of romance and women’s fiction. She lives in New York with her family.
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