Hello friends! Today I’m reviewing “She Drives Me Crazy” by Kelly Quindlen–out today (04/20/21)! Ya’ll. This book. THIS. BOOK. It was everything I want in a story and more.
An eARC was provided to me by Macmillan. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Read on to check out my review and learn more about the book and author.
After losing spectacularly to her ex-girlfriend in their first basketball game since their break up, Scottie Zajac gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person: her nemesis, the incredibly beautiful and incredibly mean cheerleading captain, Irene Abraham. Things only get worse when their nosey, do-gooder moms get involved and the girls are forced to carpool together until Irene’s car gets out of the shop.
Their bumpy start only gets bumpier the more time they spend together. But when an opportunity presents itself for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex (and climb her school’s social ladder at the same time), she bribes Irene into playing along. Hijinks, heartbreak, and gay fake-dating scheme for the ages. From author Kelly Quindlen comes a new laugh-out-loud romp through the ups and downs of teen romance.
Allow me to be upfront about this: Sports stories are probably the lowest on my list of YA fiction books I’d willingly read. I think it mostly has to do with me never having had an interest in sports, along with really having a hard time grasping sports jargon. Plus, I don’t like watching sports, why would I ever enjoy reading about sports? So, to say I was a little apprehensive about diving into “She Drives Me Crazy,” would be an understatement.
BUT! Thank the heavens, this was not simply a “sports story.” Yes it did include sports scenes and plenty of talk about it because basketball is very important to our main character, but it didn’t spend endless pages focusing on basketball. Instead, it focused on a beautiful, funny, young adult romance.
“She Drives Me Crazy” follows one of my favorite romance tropes: enemies-to-lovers. It’s the sapphic fake-dating rom-com I have been craving. I even found myself invested in the school sports rivalry–yes, me, a sports story pessimist.
In all honesty, I’ve spent the past 24 hours trying to find something that turned me off about this book, but I truly loved it so, so much. The main characters are perfectly snarky without coming off unreadable. Our side characters are just as lovable and have fully fleshed out personalities. The town our story is set in is small, but full of personality. The drama isn’t over the top, it’s perfect and real, and doesn’t come at the expense of the fact that someone is gay–something that was so refreshing. We need more books about LGBTQ+ folks just being. Stories that showcase difficult LGBTQ+ journeys are extremely important and valuable, but so are the fun, fluffy, romance books where our characters face problems not only tied to their sexuality.
My heart was so full throughout the entirety of this story. I immediately loved Scottie and Irene. I loved Scottie’s sisters and parents. Danielle was an amazing character and best friend to Scottie, and I would love an entire story just about her. I even sorta liked Tally and Charlotte in a “I hate your guts” kind of way. They were both the “villains” of the story, but they were written really well.
What more can I say about this book other than it was the sapphic fake dating rom-com of my dreams? Amazing characters, compelling writing, and sweet romance. I know we’re only four months into 2021, but I think this is easily in my top three books of the year. It was phenomenal.
★★★★★ = Masterful.
About Kelly Quindlen
Kelly Quindlen is the author of the young adult novels She Drives Me Crazy, Late to the Party, and Her Name in the Sky. A graduate of Vanderbilt University and a former teacher, Kelly has had the joy of speaking to PFLAG groups and high school GSAs. She currently serves on the leadership board of a non-profit for Catholic parents with LGBT children. She lives in Atlanta. Follow her on Twitter @kellyquindlen.