Book Review: Smash It! by Francina Simone

Inkyard Press
TBP Sept 22nd 2020
368 Pages

Olivia “Liv” James is done with letting her insecurities get the best of her. So she does what any self-respecting hot mess of a girl who wants to SMASH junior year does. She makes a list—a F*ck It list.

Be bold—do the things that scare me.

Learn to take a compliment.

Stand out instead of back.

Now she’s got a part in her school’s musical production of Othello, new friends and the attention of three very different boys. In Liv’s own words, “F*ck it. What’s the worst that can happen?” The answer is . . . a lot. #SMASHIT- Goodreads

My biggest problem with this book is how Black girls are depicted. There seems to be a trend that if you write about a Black girl they are either the loud one, who seems to have her ish together or the awkward one that is trying to find herself.  This is getting a bit too common and I was pretty disappointed to see that in this book.

Also when you as a writer have a character say something along the lines of my Black friends aren’t like me. . . there is a problem.

Although that was the biggest problem for me I felt that this book read like a diary and it was all over the place. What I mean by both of those is that there is a lot of “I did this” “I heard this” “I saw this” “I felt this” Do not get me wrong there are interactions and developing characters in the background, however, it was so much inner monologue in this book.

When I say its all over the place, it felt like the author just added so much stuff to make this book seem complicated and full of depth. There were issues in here that was unprompted and were not followed up on. Listen if you want to write a “coming of age” story in which a Black gains confidence through signing up to become part of a musical production and has conflicting feelings about the boys in her life, cool go for it. But adding issues that are not her issues for the sake of keeping a book going isn’t the move.

ALSO the romance. Its not love triangle or whatever you call it when multiple people like you, IF the main character already decided who she wants to be with AND says repeatedly that she would drop everything for this one person.

I know that this review may be look at as harsh and to be honest, I thought hard about posting this. However,  I stand by my words. Will there be readers who enjoy or love this book? Of course. I am just not one of them.

Overall,

1 Pickle

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Smash It! by Francina Simone”

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