Title: This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story
Author: Kacen Callender
Pages: 304 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Availability: Available now!
Summary: Nathan Bird doesn’t believe in happy endings. Although he’s the ultimate film buff and an aspiring screenwriter, Nate’s seen the demise of too many relationships to believe that happy endings exist in real life. Playing it safe to avoid a broken heart has been his MO ever since his father died and left his mom to unravel—but this strategy is not without fault. His best-friend-turned-girlfriend-turned-best-friend-again, Florence, is set on making sure Nate finds someone else. And in a twist that is rom-com-worthy, someone does come along: Oliver James Hernández, his childhood best friend.
After a painful mix-up when they were little, Nate finally has the chance to tell Ollie the truth about his feelings. But can Nate find the courage to pursue his own happily ever after? [Image and summary via Goodreads]
Review: When it comes to the YA world, it feels like fall 2018 has been truly blessed. Three books starring queer PoC released in the last few months: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan, and This is Kind of an Epic Love Story. I’m pretty darn sure this is a rare event, and one to be celebrated. Here’s to the future, and many more QPoC-centric YA books in the coming year!
Now onto the review. This is Kind of an Epic Love Story is true to its title. It’s definitely an epic love story with ups and downs and many trials, both internal and external, for the narrator, Nathan Bird. I read the book in one go, hooked by the strong voice and romantic roller coaster ride the book takes you on.
Like the new She-Ra reboot on Netflix, the book is unabashedly queer. Even better, this is a book where queer PoC are front and center. And, the story doesn’t shy away from the use of sign language throughout. It’s just so refreshing to see this in media, and I’m 100% here for it.
This is Kind of an Epic Love Story is one of those books where my main takeaway is — wow, I’m so happy that this exists. It’s a fun read, particularly if you love stories with a focus on relationships and romance. (To be honest, if you’re not into romance or relationship drama, this book may not be completely your cup of tea.) If you get the chance to read it, definitely pick it up!
Recommendation: Get it soon!
Further reading: Check out this interview with author Kacen Callender at LGBTQ Reads!