Review: The Voting Booth

Title: The Voting Booth
Author: Brandy Colbert
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 304
Review copy: Digital ARC via Netgalley
Availability: July 7, 2020

Summary: Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She’s always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election?

Duke Crenshaw is so done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band’s first paying gig tonight.

Only problem? Duke can’t vote.

When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn’t spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right. And that’s how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva’s missing cat), it’s clear that there’s more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.

Romantic and triumphant, The Voting Booth is proof that you can’t sit around waiting for the world to change, but some things are just meant to be.

My review: Sometimes books seem realistic and timely, but this one really seems to match up to life in our world right now. For real. Marva and Duke deal with the same things people experienced in the Georgia primary this month. Incredibly long lines? Check. Poll workers unsure of procedures? Check. Running out of ballots? Check. Frustrated would-be voters? Check. Unfortunately The Voting Booth definitely rings true.

As the title suggests, this is a story that revolves around voting. Marva is very passionate about letting her voice be heard through her vote and helping others to do so. She’s incredibly intense and it was fun to watch her get entangled with Duke who is quite the opposite. Their day is packed with a long series of frustrations and mishaps so they have plenty of opportunities to learn about each other. Amidst all of this, they also manage to have quite a few laughs which I totally appreciated.

There are quite a few discussion about and examples of activism in the storyline. It was interesting to see that though Marva cares strongly about things, she knows that not all kinds of activism are for her. She gets too upset about the counter-protestors to actually attend protests so she focuses on canvassing and other activities. There are other characters in the book that do their work in many other ways too so readers see many ways to make a difference.

Aside from voting issues, there are other concerns in both of their lives, but you’ll need to read to find out more about those. No spoilers today. Just know that they each have some personal issues they’re working through and their conversations help them make some important decisions.

Recommendation: Get it soon! Marva and Duke were super cute together. If contemporary romance and/or politics is your thing, you’ll definitely want to grab this one. I’d especially recommend it for anyone who enjoyed Yes, No, Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed.