Book Review: Whiteout

Title: Whiteout

Author: Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, & Nicola Yoon

Genres:  Contemporary

Pages: 296

Publisher: Quill Tree Books

Review Copy: Purchased

Availability: Available now

Summary: Atlanta is blanketed with snow just before Christmas, but the warmth of young love just might melt the ice in this novel of interwoven narratives, Black joy, and cozy, sparkling romance—by the same unbeatable team of authors who wrote the New York Times bestseller Blackout!

As the city grinds to a halt, twelve teens band together to help a friend pull off the most epic apology of her life. But will they be able to make it happen, in spite of the storm?

No one is prepared for this whiteout. But then, we can’t always prepare for the magical moments that change everything.

From the bestselling, award-winning, all-star authors who brought us Blackout—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—comes another novel of Black teen love, each relationship within as unique and sparkling as Southern snowflakes.

Review: I really loved “Blackout” by these powerhouse of Black women authors so when “Whiteout” was announced I knew I would buy it the day it came out. The lovely little vignettes of the different couples with a through line of getting to the block party really grabbed me in Blackout, so knowing this second book would be similar drew me in. However, there is a difference. Rather than being different stories of people trying to get to a similar place, “Whiteout” is a novel rather than vignettes. The story follows Stevie and Sola, and their friends, as Stevie must set up a grand apology to Sola, with the help of her friends all while battling a snowstorm. The result is a touching story that has moments of “awwww” and moments of cringe, but is all about the love!

Stevie and Sola are complete opposites but somehow fit together. They’ve been best friends since they were 6th grade but realized their feelings were much deeper. Throughout the novel we see the progression of their relationship from each of their perspectives and from their friends. Their “perfect” relationship hits a snag when Sola decides to re-introduce Stevie to her family as her girlfriend, rather than her friend. Unfortunately, Stevie messes the dinner up, then is grounded by her parents who take her electronics away essentially preventing her from contacting Sola to apologize. Of course, Sola is a huge romantic so she misunderstands Stevie’s silence and is heartbroken. She makes an ultimatum of Stevie, which is what sets the story in motion. Stevie’s grand gesture is revealed slowly through their friends as Stevie has asked them to bring items of memory of the couple. With each of the friend’s POV sections we learn a bit about the friend’s lives (and loves) and the impact Stevie and/or Sola have had on them. I really loved that aspect of the story because it truly showed how we have an impact on each other in large and small ways. Because this novel is about a friend’s group we also have more interactions with various family members as well. Again, the theme of “it takes a village” rings true because in order for Sola to even see the grand gesture takes work from not just their friends but their families too. The novel was a slice of life for a small group of people and I really enjoyed it for that reason. 

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