Title: Finding Yvonne
Author: Brandy Colbert
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Physical ARC from the publisher
Synopsis: Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.
Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.
Finding Yvonne is such a unique contemporary YA read! It is about a girl named Yvonne who lives with her father. He is a well known, successful chef but their relationship isn’t the best. They don’t talk much and he is always working. Yvonne’s mother left when she was young so her comfort has always been her violin. But her personal music instructor has just “fired” her, and she’s left questioning if playing the violin is really what she wants for her future.
Aside from all of this, Yvonne is in a “kind of” relationship with Warren who she’s known for a long time and just happens to work for her father when she meets Omar who is also a musician. He seems super charming and mysterious and Yvonne enjoys getting to know him when she finds out her period is late.
This book is amazing as it explores so many social and every day issues that teens are dealing with. Yvonne is always struggling with doing the “right thing,” worried about how her choices will look because she is black. She fears she will just become a statistic, but at the same time is questioning why she is a statistic just because of her skin color.
There is also talk of sex positivity as Yvonne discusses her sexual choices with her best friend who is a virgin. They have a bit of an argument because they don’t have the same ideas when it comes to sex, but are eventually able to reconcile by having a real discussion.
Finding Yvonne is not a long book, I finished it in one sitting, but Brandy Colbert is able to pack so much into the pages. I’m super impressed and really look forward to reading more of her work. If you’re looking for an engaging and important YA read, definitely pick this one up!
“But when he leans in to hug me, I let him, and I know that regardless of how hard I try, I can’t stay mad at Warren. Which is comforting, knowing someone that well. But it’s also terrifying. How badly would he have to disappoint me to irreparably damage whatever is going on between us? If I forgive him so easily, will he keep finding new ways to hurt me?”
-Brandy Colbert, Finding Yvonne
*Please note, this quote is from an ARC copy, so it may change in the final copy.
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