Underlined | Contemporary | Release Date: 03/02/21
This YA Romance is from a new imprint called Underlined, a genre-focused collaboration between Delacorte and the Underlined teen writing community. The books are described as “highly-commercial and compulsively-readable” which is why I think this book hits the ground running. Within the first few pages, we are quickly introduced to all our characters, their backstories and then we dive into the plot as this group of New York City teens enter a short film competition.
Fifteen-year-old Emma has big ideas for the group’s short film, she loves romance and wants to make the queer rom-com of her dreams. That is until Sophia, her anti-romance frenemy objects, so they decide to split up their friend group and make two opposing films. Cue enemies-to-lovers.
I thought this was a great book for the younger YA set if they can handle the language. It’s very plotty and earnest but allows the teens to talk and act like actual teenagers. Desombre is a teacher and I feel like she narrowed in on what is important to teenagers. The romance between Emma and Sophia felt natural and they both have to put the work in for their HEA.
This cover confounds me because this book clearly takes place in an idealized New York City so why are there palm trees on the cover? Yes, the prize for winning is a trip to California but that is the only California reference.