Homeschooled teenager Beatrice Quinn grew up in Berkeley but has always dreamed of going to school in Oxford, England. When she secretly applies and gets accepted her parents are leery of letting her leave and strike a deal. She must prove to them that she can survive on an environment outside her norm and be a teenager for the summer. So, off she goes to a Shakespeare acting summer camp with a list of things her parents deem teenager appropriate, the first on the list is to make friends. Social awkwardness is just one of many things she’s insecure about and to be in a camp with outgoing teens? Terrifying!
Bea has a couple of things going for her, she’s pretty, despite her khaki and polo clothing, and she’s sassy and bold which makes getting along with her new roommate, Mia pretty easy. Mia takes awkward Bea under her wing and introduces her to teenage life in a Shakespeare camp. Mia and her friend Nolan are the perfect foils to Bea’s more quiet personality and gently (and sometimes not so gently) help her stretch her wings. Long Story Short is a wonderful tale about friendship and learning how to stay true to yourself but to also become more accepting of change. This is the debut novel by Serena Kaylor and the story is really special.
You can’t have a contemporary young adult novel without having a love interest. Bea is immediately attracted to leading man and uber popular Nik, but not having been around people much and especially kids her own age, she is not good at interpreting truths and untruths, likes and dislikes, and whether a boy is teasing her or picking on her. Nik starts off making one mistake and spends the rest of the book trying to make nice with Bea but she’s been burned in the past and isn’t keen on trusting her instincts. There’s some great banter between these two and the chemistry sparks off the page. The reader really can’t wait until these two settle their differences and get together.
Despite the typical teen groupings of popular, unpopular, and geeky kids the author portrays friendships as the absolute must-have that is true no matter your age and something that we can all identify and agree is important. I loved the Shakespeare themed summer camp and it was the perfect foil to Bea’s more math-minded brain and the tropes he portrays in his plays are actually quite similar to the cliques you’d find in high school and a perfect world for Bea to stretch her wings. Long Story Short is funny, sweet, and packs an emotional wallop. This author has moved onto my one click list and I’m looking forward to her next novel. I hope she writes quickly! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest!
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