FRIDAY I’M IN LOVE by CAMRYN GARRETT
A REVIEW by ALEXA DUNCAN
In case you haven’t noticed, in celebration of Black History Month, I’ve been reading and reviewing books by Black authors. This review is no different. Friday I’m in Love by Camryn Garrett, named after the very good song by The Cure, is a refreshing contemporary romance, celebrating love, queerness, and Black girls. When 16-year-old Mahalia misses her chance at having a sweet sixteen party, she decides to make up for it by throwing herself a coming out party. Her life becomes even more complicated when a new girl. Siobhan, enters her high school. What follows is a very sweet story of love and friendship and I really enjoyed my time with this book.
Camryn Garrett has two other books out in the world, but this is the first one I’ve read from her. I wasn’t sure what to expect–I never am with new authors–but needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Friday I’m in Love is such an easy, breezy read that I barely realized I was halfway through it until I put the book down. Garrett’s writing is accessible and fun to read, which makes the reading experience that much more enjoyable. Mahalia, our main character, verged on a little petulant at times, given her family’s struggles with money and her inexplicable crush on a girl who already had a boyfriend, but I didn’t mind much because she’s sixteen and sixteen-year-olds are messy.
Speaking of family, I enjoyed how close Mahalia was with her mother. Her mom–and absent father–play big parts in shaping Mahalia’s character and I really liked that. She also has a friend named Naomi, and while Naomi’s story sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of Mahalia’s, I still liked her.
I’ve seen some people liken this book to a Disney movie and honestly, it’s true. There are a few more swear words in here than what you’d find in a Disney movie, but that’s the whole point of this book. I may not be the target audience here–being a grown white woman–but to me, this book is about Black girl joy. It’s supposed to be a little cheesy, and that’s just fine, because Black queer girls deserve love stories, too.
You can pick up a copy of Friday I’m in Love at the Oreana library today.