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Love Is a Revolution by Renée Watson

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

It’s always a great day when Renée Watson brings out a new book! I’ve loved everything she’s written so far and her latest YA novel, Love is a Revolution, did not disappoint – it’s 2021’s feel-good, summer must read!

I’m personally not a big fan of the lovey-dovey rom-coms, so I did have some initial hesitations going into this but this book is so much more than just a love story. It’s a love story about growing up and taking the time to discover and embrace who you are. It’s a love story that sparkles with female empowerment, body positivity and self-care. It’s a love story that fills you with warmth and joy because it’s so honest and authentic. And that’s for sure a love story that I can get behind.

There are three things 17-year-old Nala Robertson wants to do this summer – find a new hairstyle, spend time with Imani (her cousin-sister-friend), and, most importantly, find love. When she reluctantly agrees to attend an open mic night, Nala finds her falling head-over-heels in love with committed activist Tye Brown. But there’s just one tiny problem… Nala would rather spend her summer watching movies with a tub of ice-cream than volunteering around the community. In order to impress Tye, Nala finds herself telling little white lies to find a common ground – she’s vegan, she’s an activist, and she’s running a dedicated activity programme at her grandma’s senior living residence. As her relationship with Tye deepens, so do the lies and Nala quickly finds herself in a whirlwind of doubt, disorientation and destruction. Could Tye ever like Nala for her real self, or is Nala still figuring out who she really wants to be?

"The most radical thing you can do is love yourself and each other."

Beautifully layered, funny, honest and fiercely uplifting, Watson takes us on an inspiring journey to discover just how radical and revolutionary self-love is. Nala made for a remarkably, genuine protagonist who proudly embraced and learned from her flaws and imperfections, and it’s this heart and honesty that makes her such a likable and relatable character. I don’t think I’ll ever get over Watson’s ability to write such hard-hitting and raw characters.

Love is a Revolution is irresistibly fast-paced and boldly dips into a rainbow of contemporary issues including the power of a small community and the importance of eco-awareness. But it was the unconditional, inter-generational, familial love that really tugged on my heartstrings. I loved that the power to grow and love yourself was rooted in the support, wisdom and compassion that came from within the complicated family dynamics. I want the grandma to have her own spin-off story!

This is a book to fall in love with.

Perfect for YA fans of Nicola Yoon, Justin Reynolds and Alice Oseman.




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