4/5 stars. Buy at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Style by Chelsea Cameron is a super-cute teen romance where sexy cheerleader meets cute nerd—frenemies to lovers style!
Stella is the hot cheerleader and ice queen. She’s the master of the resting bitch face and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Kyle is a nerd with big glasses, hair up in a bun, and a limp. The two have totally different social circles and no interest in each other—until one day, they start to notice each other and then can’t seem to stop noticing. This would probably be something they could ignore until they’re assigned to work together in AP English. From there, it’s a fast and furious rush into love and sexual awakenings, the tangled confusion of coming out to family and friends, trying to find terms for yourself and your relationship, all mixed with teenage concerns like what’s ok to do in your parents’ house and how you can juggle a relationship and upcoming college plans.
Style was a very nostalgic read for me, because I came out at fourteen and was the nerdy teen with big glasses and a limp myself. I found myself relating to Kyle quite a bit and reflecting back on my own life while reading. It makes it hard to leave an objective review on the content in a lot of ways, but it makes it even more important to me that this exists. I know the author, in her acknowledgements, talked about how important this was to her to write and be able to reflect and honour her own realizations, and it was a story for her—but it felt, too, like it was a story for me. I think a lot of people will probably feel that way.
Personal attachment aside—the writing is strong, the narration is sharp, and it’s a fun and uplifting read. The turns of phrase often had me laughing out loud, and beyond that, it’s an optimistic book. It believes in the best of people and does its best to uplift the characters, their relationships, and their choices—without undercutting their fear.
One thing I did trip over while reading was that it alternates POVs and both are first-person POVs, but both have very, very similar sassy-teen-girl narrative voices. The POV is labelled whenever it switches, but I automatically skip over chapter headers when reading things in one sitting, so I’d sometimes get half a page into a new POV before it clicked that we switched, and it was occasionally difficult to remember who had what thought (though their lives are different enough that the events were easy to distinguish).
Very cute story, very fun, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more ladies in love from this author!