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Fantasy Friday: I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and the puritanical administration of Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.

But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair and square.

Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.

Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston’s I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.

Amazon Link: I Kissed Shara Wheeler

Author: Casey McQuiston

Genre: YA LGBT Romantic Comedy

Rating: 5/5 stars

I loved this book! The characters all feel like real people who I would love to know. (I’d say hang out with them if I was still a teen, but I’m past that age now.) The humor is on point. The enemies-to-lovers romance is one of the best I’ve seen, like I finally understand the appeal of this trope. This is the romance that I wanted between Rory and Paris in Gilmore Girls (since I never liked any of the horrible boys she dated on the show, and I thought Paris was the only one smart enough for Rory). And oof, those feels!

The “mystery” wasn’t very hard to figure out and it was more like a fun scavenger hunt. But it wraps up before the end of the book and then the real twist happens. I didn’t see that coming, but I should have realized when Shara Wheeler was compared to Regina George. I could picture the scene in my head so well.

It’s a touching tribute to anyone who grew up queer in a small conservative community. My hometown wasn’t really conservative, but in the 90s, no one came out in high school and I felt so isolated. This book captured all those feelings of why it’s hard to come out and why it’s hard to be closeted, and having to fight against others’ expectations and narrow boxes in general. The great message is that you should be who you want to be.

This book would make a great movie! I recommend it to fans of Casey McQuiston’s other books, enemies-to-lovers fans, Mean Girls, and queer kids who feel lonely.


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.