disclaimer: she drives me crazy was given to me as an arc from kelly quindlen, roaring brook press, and netgalley in exchange for an honest review. any quotes and content discussed are subject to change in the final release
title: she drives me crazy
genre: ya romantic comedy
author: kelly quindlen
publisher: roaring brook press
release date: april 20th 2021
representation: lesbian main characters, indian american love interest & characters, and african american characters
content warnings: instances of racism, bullying, homophobia, a car accident, and underage drinking
after an embarrassing loss to her ex-girlfriend in their first basketball game of the season, seventeen-year-old scottie zajac gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person: her nemesis, irene abraham, head cheerleader for the fighting reindeer.
irene is as mean as she is beautiful, so scottie makes a point to keep her distance. when the accident sends irene’s car to the shop for a weeks’ worth of repairs and the girls are forced to carpool, their rocky start only gets bumpier.
but when an opportunity arises for scottie to get back at her toxic ex- and climb her school’s social ladder- she bribes irene into an elaborate fake-dating scheme that threatens to reveal some very real feelings.
she drives me crazy follows scottie zajac, a young basketball player, during her senior year of high school as she navigates through all the elements that would make for a good nineties romance movie, those being: first love, friendship, self acceptance, and even heartbreak, all while carrying out an elaborate fake dating scheme with irene abraham, someone scottie believes to be her one and only arch nemesis.
i am quite positive that this comes as no surprise to anyone, but i rated this novel five out of five stars. i pretty much knew that i was going to love this book the second i saw the cover and read the synopsis, and even more so when my arc request was, surprisingly, granted.
there is so much one could possibly say about she drives me crazy, but i believe the most important thing to be said, is that of how entertaining it was to read, reread, and, of course, reread again.
the novel begins with a bang.
or, i guess i should say that it begins with a crash, seeing as how the two main characters end the first chapter by crashing their cars into one another, thus setting the plot in motion for the rest of the novel.
following the crash, scottie is forced to carpool to school with irene, which does not go unnoticed by the rest of their fellow peers and classmates. thinking something more is happening between the two, the popularity of scottie, along with her basketball team, skyrockets, as does the jealousy of scottie’s previous girlfriend, tally.
wanting to hold onto this jealousy and popularity for as long as possible, scottie bribes irene into dating her, thus creating a fake relationship between the two that will soon have the entire school, and even their small little town, completely fooled.
for the next two hundred pages or so, kelly quindlen takes her readers on a journey that is too irresistible to put down or step away from. one that follows scottie zajac as her relationship with irene abraham begins to unexpectedly blossom, and as she decides to dive deeper into all of these feelings that she has been putting off for far too long, ones that affect both herself and those that she suddenly finds herself closest to.
with these feelings, scottie manages to do something she should’ve done a long time ago, and finally put herself first, despite how much she loves those around her, even if she doesn’t want to.
she drives me crazy was a fast-paced and extremely enjoyable novel, one that anyone can enjoy reading. especially with an ending that is both so fresh and unexpected, and with side characters so well done and lovable. it even reads exactly as i would expect a love letter to, or, of course, like a late nineties rom-com movie, and being someone of the queer community myself, it was so refreshing to read a novel that consisted primarily of a pure interracial sapphic love story. something extremely lighthearted and heartfelt. something that members of the lgbtq+ community, both old and young alike, have been deprived of for far too long now. and something that i would wholeheartedly recommend to any-and-everyone.