Smash It by Francina Simone **Book Review** @harlequinbooks @inkyardpress

Happy hump day all!

This was such a fun entertaining joyful read! Even though I know nothing about a fellow I thoroughly enjoyed this Othello retelling.🎭

My Thoughts

Authentic and messy. Bold and real. Positive and questionable. This was a young adult retelling of Othello. Now having never in my life read Othello or know a thing about Othello I couldn’t tell you if it had anything to do with Othello or not. What I can tell you is I really liked the voice of the story. Liv is a 17-year-old girl trying to find her way. Dealing with her insecurities, wanting to be noticed, but afraid to be seen. After attending a Halloween party in a hoodie and khaki shorts Liv decides it’s time to make a change. She creates a F*ck It list and vows to start stepping out of her comfort zone. One of the first things she does is tries out for the high school musical production of… you guessed it… Othello. With her besties Dre and Eli by her side Liv starts… well… living. *Pun intended*

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Liv was such a real character. She had real thoughts, feelings, insecurities, hopes, and dreams. Was she selfish? Yes, but seriously who isn’t when they’re a teenager? She made many a mistake and usually learn from them. The dialogue of the story was so authentically teenager. As a mother of teenagers who has spent some time listening to conversation between my kids friends I found it so real. Teenagers can be so crass, so insensitive, so selfish, and yet so caring. Loved Liv’s friendship with Lennox and Jackie. The sex positivity and the body positivity were fabulous. Eli and Dre we’re great friends and I really liked Liv’s crush on Eli. What I didn’t necessarily love about the book was how entangled and messy everything got towards the end. I think perhaps the story could have done without that, but maybe that has to do with the Othello retailing? A well told story with a genuine feel.

This book in emojis 🎼 🎤 🎺 🎹 🎭 ✏️ 🍭

*** Big thank you to Ink Yard Press for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book


By Francina Simone

On Sale: September 22, 2020 


Teen & Young Adult Theater Fiction

978-1335146502; 1335146504

$18.99 USD

368 pages

About the Book

Olivia “Liv” James is done with letting her insecurities get the best of her. So she does what any self-respecting hot mess of a girl who wants to SMASH junior year does…

After Liv shows up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts—why, God, why?—she decides to set aside her wack AF ways. She makes a list—a F*ck-It list.

1. Be bold—do the thing that scares me.

2. Learn to take a compliment.

3. Stand out instead of back.

She kicks it off by trying out for the school musical, saying yes to a date and making new friends. Life is great when you stop punking yourself! However, with change comes a lot of missteps, and being bold means following her heart. So what happens when Liv’s heart is interested in three different guys—and two of them are her best friends? What is she supposed to do when she gets dumped by a guy she’s not even dating? How does one Smash It! after the humiliation of being friend-zoned?

In Liv’s own words, “F*ck it. What’s the worst that can happen?”

A lot, apparently.


About the author

Francina Simone believes in one thing: authenticity. She writes YA stories full of humor and hard life lessons with sprinkles of truth that make us all feel understood. Her craft focuses on stories about girls throwing caution to the wind to discover exactly who they are and what it means to love. Francina is also known for her BookTube channel, where she discusses controversial topics in books.

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