Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston.
I Kissed Shara Wheeler explores the aftermath of prom queen Shara Wheeler’s mysterious disappearance, one month before graduation. Right before she disappears she kisses Chloe Green, who she’s been at odds with for years. During her hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she wasn’t the only one Shara kissed – there’s also Smith, her long time boyfriend, and Rory, the school’s bad boy. The three of them are soon thrown together in an unlikely quest to find Shara, using the clues she left behind, discovering more about Shara – and themselves – in the process.
I really enjoyed I Kissed Shara Wheeler! I’d heard a lot of great things about it before reading it and I’m so glad it not only lived up to but exceeded the hype – I think all book lovers know how disappointing it is when a hyped up book just falls completely flat. Luckily that wasn’t the case here, as I really enjoyed it and it’s actually up there in my top reads of the year so far!
You know that feeling you get, when a book’s so good you don’t want it to end? That’s what I had with I Kissed Shara Wheeler. Regular readers might know that I usually whiz through books fairly quickly (usually I finish in a day or two) but it took me nearly two weeks to finish this, it was that good. Sometimes you just want to savour a book so that the joy can last longer and that’s exactly what happened here!
Honestly, the thing which made this book would have to be the characters, who were all absolutely amazing. I don’t think I’ve read any other books where the side characters were so developed and I really enjoyed it! I also loved how distinct they all were, which was great to see. My favourite would have to be Chloe, who was incredibly fierce and determined, although Rory, Smith, Shara and Georgia would also be in my top five. There are just so many to choose from!
I also really loved the massive queer positivity. The representation in this was absolutely incredible and I loved how positively it represented the LGBTQ+ community. There were so many cute relationships between them and it made for some really nice plotlines. Some of my favourites would have to be Smith and Rory’s and their realisation of where they fit in with it.
Of course, this made for some really great friendships. The friendships in this were honestly next level and there were so many lovely moments between them. Chloe, Smith and Rory’s friendship in particular really stood out to me, as their dynamic was so interesting and I really enjoyed reading their friendship evolve. I also loved the bond between Chloe and Georgia!
Of course, lot’s of Chloe, Smith, and Rory’s time together was spent going over the clues Shara had left, which was a major highlight for me. I loved the mysterious element the notes provided and trying to figure out where Shara was, along with the others. It took the trio to some really interesting places which kept me hooked throughout!
I also really enjoyed the relationships. There were so many cute relationships in this it’s impossible to know where to start… Rory and Smith’s relationship was a standout for me, as they were just so adorable together, and of course I loved Chloe and Shara too. After reading Today Tonight Tomorrow I developed a taste for academic rivals to lovers and this was another really great one!
The character development was also absolutely amazing! I feel like I can’t write a review without mentioning the character development (whether that’s praising it or critiquing it) so I was really pleased this had such great examples. What I particularly loved was that it wasn’t only the main character who evolved – nearly every character in this developed in some way, which was genuinely lovely to read, and honestly, a rarity.
The burn pile was also a really nice addition. The end of each chapter contained something for the burn pile (whose purpose was revealed at the end) and I really enjoyed the extra glimpses into the characters and their personalities. It truly was such a lovely addition!
The ending was also perfect. I loved the way they all came together and stood up against what was wrong, which was really inspirational. I’m really big on happy endings and I’m so glad I Kissed Shara Wheeler had one!
Overall, I would recommend I Kissed Shara Wheeler for anyone who loves a good contemporary, as this one had some amazing friendships and cute relationships. I’d also recommend it for anyone looking for something a little different, as the hunt for Shara kept things interesting and made it different from other books in the genre.
Have you read I Kissed Shara Wheeler yet? Will you be adding it to your TBR? Let me know in the comments!
I hope you enjoyed this review!