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July 8, 2024

Ready or Not by Andi Porretta ~ a Review

by MK French

Cassie and her three best friends have graduated high school, and she's the only one without a plan for what comes next. Marcy is an artist, Aaron plans to be a lawyer, and Nico is a musician. Before they separate in the fall, Cassie wants to spend August playing the game of dares and risks they invented as kids. It will hopefully cement their friendship and keep the connections between them because she's not ready for a future without them.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of young adult graphic novel Ready or Not by Andi Porretta
July 2024; Atheneum Books; 978-1665907033
ebook, print (336 pages); young adult

Ready or Not
is a YA graphic novel broaching a topic most teens will consider: what comes after high school? These New Yorkers aren't any different, though the average teen doesn't have their graduation ceremony at Radio City Music Hall and isn't necessarily going to be going all over the world. New York schools finish off the year at the end of June, and the friends have their own thing going in July. They keep contact, but it's not the same as before and the others barely listen to Cassie's stories when they are in person. This drives Cassie to hold them together with the kid's game. I understand the fear of drifting apart, and so will any teen reading this.

The art is bright and the kids' expressions are well-drawn. We see bits of New York City as they run around (sometimes literally) and mixed in with the dares are the very real issues that all four are dealing with. All of their parents are still friends, so sometimes it's hard to hide the aftermath of their dares. I like that the parents are all real characters, and aren't just absentee figures in the story. Many YA stories have the main characters as orphans or have parents completely checked out, which isn't realistic. Here, the parents don't know everything the kids are up to but care about their future and well-being. Of course, the summer is going to end, and the tensions between the friends continue to rise until everyone's issues are all out in the open. It's a fun book, touching on some serious themes in a way teens can approach and relate to.

Buy Ready or Not at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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