The BookBrowse Review

Published September 16, 2020

ISSN: 1930-0018

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In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

Highlighting indicates debut books

Editor's Introduction
Hardcovers Paperbacks
First Impressions
Latest Author Interviews
Recommended for Book Clubs
Book Discussions

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Publishing Soon


Historical Fiction

Short Stories/Essays





Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


History, Science & Current Affairs

Travel & Adventure

Young Adults


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History

  • Blog:
    What To Do When Members Come to Book Club Without Reading the Book?
  • Wordplay:
    L N Take I C
  • Book Giveaway:
    Memorial Drive
    by Natasha Trethewey
Book Jacket

Smash It!
by Francina Simone
22 Sep 2020
368 pages
Publisher: Inkyard Press
ISBN-13: 9781335146502
Genre: Novels
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Refreshingly authentic and bold…Don't miss this smashing #ownvoices novel from Francina Simone! Filled with heart, humor and a heroine to root for, Smash It! is a perfect read for fans of Julie Murphy, Ibi Zoboi and Ashley Poston.

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.


"Simone's prose masterfully crafts an honest and likable voice in Olivia that is bolstered by the cast of diverse supporting characters and combines that with compelling, well-paced plot points. Readers will find themselves rapt with anticipation and excitement and filled with compassion for Olivia's journey to self-acceptance and self-love. Stellar." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Simone deftly captures the cadence of modern teenagers...Though the premise is familiar, Simone crafts an entertaining and inclusive cast to accompany Olivia through the peaks and valleys of friendship, romance, and self-love." - Publishers Weekly

"Smash It!: coming in hot with a way more accurate, grounded look at a high school musical! Hilarious, heartwarming, empowering, and neurotic in the best way—I loved reading this book. Smash It! smashed it." - New York Times bestselling author Christine Riccio

"Witty, laugh-out-loud funny and downright powerful." - Sasha Alsberg, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Zenith

"Francina Simone is one of the freshest new YA voices I've read in years. The characters jump off the page, the plot is an empowering manifesto, and the humor is as sharp as it is real." - Lauren Steven, author of The Exact Opposite of Okay

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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