Friday I’m In Love is a fun, emotional coming-of-age story

Friday I'm In Love by Camryn Garrett. Image courtesy Penguin Random House
Friday I'm In Love by Camryn Garrett. Image courtesy Penguin Random House /

Friday I’m In Love is Camryn Garrett’s latest young adult novel. The title comes from the very popular 1990s song of the same name by The Cure.  And I will warn you ahead of time; I read this book a few weeks ago and I still have the song stuck in my head. Be prepared!

The story revolves around Mahalia Harris, a 16-year-old girl who, after attending her best friend’s sweet sixteen party, desperately wants one of her own. But, as she has already hit that milestone, she decides to have a different kind of party. A coming out party! She is out to her best friend Naomi but no one else. Not at school. Not to her mom.

Besides the scariness that can come with coming out, there is another obstacle in her way to getting to the party of her dreams: the cost. She and her mom don’t have a lot of money. Nowhere near as much money as Naomi’s parents do. But Mahalia is willing to cut back and save all she can to make this party happen.

Unfortunately, when we make plans, life often laughs. Sometimes in good ways and sometimes in bad ones. The good ones include Mahalia connecting and starting a relationship with the new girl in school, Siobhan. The bad include her mom having health issues and needing surgery and the bills and new responsibilities Mahalia must take on.

Friday I’m In Love is a fun, emotional coming-of-age queer romance

At some point, everything comes to a head. Money is running low, her mom has a less-than-great response to Mahalia coming out, her dad is possibly back in her life, she’s not talking to her best friend, and her relationship with Siobhan is on the rocks. It also doesn’t help that Siobhan’s former boyfriend is out to get Mahalia.

But sometimes, life gives you a break. Mahalia realizes that she doesn’t have to do everything on her own and that sometimes…music can save you.

Friday I’m In Love is such a fun, emotional read. Garrett takes the reader on an anxious ride because we are rooting for Mahalia to save enough money, come out, and be her true self, but as things start to go wrong, the anxiety starts to build. I could actually feel my shoulders start to get heavier as Mahalia had more and more added to her plate.

Garrett always does a brilliant job connecting the reader to the characters’ emotions and she did not disappoint here.

The relationships in the book are also extremely well done. They are all complex, multi-dimensional, and very real.

Mahalia’s friendship with Naomi is supportive and hilarious, her relationship with her mom is sweet and complicated, her relationship with Siobhan is cute AF, and her relationship with her dad is tense and complicated, but it’s clear there is love there despite how little time they’ve spent together. The level of detail and emotion in is just so well done I could cry. Who am I kidding? I did cry!

There’s also a dress moment that had me in borderline tears. I love an important fashion moment in books and movies and this one is perfection. I’m going to need some fashion designers to make an affordable version of the dress on the cover ASAP.

If you love young adult contemporary coming-of-age books, queer romances, and/or “old people” music, you need to read Friday I’m In Love.

Friday I’m In Love is available now in ebook, paperback, and audiobook formats.

Next. Interview: Camryn Garrett talks about her new book. dark