Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
The Hoodie Girl by Yuen Wright – Book Details
TITLE – The Hoodie Girl
AUTHOR – Yuen Wright
GENRE – young adult, romance, contemporary
YEAR PUBLISHED – 2021
PAGE COUNT – 352
MY RATING – 2.5 of 5
RATED ON GOODREADS – 4.14 of 5
A huge thank you to NetGalley, as well to the author and publisher, for providing me with an ARC of The Hoodie Girl by Yuen Wright in exchange for an honest review.
What It Is About
“If I could simply dissolve into the air, I would. Yep, I’m pretty darn sure that’ll solve most, if not all, of my problems.”
Wren Martin has two main goals – finish the high school with as high grades as possible so that she can get into Yale. And stay invisible in the process.
Her red hoodie is her safety blanket. It keeps the drama out and helps Wren maintain her fragile peace.
But then one of the most popular boys at school and the captain of the school’s hockey team notices her. And they start to discover they may have more in common than it seems at the first glance…
The Hoodie Girl by Yuen Wright – My Review
“When you spend most of your life defining yourself by a select few pillars, and one of those pillars crumbles, your entire world suffers a shake.”
I mean, don’t get me wrong – I love YA. Otherwise I wouldn’t even bother starting this one. And all the infamous tropes that come with the genre – I usually tolerate them better than 80 percent of my bookish friends.
But this was just… too juvenile. As in – more than I expected based on all the YAs I’ve read so far.
The story was fine, I guess, but not a single thread of the plot went out of what we already read a gazillion times.
The protagonists – exactly what you’d expect from YA characters. He’s a popular boy with a heart. She wears a hoodie and reads books. It is what it is.
The narration wasn’t bad for the most part. But every time I started to relax and enjoy the book, a sentence would appear and lower the overall quality of the writing to an amateur level.
And then, there were just so many small things that just kept piling up, that were just – no!
First third of the book – there were so many hockey and medical related details. So, so many. Which is cool, I guess, if that’s what you want to read about. I didn’t.
It took me the longest to get through all of that and get to the rest of the story. Which was better, but still nothing special.
I did love, though, when in the end Wren realized some things were her own fault. That you lose stuff in life if you don’t push yourself out of your comfort zone. I always love when the characters really get to learn something important. For me, that was the peak of this story.
It also had a few very sweet moments. Most of the rest of the story, though…
Did it have all the tropes I’m normally OK with? Yes. Yes, it did.
The she only wears boyish clothes with no particular (or any) reason. The she doesn’t look at me the way all other girls do, even though she oh so painfully does. And, of course, the famous half enemies-to-lovers, half insta-love at the same time, where it’s not clear neither where all the animosity is coming from at the beginning nor how they started liking each other later on. (But hey – teenagers, hormones, I get it. Not that any of my high school crushes had any sense.)
I expected all of that before picking up the book. The fact that it was there was not even a problem. But all of it was just so bluntly put in there. This book didn’t even try to be something a little bit different.
And then – and this is not just this book but so many YAs – why there always has to be a trauma involved? Every. Single. Time.
I mean, it’s one thing when that part is handled really well. But it’s something completely else when the event is just thrown in there to justify, it feels, why the heroine is antisocial. Why can’t they never be awkward and shy just because?
I don’t know, maybe I’m being too harsh on this book. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for it when I read it. I’m not saying it sucked completely, because I can totally see people reading it and enjoying it for what it is. I can even see people creating special bonds with the characters.
But for me personally – worse than all the things I didn’t like combined was the fact that there was not a single thing I particularly did like. No way am I going to remember this book in a few months.
Loved this detailed review! And totally agree with you about how trauma is always involved to justify a character’s personality in so many YA novels. It makes the book gets lost amongst all the other ones out there. Hope you have a lovely day. ❤
Thanks, really glad you liked! ❤️️ Yes, exactly! Not only it’s been overused, but trauma is such a sensitive topic, almost no one handles it well.