This book is my most anticipated YA contemporary release of the year because I have been super intrigued with the premise since the first time I read about. I haven’t ever watched Bold Type, but have only heard good things about it and had a feeling that this book would be just as good too. And as soon as I got it from my library, I picked it up on a boring Sunday afternoon when I was feeling sick and it gave me the respite I needed.
While it’s fascinating to figure out who among the four main characters would end up being the President, and it’s definitely something that was at the back of my mind throughout the novel, that is not what this is about. This story is about four young women who accidentally met at a park when they were children and became friends and it’s the kind of friendship that we all yearn for in our life. Each of them is a flawed individual with their own set of problems, they can be impulsive or scared or make bad decisions, but ultimately they try to support each other at every turn in the best possible way they can. This is some of the best female friendship I have read in a long time and it reminded me of my own girlfriends and that was definitely my favorite part of the book. Though there is an underlying plot and multiple subplots, this book is very much a character study but that’s exactly the kind of books I seem to enjoy these days and it was no different here. If I have any complaints, it’s just that the beginning was quite slow (after the prologue) and it took a while to get me hooked, and the third person POV for all four characters was a bit confusing because I didn’t find the voices distinguishing enough.
I also loved how many different issues the author managed to include and discuss through the circumstances of the characters, and also how relatable they all felt. The fear of not being smart enough to get into the top choice universities, how to afford to pay for college without financial aid, dealing with depression, questioning of sexuality and how to communicate the same with a parent, handling messy divorces, the anxiety of trying to connect with a birth parent, the drive to do something to save a piece of their childhood that is being sacrificed in the name of progress, the issues with accessibility that still exist despite ADA being law – every reader will find something that appeals to them and it’s all handled with quite a lot of thoughtfulness and sensitivity, so I really commend the author for that. And despite all the issues they are facing, every single one of these characters has the drive to do something more and make a change in society and that’s exactly why I thought each of the girls could be president at different points in the story.
To conclude, I found myself very invested in the lives of these young women and I’m so happy I got to meet them. If you love YA novels with strong female friendship as the main theme – the kind you know will last for decades to come – then this book is perfect for you. It can be a bit slow and very character focused, but I feel it’s worth a read. And I think you all will have fun figuring out who among the four girls would become the future president – props to the author for making me feel that every single one of them was a possibility, while also making it very satisfactory to know where they all actually ended up.