Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 stars
Rebel. Jock. One wants to break free of high school’s cliches and another wants to be a part of all its traditions. How will two people from different worlds learn to tolerate each other?
Shuffle, Repeat follows June, an academic rebel who dreams of leaving high school and all its pathetic traditions. Enter Oliver, the school jock who takes her to school everyday after an agreement between their Mums. Oliver’s optimism about high school and all its greatness and June’s pessimism soon clash so they settle it with music – whoever comes up with a point to validate their views on high school gets to choose the song on the playlist, much to the others chagrin. Soon the songs fade to the background as they find out more about each other, and see that the world isn’t as black and white as they once thought…
I liked this book. Appearances weren’t what they seemed and I felt all the teenage angst and hilarity interspersed worked well.
My points of interest:
– June was an intellectual MC who was also this high school rebel. She disliked all the popular cliches of high school (like prom) but also prided herself on her smarts. Her boyfriend and friends all shared these views and I liked reading about it. She had the brains to back up her views.
– Oliver was…interesting. He’s your typical jock but I found myself warming to him a lot. He was quirky and had layers and tried to do the right thing despite mixing with the ‘popular’ ones. His caring side came out with June and I lived for those scenes.
– The music aspect only lasted a little while as conversation happened more freely once June and Oliver got to know each other. Since the whole premise was about the music, it should have had more of an impact, but it didn’t bother me as much as it should. I wanted to know more about them so I was okay to let it drop.
– I liked the friends to lovers aspect of the book. Despite both MC’s having partners, their chemistry was hard to miss and I was waiting for them to figure it all out and respectively get together once they were both single. Opposites do attract, you know?
Overall, this book is that gritty, no nonsense high school drama book you need. It has the romance factor to keep you enticed and will surprise you with its scope of storytelling. Give it a go!