You Wouldn’t Dare by Samantha Markum

Published: March 28, 2023

Wednesday Books

Genre: YA Romantic Comedy

Pages: 363

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Samantha Markum was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri with an eight year intermission in Florida, where she mostly just collected sunburns. When she’s not writing, she can be found begging her dog for attention, buying too many candles, and ignoring the dust bunnies gathering in her house. When she is writing, you can find her staring at the wall in search of inspiration. She is the author of This May End Badly and You Wouldn’t Dare.

When Juniper Nash Abreheart kissed Graham Isham for the first time, she had no idea it would nearly be the end of their friendship.

More specifically, she had no idea that the terrible, unforgivable thing she did to keep their summer fling a secret wouldn’t just ruin their friendship, but also Graham’s entire life. Now, months since the fallout, Junie and Graham spend most of their time sidestepping conversational landmines on the journey back to normalcy.

Junie is sure the strangeness between her and Graham is her biggest problem – until her mom hires Tallulah, her boyfriend’s surly teenage daughter, to work at their family café, and then announces they’ll all be moving in together at the end of the summer. The only bright spot ahead is Junie’s dad’s upcoming visit, just in time for her community theater production. And then poor turnout soon threatens that.

But when Junie starts to realize the feelings she swore to take care of last summer have lingered, saving her production and managing her hostile relationship with Tallulah might be the least of her problems. Graham isn’t just off limits – their friendship has been mended to barely withstand a breeze, and the gale force of Junie’s feelings could be just what breaks them.

“I’m happy with you.”

Junie is dramatic and a tad on the selfish side. But she has good intentions, and she loves fiercely. Graham is a loyal friend and a hard worker. Milo is the best friend, with a big heart. Lucy is the voice of reason and the peacekeeper. Friendship and being a teenager are complicated.

This was cute. The story was told engagingly, and I liked that each chapter started with lines from the musical the characters performed in.

Junie was a solid representation of a 17-year-old girl. She is dramatic, sarcastic, and has a secret crush on Graham. Milo is Junie’s very best friend, and I loved their dynamic. Lucy was the mom of the group, and I liked her balance.

The dynamic was solid, and it was very age appropriate. The relationships were well-defined, and the situations were realistic.

I enjoyed this story, and I enjoyed the writing style. The comedy was subtle but well-placed. The use of dramatics was well done and felt authentic for the age of the characters.

I loved the sense of community, acceptance, and chosen family in this book. That was beautifully done. The way those themes were fleshed out was powerful and gave the storyline a heartfelt kick.

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