Smash It!

Smash It! By Francina Simone;  Behind the text, is an illustration of a black woman smiling while covering her eyes with her hands and wearing a bold yellow sweatshirt and tight blue jeans.
Francina Simone
Dec 10, 2020

Olivia is D O N E with blending into the background and she is done letting insecurities hold her back. In light of this, she makes a F*ck it list. What started as a list of things she's wanted to do, turned into so much more. This captivating novel written by Francina Simone gives light to what it means to be confident, and what it means to make mistakes.    

To me, the most compelling aspect of this book was two specific things. The first being how relatable it was. I know what it is like to feel extremely insecure. I also know what it is like to make so many mistakes and feel like there is nothing you can do. I felt for Olivia and I feel like I was learning and growing just as she was. The second compelling aspect of this book was the themes of friendship. This book captured the ups and downs of friendship. It really spoke to how we interact with each other. The humanity that these characters showed was real and authentic. Overall this book did not disappoint! While being a really fun read it tackled conflicts like self-love and love for others.     

One thing that I really appreciated about this book was that it centered on a school musical! I am a hardcore theater kid. This book PERFECTLY captured the heart of theater and how after working one a show together you really grow into becoming a family. Not many books center around theater so the fact that this one does it pretty cool and really unique! Another thing that I applaud the author for is capturing teenagers accurately. I absolutely HATE it when adult authors try to write about teenagers and get it drastically wrong. The slang used by characters was accurate and overall the characters were similar to Gen Z teens today, as they were intended to be. I will definitely be looking out for more books by Francina Simone, I like her writing style a lot.
The only thing that was disappointing/uncomfortable to me regarding this book was some of the more mature parts. Part of that is just because I'm on the younger side. This book may not be for everyone because it has some PG13 kind of stuff, but I don't think that makes the book bad. The author definitely shouldn't change the way they wrote the book, its YA for a reason and I get that.     

Written by
Molly J.

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