Leta’s Book Review: I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

I want to start by explaining the unique situation that I’ve grown up with since so many people haven’t experienced it. I’ve never shared my name with anyone. Myshara isn’t a name you see on every class list as you do with names like Ashley or Jacob. There’s nothing wrong with names with that, either! I just have no idea what it’s like to have someone call my name and not be talking about me.

When I saw the prompt near the end of last year to ‘read a book with your name in the title’, I thought I’d never be able to do that. I know I’m not the only one with that name in the whole world, but I’m probably the only one in a wide area around where I live. It isn’t a popular choice for the author either, since it isn’t a popular name. Then, since I’m active on Instagram (Bookstagram), I started seeing a crazy coincidence. A book called I Kissed Shara Wheeler was coming out in 2022. Shara isn’t Myshara, but it’s what my family and close friends call me. It was close enough for me!

I put it on my preorder list and made sure to get a copy. I didn’t read the synopsis or anything. Once it arrived, pretty in its bright colours with so many little flowers and kisses, my excitement rose. Part of me was afraid; I’d hyped this book up for so long and not for reasons related to the plot…would I like it?

It turns out the answer was yes, a thousand times yes.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler is a contemporary YA romance starring Chloe Green, the only one able to rival Shara for valedictorian. But just over a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes, leaving behind a trail of mysterious notes on perfect pink stationary. As Chloe attempts to find out where her rival has gone in time to beat her to valedictorian, she finds that Shara kissed someone else before vanishing: her neighbour, Rory. Along with Shara’s quarterback boyfriend Smith, they join Chloe in hunting for the cryptic messages that will hopefully, eventually, lead them to Shara. But will they find her in time? Will lines blur and alliances shift? Will Chloe find Shara? Who will be valedictorian?

I’ll tell you right now, I love cryptic notes and personal stationery just as much as Shara Wheeler. I love them, even more, when they’re used as a plot device that the characters have to actively solve. It’s a great way to make sure your plot isn’t moving your characters along all on its own. These notes were even better because Shara relied on three entire people’s experiences with her to figure it out. Three perspectives, three sets of information. It slotted together perfectly, forcing Chloe to grow as a person in order to solve the final pieces.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler made me laugh, a lot. It’s been a long tie since I’ve laughed out loud this much from a book. So, not only was Shara Wheeler a great mystery, but it was also entertaining and captivating.

It’s also queer. I don’t go out of my way to read queer romance since I’m not queer myself and I believe that everyone has a right to read about people like themselves. Hence why I will always stand behind fiction of all kinds and romances of all kinds, even if I don’t read them often or at all. This one, though. My goodness. I might find myself reading queer or Sapphic romances more often in the future. It was such a good story, and I absolutely loved the journeys of all of the characters.

I don’t want to spoil any part of the plot, so hopefully, my happy rambling above will be enough to convince you to pick up I Kissed Shara Wheeler. It was such a cute story, overlaid with serious and difficult topics handled in a mature way. So, here I am, recommending it for two reasons: it’s a five-star read, hands down, and I’m proud to have my name on such a good book. It feels weird and crazy, in the best way.


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: