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You're the One That I Want by Simon James Green - Review

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Where did I get it? 

I won it! I entered a YALC competition for a copy of the book and a box of artisan donuts! I've never had donuts like this so I was excited to try them! My partner and I shared each of them - my favourites were the Oreo one and the Percy Pig one. Delicious! So thank you so much to YALC for this ace prize! I took the book on holiday and started it there

What's it about? Freddie is sixteen and has just started 6th form at his school, where basically no one knows who he is. He has best friends Ruby and Sam, but he overhears some girls saying they don't know who he is in the yearbook, and on his first day his new head of year keeps calling him Patrick. His mother is a TV producer and is currently working on a new show called Cherries (which basically sounded like Skins) and Freddie is constant disappointment to her, especially ever since he broke down while performing in Les Miserables aged ten. She drags him along to something to do with the show and while there he meets Jasper, who is very hot, but who Freddie manages to cover in cream cheese and basically make a fool of himself in front of. 

Freddie is fed up of himself and decides, after chatting with Ruby and Sam, to start saying YES to everything, to try more experiences, and to get out there more. So at school he decides to try out for Grease alongside Ruby and Sam, and new boy Zach. Zach flirts with Freddie from the off, and Freddie really likes him. Freddie doesn't get a part in the show, but ends up as props manager. He has had a crush on Harrison for ages, but now Harrison is going out with Lottie, who is playing Sandy, and who hates Zach, who is playing Danny. Freddie and Zach start a thing, kissing each other in the props room, but Zach wants to keep it 'fun' and 'casual'. Can Freddie handle that?? 

I found the book a little slow to start off with and I also just couldn't warm to Zach. But once I got into it I liked Freddie a lot and wanted him to succeed. I like Simon's books because they always have such funny bits in but also have a lot of heart and a lot of pathos. 

What age range is it for? 15+ 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? Yes, obviously, Freddie is gay and so are a few other characters. There's an interesting bit about how everyone assumes Sam is gay because he's small and thin, but actually he's straight and likes girls - I thought that made a good point about stereotypes. 

Are any main characters people of colour? I don't think so? 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No 

Is there any sex stuff? Yes, some, it's not particularly graphic 

Are drugs mentioned or used? No 

Is there any talk of death? No 

Are there swear words? A couple, very judiciously used. I always like how Simon uses language. 

What criticisms do I have? Nothing apart from the slow start. It's a fun book 

Would I recommend the book? Yes especially if you like Simon's other books 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? After winning the prize I wanted to review it soon! 


What do I think of the cover? It's cute - I didn't quite get the donut thing until the end! 


What other books is it like? Simon's other books! 

How many stars? Four out of five 


Where is the book going now? I'll keep it, I've got a collection going now!

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