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Whiteout by Angie Thomas, Nicola Yoon, Dhonielle Clayton, Ashley Woodfolk, Tiffany D Jackson, and Nic Stone - Review

Monday, January 23, 2023

Can you remember the book Blackout by the same group of authors as above, which I reviewed here? I loved it, so when I saw that the same six amazing authors had written another book I really wanted to read it. It turned out to be 99p on Kindle after Christmas, so I bought it and picked it up over New Year. It is set just a few days before Christmas, but it isn't particularly 'Christmassy', so I'd say you could read it whenever. It does feature a once in a generation snowstorm hitting Atlanta, Georgia, hence the name. 

The book starts with Stevie, who is a very clever scientist who has a dreamy romantic for a girlfriend, Sola. The two of them have been friends forever and then started a relationship. They have their futures all set out: university together, marriage, kids, all of that. Sola plans a special meal with her family - including some from out of town - so that the two of them can come out as a couple. However Stevie messes it up and Sola is left angry and embarassed. Stevie has her phone taken away so can't contact Sola for days. She finally gets her phone back on the day that the book is set, when she finds Sola's ultimatum: Stevie has to apologise by midnight or they're over for good. Stevie asks her group chat for help and then takes off in an Uber to the local stadium, where her friend's brother works, so that she can get her plan underway. 

So first of all there's Kaz and Porsha. Kaz has a massive crush on Porsha and plans to tell her today, when his family will be celebrating Eid late, with a huge breaking of the fast meal. He's got it all planned out. The two of them head to the mall to help Stevie, but while there, the mall shuts because of the snow, and Kaz and Porsha get stranded as their car breaks down. But Kaz does tell Porsha how he feels, and it's adorable.

Evan Rose is Stevie's best friend, but she attends a private school a way away, and is coming home for the holidays. Stevie and Sola have been to the school and considered going, but ultimately didn't. But they did do like a camp there, and Stevie wants a souvenir that Evan Rose has managed to bring with her. Evan Rose is also travelling with Van, who she's been having an on and off thing with. But Evan Rose also had a thing with someone else, who they end up running into at the airport... it's messy and I liked it!

Next there's Jordyn who is driving home from Howard university (which is where Stevie and Sola want to go) (and which I know is historically a black university thanks to the Real Housewives of Potomac, haha). She is bringing home some branded stuff for Sola, from Stevie. She's also driving her friend Omari home. The two of them kissed and haven't spoken since, so maybe 'friends' is a stretch, but... Then they get stranded on the motorway due to the snow and Jordyn feels really bad that she's letting Stevie down by not getting the stuff to her. She isn't exactly friends with Stevie - her sister Jimi is. But as with Blackout, everyone in this book is connected. 

Then there's Jimi herself. She is busking near the stadium by herself. She was in a band with two people called Kennedy and Rakeem, and she had a strict no love songs policy in their band. Then Kennedy and Rakeem revelead they were seeing each other and wanted to write love songs, and Jimi got upset so the band is kind of on a break. She's busking in the snow when her old friend, now known as rapper Lil Kinsey, turns up. It turns out that Jimi wrote him a love song years ago and he never told her how he felt about it, and now he's world famous. The two end up getting involved in Stevie's thing while maybe having a thing with each other...

Finally there's Ava and Mason, who work together at the aquarium where Stevie's mum is the director. They used to be together but have broken up. But does that mean they can't be friends? They're trying to choose a perfect gift for Sola from the gift shop. 

So will Stevie's big gesture work? That's the question! This is a glorious book, filled with Black joy and Black queer joy. It's lovely! I'm giving this five out of five. 

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