{Review} What I like About Me by Jenna Guillaume

June 9, 2020 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★

{Review} What I like About Me by Jenna GuillaumeWhat I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume
Pages: 304
Published by Peachtree Publishing on April 1, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher

You know all those movies where teenagers have, like, THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES? This vacation is probably not going to be that.

The last thing sixteen-year-old Maisie Martin thought she’d be doing over vacation is entering a beauty pageant. Not when she’s spent most of her life hiding her body from everyone. Not when her Dad is AWOL and her gorgeous older sister has returned to rock Maisie’s already shaky confidence. And especially not when her best friend starts flirting with the boy she’s always loved. But Maisie’s got something to prove.

As she writes down all the ways this vacation is going from bad to worse in her school-assignment journal, what starts as a homework torture-device might just end up being an account of how Maisie didn’t let anything, or anyone, hold her back.

Jenna Guillame’s American debut features a plus-size protagonist with a compelling, funny, and authentic narrative voice. This relatable and charming novel about friendship, confidence, and self-love will draw readers in as Maisie’s realistic emotional journey unveils the importance of embracing one’s body and celebrating one’s self.

YA Review My Thoughts

What I like About Me  is a young adult contemporary by Jenna Guillaume. This book was super cute and a ton of fun! What I like About Me is a really heartwarming story of an Australian teenager, Maisie who has a summer of self discovery where she learns to love herself and becomes herself. Everything about this book made me feel good. I loved the topics of body positivity, self growth and self love, confidence and growth that were explored. I loved Maisie herself , and the writing was just so cute and fun. It is impossible not to have a good time while reading What I like About Me!

In What I like About Me, we meet our main character Maisie, who is looking forward to a fun summer vacation with her family and friends. But it is off to a bad start. Her dad isn’t around, and her friend is all over the guy that Maisie has been crushing on for forever (how rude!). To top it all off, she has to write in a journal daily for a school project. I loved Maisie’s journal entries. Not only were they completely hilarious, but they were also such an effective writing narration. They helped me gain instant traction with Maisie. I love Maisie. I felt like we were friends, and it made her seem super funny and relatable to me. Maisie finds herself in a  beauty pageant, and seeing her summer (or Christmas in Australia) of growth was endearing and heartwarming. I loved the cast of characters, but Maisie was the star (obviously). She made this book for me. I want to read another book about her. She is like a friend now, and I am not ready to say goodbye. Along we Maisie, we have her “perfect” older sister, her best friend Beamer, her overbearing mother, new friends like Leila and her long time crush Sebastian. The whole cast of characters worked so well! They all have their own distinct personalities, and honestly they all made me love Maisie even more in their own ways. Her summer of self discovery led her to try new things, meet new people and learn and love herself. It was a wonderful journey. Parts of this book were a bit predictable but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I think this book will be perfect for fans of Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy, and anyone looking for a lighthearted fun story with wonderful characters and an awesome positive message . Maisie is like a breath of fresh air as far as young adult heroines go. She is fierce in her own way and watching her gain confidence, self-esteem and love herself made me feel so good. I think this is a fantastic book for readers young and old alike to pick up. I think you will fall in love with Maisie just like I did.


About Jenna Guillaume

Jenna Guillaume is a journalist and author who grew up in Wollongong and now lives in Sydney.

By day, Jenna writes about very important things like pop culture, identity, feminism, social media, and her fave OTPs for publications such as BuzzFeed, Junkee, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Guardian. By night she writes Young Adult fiction, binges Netflix and spends far too much time on Twitter.

Previously, Jenna was editor-at-large for BuzzFeed Australia and features editor at Girlfriend magazine

Her debut young adult novel What I Like About Me is out now.

Michelle @ Book Briefs

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2020 New Release Challenge

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