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He Said, She Said

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,062 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Sparks will fly in this hip-hop-hot teen novel that mixes social protest and star-crossed romance, from Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Honor–winning author Kwame Alexander! He Said, She Said is perfect for fans of Walter Dean Myers and Rachel Vail alike.

He says: Omar "T-Diddy" Smalls has got it made—a full football ride to UMiami, hero-worship status at school, and p
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 19th 2013 by Amistad
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Rachael That Kwame Alexander is a hit-or-miss author and is better with poetry than prose.

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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,062 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Ms. Kelly
All the good stuff about this book has already been said. I would like to address some of the negative comments I read.

• Yes, there are a whole lot of cliches in this book. The good girl / bad boy trope, she makes him want to be better, yada yada.

• Yes, there are some completely UNbelievable things in this book. The level of media coverage and insta-celebrity is mind boggling fake.

My thought is that these are both good things.

White America has all kinds of things. There are amazing books and mov
Gray Cox
Okay, so lemme get this straight, Claudia's (who is as bland as burnt-to-a-crisp toast btw) whole character arc is her falling for a guy.


And not just any guy, but the guy who refers to himself in the third person, calls himself a "pantie-dropper" (how charming, I'm simply swooning), literally thinks to himself things along the lines of: "Imma get into her pants and then dump her" or in his own poetic words, "bong bong, my dude". And not only does he plagiarize every single love song and
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
I loved this book and the concept. The plot was nice and the dialogue was wonderful. It's the way he described and moved things was a tad confusing. I did enjoy it though and I totally recommend ‼️ ...more
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: at-school, alan, ncte, signed
I really wanted to like this book more. It was fast-paced, compelling, and interesting, but it wasn't substantial.

The fact that Omar was a more fully realized character than Claudia really frustrated me. She should have had a deeper internal life than Omar, as she lived her life purposefully, but most of her sections were about her conflicted feelings toward him. She didn't get to go much further than that, which is deeply unfortunate. The girls spend most of the book in conflict over boys. The
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Everything about this book was over the top cliche, like the story and characters came out of a sausage grinder mashing together the plot of every inane YA book ever to come before it where the smart, no-nonsense valedictorian girl and the hard-on-the-outside, hidden-gooey-depths-on-the-inside football quarterback spar and clash before getting together in the end.

I can only assume that the great reviews this book received were yet another product of reviewers being unnecessarily impressed with
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
The strength of this book is in the dialogue. It zips and crackles and moves the story along.

I'm also going to say that in the aftermath of the media taking down Jameis Winston for using slang after winning the National Championship, I was pleased to see slang treated not as the dialog of the uneducated, but as dialog for the teen masses.

The story is pretty predictable, but there is a plot twist that made me gasp.
Amireh Clarke
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
"He Said She Said" talks about a school-loving, headstrong girl, Claudia Clarke and girl-crazy, 'Mr Football', Omar Smalls and how their two different worlds collide in trying to save the arts programs at their school in Charleston from both of their perspectives. The two, both with different motives, work together to fight for justice at their school letting the administration know that they have a voice. This book kept me reading because it never gave you what was expected. there were so many ...more
Diane Ferbrache
Omar (T-Diddy) has everything going for him – he’s good looking and a star football player with a promise of a full ride to UMiami. Claudia is a studious young woman with her mind on doing something worthwhile with her life, and football and a boyfriend are the last things on her mind. T-Diddy bets he friends that he can get Claudia in bed.
Through a series of first person chapters interspersed with Facebook status updates, text messages, and articles from the high school newspaper, we see Oma
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Like some other adult female white readers, I found Omar's behavior offensive at first, but his football star bluster was totally believable, and I enjoyed the voice.

As one who has a connection to South Carolina, I appreciated Alexander's sly condemnation of the governor's true life attack on the arts, and of his dream of galvanizing students to action. If nothing else, perhaps this book will inspire a few readers to fight for band and the books in their libraries and their favorite teachers.

I a
Mar 25, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I was excited to see this book on a list of YA romances in a column in THE HORN BOOK, as I'm always on the look-out for romances with African-American characters. The book's social justice storyline (the protagonists work on a campaign to protest their school's budget cuts) made it even more appealing, and I turned right to it when a copy came in from the library.

But I have decidedly mixed feelings after reading it. On the one hand, the story stemmed from a writing workshop Alexander led with 30
Rich in Color
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary
I have yet to read a “hip hop” novel because the genre doesn’t appeal to me, but I thought I’d check out “He Said, She Said” because I know of Kwame Alexander’s work with school kids and admire his Book-in-a-Day program. I know he is a talented poet and children’s author, so I was looking forward to reading his first young adult novel. Unfortunately, Alexander’s novel didn’t sway me into reading more “hip hop” novels.

When I teach creative writing with my students, I encourage them to “show, not
Owen Conway
May 11, 2018 rated it liked it
keep trying
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blm, romance
Okay...I have to be honest. When I started this, I didn't think there was ANY way I was going to like it. Omar "TDiddy" Smalls is SO unlikable--he sleeps with girls and then dumps them, thinks football is everything, and TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF IN THE THIRD PERSON. How could ANY girl--let alone Harvard-bound Claudia--be interested in him? (Okay...apparently he's hot. But COME ON.) I guess he's supposed to...HE GREW ONE ME. He's a boy--a typical, teenage boy with bad qualities hiding some pre
Jay Dugger
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was an amazing book. This book had a great way of showing politics and teenage life from the POV from 2 teens. T-Diddy is a football stud who only cares about getting the most females he can. Claudia is basically a boring person of sorts since she doesn't do nothing. These 2 are completely opposite of each other which makes the pov more interesting for the reader. The way they switch from characters each chapter is a great use of technique for this story which show what is going on for ...more
Ms. Yingling
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
What I wanted: Urban romance with cultural context, socially relevant high school drama, some football.

What Didn't Work for Me: The style and dialect made this one very difficult to understand, and if I struggled with it, I think my students will, too. This seemed like more of a high school book, as well, given the talk about sex. Great cover, and a great choice to attract reluctant readers in high school.
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-teen-hs
Omar "T-Diddy" is the high school football all star at his school, and an all around ladies' man, known for his reputation and number of girls he's been with. Claudia is an editor of the school newspaper, with missionary parents, who tends to shy away from the limelight. When Omar sets his eyes on being with Claudia, their worlds start to intertwine and they start to have an impact on each other's lives. All of this is taking place during a student protest at school, they are being silent for lo ...more
Aug 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-books
I only recently heard of this book by Kwame Alexander. I was really surprised because I expected it to be in verse like his other books that I read but it wasn't. I liked that it alternates perspective between a boy and a girl. The boy who is the star athlete, the player, Mr. Popular, etc. And the girl who is very smart (Harvard bound), reserved yet well-rounded. Two unlikely to be together who do connect and change each other for the better. ...more
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought this book was a really fun light read for when transitioning between two heavier books. The overall plot of the book is nice and predictable but the theme and topics covered are very much current to moderen times.
Sofía Vakis
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book on social justice and the changes that teens can bring about in their communities and beyond. It is sweet and playful, but at once serious and important. I recommend it to anyone who likes realistic fiction with a bit of romance on the side.
Clara F.
I wanted to read this because my friend Sonja recommended it to me. I'm not usually into in realistic fiction but I want to try and branch out, and this looks like it would be interesting. ...more
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is an entertaining and romantic book that shows kids who are making their dream come true but you always beware of love because it can come at any time very unexpected. To make sure that person is worth staying with or they are just there for who you are becoming. I recommend this books to ages 13-16 because it needs a little understanding about what is going on and to show how your high school senior year could go. He Said, She Said ...more
Cody Zimmerman
He Said, She Said is an action packed novel about T-Diddy Smalls, a star football player. All he cares about is himself, and how many girls he can get with. This is until, he makes a bet with his friends and he changes his view on things. Now T-Diddy is starting to realize what is more important in life and is starting to get his priorities straight. I really liked how it is very relatable to high school students, being that it is about high school students. Many of us play sports and can be ver ...more
Sep 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-slj
I found the black slang and peculiar dialect depictions really off-putting at first: All kind of “grittin” and “lip smackin” as well as lots of “homeboys” were nothing compared to a character named Fast Freddie who seems to scream or speed or rap or something with his words all capitalized and run together like this: “Don’tForgetTheT-DiddyThree-StepGuaranteedLadyKillerPlanOnHowToBagAGirl.” Not sure what Alexander is going for with that, but I did learn that I can substitute “ish” for “shit,” tho ...more
Dec 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Omar "T-Diddy" Smalls is a football star and the most notorious playa of West Charleston High. Now he's got his sights set on Claudia Clarke: straight-A student, champion of charities, and 100% not interested in dating - especially not T-Diddy Smalls. In an effort to get in Claudia's good books, Omar accidentally ends up leading a protest to restore the school's arts funding -- and Claudia may just be falling for him for real.

I really enjoyed the way Alexander plays with style in this novel. Cla
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
You know that meme? The one about getting ready to go out and feeling like you are in your 20's? Then, while you're out at a bar or club with real 20 year olds, you know you're not 20? Reading this, I know I am old. I just can't even with the dialogue and slang. I mean, I spend a majority of my day around teenagers, urban ones at that, and this book is killing me. It's official. I am not hip. I can barley enjoy the story, or character development because this is so tedious for me to read. I know ...more
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-review
A unique high school story, He Said She Said is a somewhat cliché teenage romance that tries to portray a deeper message with a comedic tone. A tale of witty satire and filled with the usual high school drama, this novel some what falls short on being a pleasuring book. Compared to other teen novels, this book falls short in terms of quality and creativity. The characters in the book start off showing a little bit of potential but fail to achieve any real connection with the reader. While the bo ...more
Jeff Mere
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kwame is an excellent writer brings his own flair for storytelling that students can't help but appreciate. ...more
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars-3.8?

I really really liked this one. Super entertaining, loved the voices, and students fighting for the arts in their school? Why don't we see this more?

Full review from @ Rather Be Reading Blog

I had no idea what to expect from this book especially with a character named T-Diddy who thinks Claudia has “a butt for days.” But you know what? I laughed, I smiled, and I totally enjoyed reading He Said, She Said.

They say opposite attract but Claudia is not having any of T-Diddy’s advances an
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Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Passaic Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children ...more

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