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The Pros of Cons

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  615 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Drummer Phoebe Byrd prides herself on being one of the guys, and she's ready to prove it by kicking all their butts in the snare solo competition at the Indoor Percussion Association Convention.

Writer Vanessa Montoya-O'Callaghan has been looking forward to the WTFcon for months. Not just because of the panels and fanfiction readings but because WTFcon is where she'll fina
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Published March 27th 2018 by Scholastic
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Ashley Their ages and grades were mentioned throughout the story, but I think they're roughly all juniors-becoming-seniors. There's several comments about co…moreTheir ages and grades were mentioned throughout the story, but I think they're roughly all juniors-becoming-seniors. There's several comments about college and one character talks about driving.(less)

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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jv poore
This quintessential Young Adult read is quirky, cubed. A mad mash-up of three (and a half) conventions under one roof results in a delightfully amusing tale that is not without substance. And it has a pretty great title, you know I love it when something can mean two things.

It isn’t Phoebe’s first time. She’s come before with her high-school percussion ensemble, to participate in the Indoor Percussion Association Convention. Perhaps there is a bit more pressure this time, though.

Vanessa is very
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Stewart Tame
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Wow! This impressed me much more than I expected it to. I mean, I expected it to be good and fun, and it was both of those, in spades, but it was also moving and compelling and had me grinning like a maniac at some times, and all but crying into my mustache at others. What I'm saying is that this ride is a heck of a lot more thrilling than it looked from the queue.

As the cover states, this book is set at a convention center
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Carol
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
More, please! I sucked this down in a day- what fun it was! I want to see these characters grow until they are a feisty bunch of old dames. I miss them already. I’ve already put more work by the authors on my “to read” list.
Sana
Jul 14, 2016 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
Pro 1: Lindsay Ribar, pro 2: life-changing friendship, hell yesss.
Samantha (WLABB)
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
What do you get when you gather four different cons under one roof? You get a fun story of friendship, which simply charmed the pants off of me.

•Pro: Books featuring female friendships always rank high with me, and I really felt the love among these three. It didn't matter that they were so different from each other or not even attending the same convention, they saw someone in need, responded, and a friendship grew from there. Girls supporting girls for the win!

•Pro: The cons were pretty awesom
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Jenna Scherer
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A sweet, nerdy tribute to loving the weird stuff you love, and also friendship. (Which is fitting, since it was written by three of my friends who are sweet nerds.) Come for the "Harry Potter" references, stay for the newfound knowledge of percussion instruments and taxidermy. ...more
Andy
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5/5

When three very different girls run into each other at a convention center, an unorthodox kind of friendship blooms between them. Callie is there as her dad's assistant for a taxidermy competition when it's the last thing she wants to do. Vanessa has come for the "We the Fandom" con or WTFCon. She's nervous since she'll be meeting her internet girlfriend for the first time in real life. Phoebe is a competing percussionist in IPAC. Things become awkward when the boy she thinks she likes unin
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Gaby
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The cute, nerdy, multi-POV book of my dreams, really 😍 The perfect mix of angst, kissing, and shenanigans recommended for anyone who loves contemporary YA, especially of the fandom indulgent kind.
Silvia
4.5 stars!

I loved this book please read it

RTC
kory.
rep; vanessa (mc) is mexican, queer, and has social anxiety. merry (sc) is gender-neutral. soleil (sc) is pansexual.

There are many things I like about this book; the representation (some of it anyway), the girl friendships, the owning up to your own faults and doing better, the fun of cons and fandom, the humor, how supportive everyone is, the actual communication that goes on instead of blown out of proportion misunderstandings for the sake of conflict/angst, the relationship or lack thereof be
...more
Dahlia
This was extremely fun and cute. I don't know why I love con books so much, but I do, and this one delivered it in spades along with a really enjoyable friendship story, a really cute budding queer romance, and some observations on social media relationships that hit way too close to home. ...more
Shoshana
A YA book first and foremost about friendship: 1,000,000 points.
Anna Priemaza
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adored THE PROS OF CONS. It's so full of fandom and friendship and quirkiness and girls supporting girls, and I basically grinned non-stop from start to finish. ...more
Mandy
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemp
Know that whole saying - never judge a book by its cover? Well, it's always a straight up lie. We always judge a book by it's cover it seems like in the book world. If it's pretty, we instantly want to pick it up and caress it gently BECAUSE PRETTY. And it's, well, not so pleasing? We might get a little sketched out by it.

For me? I was completely sold by the premise of this book, but I was a little bit sketched out by the stuffed mouse on the cover with some musical instruments and a witch hat.
...more
Sofia (Bookish Wanderess)
*4,3 stars*

This was so fun to read, I laughed a lot and honestly, I just really, really liked this one.
Melissa
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My friend loaned me this book a while back, as we both enjoy YA novels. Initially, I wasn't sure this one would be up my alley, as I have no interest in drums or taxidermy. However, it was incredibly relatable and I learned some new things from reading it.

I have been to some conventions in the past; twice for Rocky Horror fans in the Midwest and twice for BookExpo. While I've never been to a comic con or anything along those lines, I think it would be fun to check out sometime. I also went to R
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Kat
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, ya, lgbtqa
I love reading about incredibly specific subcultures, so this book was basically made for me. It's fun and sweet, while also digging into some intense issues--including some fandom-specific ones. There's a diverse female-led cast, and I think this is only the second book I've read with a non-binary character, and the first I've read where a non-binary character uses gender neutral pronouns. I'm so excited this book is middle school appropriate, because I can think of a few of my students off the ...more
Lee Ann
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, abandoned
DNF at about 20%. I usually give books the first fifty or so pages to catch my attention and this one just didn’t. It surprised me, because it sounds right up my alley with a diverse cast and a fun and unique setting. But the characters just didn’t win my heart. They all blended together in my head and didn’t feel like they had very distinctive personalities — which is strange to me, considering each of the protagonists was written by a different author. Ah, well. 2/5 for an interesting idea, bu ...more
Angie
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: realistic, humor, lgbtqa
While I was reading this I just kept looking up at my husband and hitting him excitedly and shouting things like:
"I love this book! The teens are communicating!"
"They're learning from their mistakes!"
"OMG they're speaking up for themselves and avoiding toxic relationships!!"
"And building better and more loving ones and lasting friendships and there's character growth!" "OMFGBFEDHJSSHUFJEDHUFISD!!!!!"
So yeah, I love that!
...more
McKinlay
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
*I received an early DRC for free from edelweiss and the publisher. This does not affect my rating.*

Because this book takes place in Orlando at a convention center i couldn't help but picture the OCCC in my mind, I'm actually pretty convinced that it's based on the OCCC, but what evs. Anywaaaaay, i'm rambling... I really really liked this book! Women supporting women is my aesthetic!

Things i liked:
-How the 3 MCs were supportive of each other immediately and had each other's backs.
-the diversity
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Jenni Frencham
Cherry, Alison. The Pros of Cons. Point, 2018.

Phoebe is a drummer and is really looking forward to this year's percussion conference and competition with her high school percussion group. Vanessa is excited about WTFcon, because she's attending as a fanfic writer and gets to meet her girlfriend IRL for the first time. Callie assists her father in his taxidermy business, and she agreed to go to the taxidermy convention with him in the hopes of having some father-daughter bonding time. These three
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John Driscoll
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Three teen girls, each attending separate conventions in the same location, meet, become friends, and help each other solve their respective problems.

Callie is working as her dad's assistant at the taxidermy convention as a way to spend more time with him and strengthen their familial bond after her mom left them, but her dad seems to only pay attention to her when scolding her.

Phoebe's percussion convention is off to a rough start when her bag gets mixed up with Callie's, forcing her to improvi
...more
kate
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-lgbtq
The Pros of Cons was a sweet amalgamation of girls supporting girls, fandom references, character development, and queer romance. The story is split into the perspectives of three girls - Callie, Phoebe, and Vanessa, as they all attend separate conventions in the same centre. Each of them have their own problems to sort out over the week of the cons, and we get to see how they all develop and grow from themselves and each other.

I'm always going to be a fan of books in which women support one an
...more
Offbalance
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of my favorite parts of YA is the way it teases out experiences that I desperately wish happened to me when I was the age of the characters in these books. I've been on some rancid school trips, but not once did I happen to befriend some lovely strangers at those times that saved the day and taught me wonderful lessons. And more's the pity, really. I still wish that would happen, sometimes (and it has once or twice in my twenties, but that's another story). Three strangers at three disparate ...more
Julie
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
Super fun read. I will say that I am a fan of funny realistic contemporary, so this is already my kind of book, but I was honestly totally charmed by the three narratives and all the characters. I love all the details about the individual conventions, which were specific enough to be fun and new and totally realistic to the story and characters. More than anything, I love that the people in this book are like the teenagers I know: worried about and interested in a huge variety of things, accepti ...more
Mikayla Tewksbury
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm obsessed with this book.
As someone who goes to fandom conventions, this captured the essence of those conventions beautifully. Everything from the new friendships, to the atmosphere...all of it.
I loved the three different perspectives, they each had such unique characteristics and personalities. I devoured this story, and couldn't get enough of it.
Stay tuned for the epilogue as well. ;)
...more
Margaret Robbins
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
More to come on my blogs, but I absolutely loved this book! The band chapters reminded me of high school (I was in chorus/theater, but they still resonated), and the fandom/Con chapters reminded me of my young adulthood past 13 or so years. :) As the daughter of an academic and a writer, the taxidermy chapters had some semblance to my life, although only loose. They also reminded me to be open to interests that are not my own. This is a great read, especially if you are a nerd of any kind.
Gray
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jaymie
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This was so fun! I loved the con setting and the way three very different events drew these girls together. I loved all of the main characters - I can’t pick a favorite - and the way each one grows and finds her voice or her place.
Lucy
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 4.25/5 Stars

This was so cute! I love reading books about fandoms/conventions and The Pros of Cons was really interesting as it focused on a number of different conventions taking place over a week. I also loved the female friendship between each of the main characters!
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Alison grew up in Evanston, IL. She is a professional photographer and spent many years working as a lighting designer for theater, opera, and dance. Now she lives in Brooklyn and writes young adult novels full time. She is represented by the lovely and amazing Holly Root of Root Literary.

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