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Finding Yvonne
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Finding Yvonne

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  333 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Assia one is biracial, and white passing. the other guy is black.

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Elise (TheBookishActress)
This is such a complicated book, because I kind of like it in hindsight but I also think it's one of the most non-books I've ever read.... but I also love it so much in hindsight??

Can I just reiterate that slice-of-life stories are aggressively not my thing? And that I hate cheating as a plot device so fucking much oh my god can it just die already? Finding Yvonne is a slice-of-life story about a girl who becomes pregnant, and while some elements - like the unapologetic feminism - stood out to
Jun 10, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018-releases
God, Brandy Colbert is just so good at capturing these seemingly little things that have totally fallen through the cracks in the ways we talk about teens and putting them front and center in can't-miss books. I only barely read blurbs when the author is already an insta-buy for me, so I thought this was about a violin prodigy whose life gets thrown off kilter when she gets pregnant, but in truth, it's the spaces in between that - it's what happens when you aren't a prodigy and you've just lost ...more
Kate Olson
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I was up and down and up and down during parts of this contemporary YA novel, but oh my goodness, the last quarter of the book just blew me away. Colbert pulls no punches in her portrayal of a lonely teen who is (rightfully) not at all apologetic about her sexual experiences…….but Yvonne is still a teen and she doesn’t have any idea where she wants to go in life and how she wants to use her many talents (music and baking). Yvonne’s relationship with her father is such a welcome
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
A messy yet wonderful book that unexpectedly but profoundly explores the uncertainty of the future, family, and the choices we make.

- Centers on Yvonne, a Black teen who, although has dedicated 11 years of her life to the violin, now feels like she has lost her passion. This book follows the grief she feels, the decisions she makes, and the unexpected intersection of her life.
- Yvonne was such a brilliantly written character. She makes mistakes, she is unapologetic about her choices, and though
Jen Ryland
Really enjoyed this!

Read more of my reviews on! Check out my Bookstagram! Or check out my Jen In Ten reviews on Youtube - get the lowdown on current books in 10-30 seconds!
Alexandria  Ang
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this in two sittings. Yet another Brandy Colbert book I am absolutely obsessed with.
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I devoured this on audiobook in two days. The synopsis was misleading as the pregnancy isn't a central part of the book (it only happens around two thirds in) but didn't take away from my enjoyment. Yvonne is an amazing, complex character and I loved following her, her journey and her character growth as well as relationship growth with different people in her life.
Vicky Who Reads
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
3.5 stars

I really enjoyed reading Colbert's Little and Lion when I read it last year, and Finding Yvonne was in a lot of ways different, but also the same.

It's Colbert's voice or something, but it has that same heavy feeling while you read that makes it seem like every single thing that's going on has a lot more meaning than what's on the page. As if the simplest acts--baking a cake--are so much more.

I love this about Colbert's writing and I think she's a fantastic novelist with a really strong
Yvonne's been playing violin for many years, but now that her senior year is here, she's facing the reality that playing violin might not be her future. She's been fine at school, but she doesn't want to attend a school to simply attend school. Right now, she's concerned about figuring out what to do with her passion for music and how to temper that with the impending reality of high school ending. Then there's the rocky relationship she has with her dad and the desire she's unable to shake rela ...more
Rachel Strolle
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I mean, it's a Brandy book so OBVIOUSLY
but still
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this one up but I love Yvonne and the relationships she has. Highly recommend
Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
Yvonne's feeling a bit of a teenage life crisis. Who is she and what will she do with her life? Brandy Colbert brings her character to life by not always having the right answers pinpointed at each chapter's end. Yvonne does what's right for her without preaching and proselytizing, which is refreshing from many young adult books stressing cliched outcomes as the choice to make.

While slow at times, Finding Yvonne is a story well worth a read. You will find yourself concerned about her and her cho
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Originally posted at For What It's Worth on 8/30/18:

I had been wanting to give Colbert’s writing a try and picked up both her Stonewall Award winning book, Little & Lion (purchased) and an arc of Finding Yvonne at a signing while I was at ALA.

I’m so glad I did because this quiet little story packed a lot of emotional punch.

Yvonne has always been surrounded by people who knew their calling right away and are brilliant at it. Her dad is an a s
alyanna ✨
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cant-wait-for
there’s no bullshitting here. I LOVE IT.
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, for-review
Wow. This was heavy, but it was also honest and real. I’m so glad this story exists.
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 stars

Finding Yvonne is an amazingly feminist and extremely enjoyable coming of age novel about a young African American woman, Yvonne, coming into her own as she navigates her family life, sex life, and reproductive choices.

It is a wonderfully refreshing and surprising read because Brandy Colbert writes Yvonne as unapologetic about her sexual choices, which is so needed in YA lit as a model of sexual liberation. While Yvonne does face insecurities and make mistakes over the course of the
Kelly Hager
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brandy Colbert is easily one of the best authors writing today. Finding Yvonne is completely captivating and it's so relatable.

The synopsis spoils the fact that Yvonne is pregnant, but we don't learn that until almost 200 pages in (my ARC is 276 pages). Obviously she has to figure out what to do there, but the decision about her future is already complicated. Yvonne plays the violin. That's what she does; that's her identity. Except lately, it hasn't been the joy it usually is. It sometimes feel
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-star
DNF @ pg 80 - this makes me sad. Little & Lion is an absolutely excellent contemporary, but Finding Yvonne is unable to capture any of what made L&L a success. The writing here is lifeless, the plot is aimless, the main character uninteresting. This story desperately needed...something, though I can't quite put my figure on what. It just wasn't holding my interest in the slightest...
Aug 18, 2018 added it
This review was originally posted on my blog Assia Something.

Summary: Yvonne realizes that playing violin is no longer her future. She just doesn’t feel the passion necessary to dedicate her ENTIRE life to playing. Enter Warren, the guy she’s kinda-sorta dating, who is only two years older than her, and has already found his life’s passion. And Omar, the cute guy who plays music on Venice Beach. This is a bad summary, just read the book.
I don’t know what I expected this book to be, but it wasn’
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ever since I read Brandy Colbert's LITTLE & LION, I knew I was going to continue to be a fan of her work. So when I found out about FINDING YVONNE, I immediately added this book to my TBR. And now I'm so glad that I got the chance to read it, because this book took me on an emotional rollercoaster that I couldn't tear myself away from!

I really liked the way that this book tackled uncertainty in its many forms. Yvonne wasn't sure about a lot of things in her life --- just a few being her frie
Arrow Jameson
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
5/10 OR 3/5 STARS

Okay, so I’m confused. Obviously this book was good, otherwise it wouldn’t have a 5/10. But obviously it’s not awesome since it has a 5/10.

Starting with what’s good, let’s go with Yvonne and her family. I loved the bond she had with her father because it was completely bittersweet and Colbert leaves it open-ended because father-daughter relationships are very sensitive. Especially if your father is a full-time chef.

What I loved most about this book is Warren *dreamy sigh*. He wa
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hands down, Brandy Colbert is my favorite writer of contemporary realist YA fiction. Her books handle complicated situations with incomparable grace, her characters bring to life complex, intersectional identities, and she has a knack for page-turning scenes. I feel like my writing gets better every time I read her books.

In Finding Yvonne, eighteen-year-old Yvonne grapples with a strained relationship with her father, the absence of her mother, and a romance with 21-year-old Warren, her not-boyf
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had a hard time putting this book down! Yvonne's voice is so strong, and I really felt for her senior year struggles. I appreciated that she didn't have a clear path toward figuring out what she wants to do after high school, and I loved her self-awareness of both her privileges (as a relatively well-off teen getting a good private school education) and her disadvantages (as a black teen girl at a mostly white institution). I was just rooting for her so hard the whole time!

(view spoiler)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abby Johnson
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Yvonne's struggle with her music and figuring out her future is spot-on and something that a lot of teens her age struggle with. She's struggling to find herself in a lot of ways in this book - her once-certain career path is thrown off the rails, she struggles with her feelings about a barely-there father and the mother who left when she was six, and she's navigating some pretty intense romantic situations. This is a sex-positive story that shows Yvonne figuring out relationships and having sex ...more
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gmba-2019-20
I really enjoyed this second novel by Brandy Colbert, perhaps even more than Little & Lion. Yvonne is trying hard to navigate her world: does she still love the violin? Does she love Warren enough? Or is Omar better for her? Does she even miss her mother? Is her dad enough? In some ways a straightforward story, but the characters are nuanced and make up for it.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brandy Colbert stuns me again with this beautiful, nuanced exploration of identity at the end of high school and the pressures of that time. She also thoughtfully explores race, prejudices, sex positivity and pregnancy. The family, friend and relationship dynamics were beautifully don’t and I cried more than once.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Amazing read! Completely different to what I was expecting but I think that was because I had a completely different idea of what I thought the book was. This book is hard to rate because it isn't a four stars but it's not completely a five stars. I'll rate it here four stars but I think it's closer to 4.5 Honestly just read it.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
RATING: 3.5/5 stars
I liked the depiction of a lonely teenage girl trying to work out what she wants to do with her life. It made for an interesting audiobook. I did not really like the cheating though, and what makes it worse is that Yvonne does not see it as cheating.
Mattie Richards
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Great relationship writing, cliche story. Almost finished it but the relationship building that kept me involved took an absolute nosedive into bad self published territory, so I stopped wasting my time.
Also that covered killed a lot of interest for me.
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Brandy Colbert was born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks and has worked as an editor for several national magazines. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.

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