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We Were Promised Spotlights

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3.64  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  32 reviews
The Miseducation of Cameron Post meets Everything Leads to You in this queer young adult novel.

Taylor Garland's good looks have earned her the admiration of everyone in her small town. She's homecoming queen, the life of every party, and she's on every boy's most-wanted list.

People think Taylor is living the dream, and assume she'll stay in town and have kids with the
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: March 24th 2020 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  44 ratings  ·  32 reviews


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Iris
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia
Absolutely gay trash. It’s so cool to see how far YA has come since I was reading regularly. There was good discussions of sexuality, and then there was drinking and sex and STIs and cliques and everything you want in a highschool drama. Just wait till the prom scene and watch our girl go full disaster gay. Anyways, it was quick and fun, and honestly kinda felt like another character in Euphoria \_(ツ)_/

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Mira Ptacin
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love every single thing Lindsay Sproul writes. In my opinion, she's the reincarnation of a modern-day Carson McCullers and I am thrilled that she will have more books coming out after this one. I love every sentence, and how strong and beautiful and rare her work is. Hooray for this book. I'm a superfan.
J M T
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED THIS BOOK.

Too many LGBTQ books come from the point of view from an outcast, trying to fit into a heteronormative world. Taylor Garland is anything but an outcast. She’s popular, she’s pretty, and it’s an open secret that her father is probably a famous movie star.

On the surface Taylor is the hot bitch in high school. She’s THAT girl. However, the book is from her POV. And that is refreshing. She’s neurotic, deals with internalized homophobia, and Is completely uncomfortable in her own
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alana ♡
Probably 2.5 stars.

RTC.
Queer Reader
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG THIS BOOK!!!!!

I’ve been looking for a narrator like Taylor for such a long time.

Though I wouldn’t call it a comedy by any means, this book and Taylor as a narrator both have biting humor, even in the face of difficult issues like homophobia, sexism, and the pressure put on girls and women about their bodies. Taylor is unlikable at first, but she’s so weird and insecure that ultimately I loved her. For once, the “popular bitch” is multidimensional. This barely happens in straight romances,
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Anne
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I'd had this book when I was a teen navigating all the cliques at school at the same time I was coming to terms with being queer. My high school career occurred around the same time (1999/2000), so We Were Promised Spotlights was particularly relatable for me.

Taylor is a product of her surroundings, her upbringing, her class, and for the majority of the book, she's only doing what she knows, what she's been taught. Being a mean popular girl is the only way she knows how to survive. In a
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Ashley
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is refreshing in several ways, and it’s also honest and brave. It follows the narrator, a seemingly unlikable popular mean girl (who I ultimately found hilarious, vulnerable and sympathetic), on her coming out journey, which is unlike any other I’ve seen before.

Yes, it’s full of homophobia, fatphobia and other triggering content, but... those things exist!!! Sadly, while this novel is historical, the homophobia portrayed (both internal and external) were prominent during the late
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Nicole Turcios
You can also find this review at my blog!

I am so glad I came across this book. Taylor is a big disaster gay.

Loved this story so much because the perspective is quite refreshing. Taylor was a truly realistic character when portraying internalized homophobia and dealing with the expectations and image she has to hold when being such a public image as she is. We get to know how nostalgic she is, how she would give anything to be anyone else but her and while she can be a bitch sometimes, we get to
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Anna Claire
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lindsay Sproul is able to capture the thoughts and voice of teens in a way that is unmatched. She takes such care with her characters and her wit is top notch. I love how this book flips the expectation of the underdog.

I love everything she writes, but this is at the top of the list! Gay AF.
c,
On my blog.

Rep: lesbian mc, lesbian & bi side characters

CWs: homophobia, fatphobia (uncontested), lesbophobic slurs, child abuse, outing

Sometimes writing reviews of books you hated is easy. Other times, it’s like pulling teeth because you absolutely do not want to relive the book in any way, shape, or form. This book falls squarely into the latter camp.

I’m not quite sure where to start with this book. It’s about a closeted lesbian teen in a small town in America in the 90s. It doesn’t
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Lucsbooks
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We don’t usually get stories about the popular kids, do we? Normally it’s all about the underdog and the ones that are different, popular becomes a synonym with being devoid of a personality or a life except to notice how pretty they are and how difficult they make the protagonist's life. Except in this story, the popular girl is the protagonist and if we can see her being a nightmare, we also see that she is a product and slave of the societal expectations put on her.

Taylor is not an easy
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Sigrid
THIS BOOK!!!!!! I am in love with it. It's an extremely complex story in the package of a "fun read," which it iS, but it's so much more than that.

It's not very often that we get the perspective of the popular girl--usually, this character is a pathetic stereotype. Also, it's not often that we see books that discuss the way physical beauty can actually be damaging to a girl or a woman--how literally everyone finds attractive girls threatening. This book NAILS IT. The male characters are
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Andrew
This novel feels like a quiet rebellion-- it's 1999, and Taylor is tired of being the popular girl, expected to stay rooted to her hometown forever. As she slowly emerges into her lesbian identity and general sense of who she really is, she burns some bridges, while rebuilding others. We Were Promised Spotlights shows the middle-of-the-road struggle many teens often face as they come into themselves as people-- not completely miserable, but not necessarily happy. The fact that Taylor is so far ...more
Maddie
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given an advanced copy in exchange for this review.

I am in love with this book!!! The ending is feminist AF. It was not what I expected to happen, and I love seeing girls choose to save themselves rather than let a man “rescue” them.

Taylor’s coming out story was unique and funny. I recommend this book to anyone looking for an awesome f/f romance.
. (not active on this account stop adding me)
content warnings: uncontested fatphobia, lesbophobia, lesbophobic bullying, internalised homophobia, repeated use of the d slur and other homophobic slurs


Currently sitting between a 2 or 3 star rating. Review to come!
Jessica | Booked J
Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Review can be found here at Booked J.

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

First things first: if you're looking for teenagers who act like teenagers, you'll likely appreciate this one! We Were Promised Spotlights accurately portrays a specific lifestyle of one category of teenagers of the era it's set in. At times, its characters can be unlikable and
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Sam
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you’re a fan of Skins or Euphoria, this book is for you! Super realistic f/f romance... unexpected ending... beautiful writing.
delph ✨
Oct 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Find my review on my blog: here.
TW/Content warnings: homophobia, fatphobia, bullying, internalized homophobia, use of slur words, underage smoking/drinking, child abuse (violence), homophobic language, some graphic and non-graphic sex scenes.

Review: (1/5)

An e-ARC was provided by the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange of an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

First of all, I know Goodreads and the advertisement team say it’s a contemporary story but if it takes place
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Ashley
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advanced copy in exchange for this review.

This book is refreshing. It takes a seemingly unlikable character (who I ultimately found hilarious and real and sympathetic), and the result is a coming out story that’s different from any other I’ve seen before.

Yes, there’s a ton of homophobia in this book, and while it made me uncomfortable at times, it feels important to show that the world was like this in the late 90s/early 2000s, and in many places, still is. So many of us still
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Joel Rayberg
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic coming off age story that's set in the South Shore of Boston.
Sarah
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Edelweiss+ for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I've never read anything quite like this book--the word that comes to mind first when describing it is "honest." Sometimes, it's harsh. Sometimes, it's painful to read. Sometimes, it's hilarious. But it felt overwhelmingly real.

I recommend this to people who want to read a book where teenagers feel like real teenagers. Reminded me of Euphoria, Skins and My So-Called Life. The writing itself is beyond
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Sophie G
WOW... The notion that female physical beauty is threatening? To literally everyone? This is the first book I've ever seen that deals with that topic, and it's even better/more complex that the character is queer. This is a THING, people!

To all of you delicate flowers complaining about homophobia in this book, you need to realize that it's also a thing. Internalized homophobia was MOST DEF a HUGE thing in the 90s (especially in conservative small towns), and it sadly still is. This book depicts
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Hristina
Before you read the review, I would like to ask you to pay no attention to the overall rating this book has, as it's overfilled with reviews from no-image accounts that have only been used to leave positive reviews for this book. I can't make a definitive statement, but I can say that I find that really suspicious.


This was an infuriating book for me. I wanted to like it, but it just didn't happen.
A list to sum up all my thoughts.

The good:
1. I think the characters and their behaviors were
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Lauren
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
A teen, gay coming out story that explores sex and sexuality in the 1990’s. I wasn’t a huge fan; it was fine. Graphic, so definitely not for younger teen readers.
lapetitepritt
Aug 23, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was provided with an e-ARC of this book through Edelweiss+, so thank you so much to them and the publisher for giving me the chance to read We Were Promised Spotilights in advance.
All opinions are my own and are not influenced in anyway by the means by which I got the book.

Yet another one star rating from me. And I think I am being generous.

Starting from the beginning. One of my first problems with We Were Promised Starlights was that it was marketed
as a contemporary, which it wasn’t (it
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Sahar
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Please note that this is from an ARC, and any quotes I’ve included are from the uncorrected text.

I have a lot of thoughts about this book. Firstly, it is a historical book, but it wasn’t (at least to me) immediately clear that it was a historical book (it takes place mainly during 1999-2000). I think, honestly, this is a commentary on how homophobic society still is. This book really didn’t read as very dated to me.

Taylor Garland is the main character, and she isn’t very likable. That’s not
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Danielle
It's 1999 and Taylor is a senior in high school. She's the most popular girl in school, but she doesn't like the life that's facing her as she heads into the new millennium. She's a terrible student and is uninterested in the dental hygienist program her mom is pushing her into after graduation. She also has little interest in settling down in her small town with the homecoming king like everyone assume's she'll do, especially since she's in love with her best friend Susan.

Lives of teenagers in
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Olivia Wong
This is my FIRST advanced copy--thank you Edelweiss+! (this review is based on the uncorrected proof)

As a queer reader of a similar age to Taylor, I found her to be incredibly, almost heartbreakingly real. She does such terrible things, but Sproul shows us where this behavior stems from and why, and also invites us into Taylor's mind in such a way that we KNOW her. (Also--she's SEVENTEEN! With no retrospective adult narration looking back on her behavior, and her working class, uneducated
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Emily
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It really irritates me when I read a historical fiction novel that was advertised as a contemporary fiction novel. This book takes place in 1999; that was 20 YEARS AGO. Baseline: if it takes place before your audience was born, IT'S HISTORICAL.

Anyway. I don't know why I was expecting this to be funnier. It was pretty depressing in a very real way. Very engaging but just made me sad.
e ll a ✨
i skimmed the synopsis but saw the end and almost dropped my phone. jeez, warn a fellow gay will you??
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