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The Voting Booth

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Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She's always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election?

Duke Crenshaw is so done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band's first paying gig tonight. Only problem? Duke can't vote.

When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn't spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right. And that's how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva's missing cat), it's clear that there's more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.

Romantic and triumphant, The Voting Booth is proof that you can't sit around waiting for the world to change, but some things are just meant to be.

293 pages, Hardcover

First published July 7, 2020

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About the author

Brandy Colbert

20 books1,133 followers
Brandy Colbert was born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,374 reviews
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
November 4, 2020
I probably chose to read this on the wrong day, because ANXIETY. (if you're reading this in the future, I read it on the day of the 2020 US Presidential Election) I liked this quite a bit, but I preferred the moments when it focused on the actual voting/election bits. There was another storyline that was brought in that focused on a missing cat and I just felt like it was really random and I really didn't care (sorry lil missing cat lol). It does also have a bit of a rushed feeling, but that's because it mostly takes place all in one day outside of the flashback moments we get. I loved following a character who was so passionate about voting and having her voice be heard that she went to such far lengths to help someone else use their voice despite the obstacles that came with it.
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,307 reviews28k followers
August 10, 2020
This book was really good. I think this book is important because of the social commentary discussed in this book, and the reminder of how important it is for young people to vote! This book couldn't have come out at a better time. Young people need to understand that their voice can make a difference and they need to use their voice to make change.

This was a great audiobook, thanks to libro.fm for the ALC!
Profile Image for jenny✨.
578 reviews842 followers
November 19, 2020
“Change takes time. And patience. And… a willingness to listen to people we may not understand.”

This was absolutely phenomenal, and I am utterly, UTTERLY blown away.

The Voting Booth tackles social justice, being Black in America, white privilege, grief, being mixed-race, interracial relationships, and the compassion fatigue of activism—and it does so with wit and banter and characters who are relatable, passionate, and compelling as heck.

In the tradition of The Sun Is Also a Star, this book takes place over the span of a single day, as Marva and Duke face down obstacle after obstacle to cast his vote. They maneuver around voting registration mix-ups, Marva's asshole boyfriend, running out of ballots, a missing cat who's Instagram-famous, and the wrath of Duke's parents.

All the while, sparks FLY. Their chemistry is in every word they speak. They talk about activism and the loss of Duke's brother, Julian. They discuss the myriad ways that anti-Blackness manifests in America, and the frustration of creating change in a system that seems set up for failure. There is fried bologna sandwiches and the beach and Duke's band's first-ever show. Interspersed throughout are also chapters that fill in backstory about their past, which really develop the book beyond just this one day.

My absolute favourite thing about this book is how social justice infuses every chapter, settling comfortably into each turn of the story. The book doesn't proselytize: it compels, with a story of two individuals who are navigating the nuances of activism. Like—

What if you don't fully agree with a cause?
What if someone you love doesn't?
How do you tackle the dangers that come with protesting?
What can you even do?
And: What if the worst happens, even after you've done all that you can?

The Voting Booth by no means holds all the answers. But it is uplifting and electrifying—a call to action. There is much to be done, big and small; and like Marva and Duke, we will get through it, no matter what.

💫But to even get there? We gotta start somewhere. And a voting booth might just be the perfect place.

Shout-out & thank you to NetGalley and Disney Book Group for this ARC!
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
2,086 reviews5,075 followers
July 12, 2020
Content Warnings: off the page death, voter suppression

4.5 Stars

Why is this my first Brandy Colbert book?!? She did some pretty amazing things with this book. I'm not sure what I was expecting in my read of this book, but I'm always down for a cute YA contemporary. However, the The Voting Booth was so much more. This story takes place over the course of an election day and I'm always weary of books that have that set up; nevertheless, Colbert does an amazing job.

I think the most important aspects of this book was Colbert's ability to weave in some timely issues. After Obama's election there was a significant decrease in the individuals that came out to the polls to vote. Colbert discusses this by working with the narrative: "my vote doesn't count so why should I even attempt to vote." She utilizes her main character Marva to counter that narrative and I loved it. Marva is a high school senior that is super involved in the political arena. She's an advocate for those who experience voter suppression, for issues that are important to her, and to the Black community overall. I loved her ambition and her commitment to her beliefs. In comparison, Duke comes from a family that isn't necessarily as vocal about political issues, but had a family member that was avid about protesting and changing the narrative about the Black community. He comes off as strong and very put together, but through the text the reader quickly learns that he has insecurities like so many around him. When Duke is unable to vote on election day, Marva sets out to assist him and their day turns into a whirlwind of an adventure. Neither character is perfect and each has experienced a lot (which the reader finds out in flashbacks). They learn from each other and see the world in a different way by getting to know each other. I think there was chemistry between the two from the beginning; however, I love that Colbert respected the fact that Marva has a boyfriend even though their relationship was doomed to end from the beginning of the book. She doesn't rush things and their attraction wasn't the main focus on the book.

Colbert also takes time to address other issues that impact the characters. These issues include police brutality, voter suppression, interracial dating, the perception of Black people specifically Black males, and Black identity. I loved the conversation about Black identity. Duke is bi-racial and Marva attends a predominately White school. Both go through periods in their life where they question their Blackness. I know a lot of young Black people who have gone through this including myself. You question whether you are Black enough especially when you feel caught in the middle. This conversation is covered through two different perspectives and I loved it.

The one-day narrative was done very well and I honestly forgot that it was taking place over the course of one day because Colbert did such a fantastic job weaving the stories together. I also think that the flashbacks helped build a better and fuller picture of each of the characters and their families. This book deserves all the buzz and I'm really looking forward to reading more from this author. This is definitely an important book considering that this is an election year.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,921 reviews33.1k followers
July 22, 2020
3.5 stars

The Voting Booth is an important story and one I enjoyed. I really need to read more of Brandy Colbert's books because I love her writing! I think books that take place in one day just aren't for me. Most of the time the pacing seems off and I can't get enough of a feel for a lot of the characters. I liked Marva and Duke and I especially liked reading about Duke's past and family. I think this book is so crucial for young people to read because voting is so important. I listened to the audio book, which was narrated by Cary Hite and Robin Eller. The narration was great and I highly recommend picking it up.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,129 reviews13.8k followers
October 11, 2020
Trigger Warnings for grief and death of a loved one.

This book was just everything. I think more than ever that this book sends some really important messages to the YA audience. Even the adult audience. Voting is important and voter suppression is a real issue. Marva is dedicated to helping people vote and encouraging youth that they can make a difference. When she saw that Duke was having trouble being able to vote, they spend the day trying find a way to finally allow him to vote. This book takes place in one day and the pacing worked so well; there were never any moments that were too slow or too fast.

While both Marva and Duke are 18, their families are so prevalent in their lives and, even though they skip school, they still have to answer for their actions. I loved how close they were to their families in different ways and how they still had some struggles with their families they were dealing with, specifically Duke and his family. Duke and Marva go to different schools and I liked how we got alternating chapters about their current and past experiences. While Marva goes to the private school and Duke goes to the public school, they both have some pretty similar experiences now and when they were growing up.

As a romance reader, I also loved the slow development of their romance and how Marva was struggling with her current relationship. During senior year, teens definitely are at a time in their lives where they're evaluating where they want their futures to go and who they want to spend those futures with. Marva had been dating her boyfriend for two years, but a lot can change in two years and she's not so sure who she's dating anymore. While this book was on the shorter side, it dealt with so many important topics and definitely packed a punch.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,514 reviews29.5k followers
August 1, 2020
4.5 stars

Brandy Colbert's new book, The Voting Booth , is thought-provoking, timely, and sweetly romantic.

It’s Election Day. Marva has been waiting for this day for so long—it’s the first time she gets to vote and the stakes have never been higher. She is so excited to walk into that booth and cast her vote.

Having grown up with an activist older brother, Duke knows the importance of Election Day. Yet when he goes to vote before school he discovers he’s not registered at his precinct.

Overhearing Duke's predicament snaps Marva into action, and she is determined that Duke will vote before the end of the day, because she can sense he's just willing to let it slide rather than do the work to make it all happen. She drives him to a second polling place, and wants to follow through when they encounter other situations. Along the way they talk—about frivolous and serious things—and realize that sometimes the most intense connections are the ones which are most unexpected.

Each also has their own struggles to deal with, both relationship-related and otherwise. Will the day end with each going their separate ways?

I really enjoyed The Voting Booth . It dealt with some weighty issues and felt so immensely relevant but it was never preachy or heavy-handed. There was a fresh sweetness to the storytelling which made you root for the characters.

If you’re a fan of YA rom-coms, here’s one for you. And don’t forget to vote!!

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html.

Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Anniek.
1,873 reviews695 followers
May 25, 2020
I'm absolutely loving the recent trend of politics in YA, which is due to 2020 being an election year in the US. If you're, like me, interested in these types of books, I would say that The Voting Booth is pretty much required reading.

The Voting Booth reminded me a lot of The Sun Is Also a Star as well, since it also all happens in one day. This makes the book perfect to read in one sitting, and I found it a very fast and engaging read.

I think this book will appeal to a large audience. It handles subjects like racial injustice and gun violence, and the privilege of being able to opt out of activism because things don't have a direct impact on your life. And while all of this feels poignant and relevant, the book still manages to stay light and mostly fluffy, which I think is no small feat.

CWs: gun violence, past death of a sibling, racism
Profile Image for sarah.
404 reviews270 followers
July 5, 2020
“Change takes time. And patience. And a willingness to listen to people we may not understand.”

★★★☆☆.5 stars

The Voting Booth follows Marva Sheridan who is beyond excited to be able to vote in her first election. While she is at her polling place, she sees Duke get turned away, as he is registered in a different precinct. Marva takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted, and together they cut school, drive for hours, get turned away again and again. The rigged system is making it impossible for everyone's voice to be heard- but Marva is determined. Throw in an adorable Instagram cat, themes of activism and an all-in-one day story and I was sold.

I have been loving the recent trend of political YA contemporaries, likely spurred on by the upcoming US election. These types of stories, particularly featuring BIPOC characters are so important to be shared. Marva is black and Duke half-black, we tackle topics of white privilege, being mixed race, interracial relationships and gun violence.

However, I couldn't completely relate to the story as it centres on American politics- which I am aware of- but inevitably not as invested in as someone from the US would be. The entire premise of the story: convincing others to vote, and obstacles that many have to face just to have their voice heard is a pretty alien concept to me (voting is compulsory in Australia- what a concept). I couldn't help but have a voice in the back of my head saying all of this could be solved if a mandatory vote was introduced, but alas. That being said, it didn't completely detract from my experience reading, because it made me angry, and that anger helped me understand Marva, someone who has had to live with the unjust and discriminatory political system her entire life.

The writing was well done, and it makes me excited to see what else Brandy Colbert has to offer. I have heard incredible things about some of her backlist titles so I will definitely have to check them out!

An issue I had with the story was that some of it felt disjointed.I think the premise worked slightly better than the execution because while, in theory, a 24 hour book sounds fun it led to some pacing problems and tried to tackle too many things in too short a time. I felt like if we had a bit more time with the characters, it would have felt more nuanced in its exploration of some themes and been a bit more seamless. Elements such as Marva's instagram famous cat, Selma going missing was something I liked the inclusion of while reading but looking back seems pointless and included just for the sake of some drama.

The characters felt genuine and realistic for teenagers. So while it felt slightly questionable that Marva began the day with a boyfriend and ending it developing feelings for Duke, it didn't bother me too much. However, the romance felt like it took over the story and felt more fluffy and younger than I was expecting going in. Obviously that isn't a bad thing, but I just went in with the wrong expectations and ended up slightly disappointed.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience reading this book and absolutely flew through the audiobook. It is an immensely timely novel, with relevant discussions. If you enjoy books with themes of activism and centre on politics, but also a cute romance- look no further!

Thank you to Dreamscape Media and Libro.fm for this ALC

Release Date: 7 July 2020
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,425 reviews215 followers
August 14, 2020
I have been seeing so many people reading this book and I had some serious FOMO guys. Luckily for me, I found it and decided to dive into it!

The Voting Booth was kind of cute. I will admit that the beginning made me a bit hesitant because of what was going on but it definitely grew on me. In it, you will meet Marva and Duke. Now she (Marva) is beyond excited for election day. Why? Well it's her first time to vote and every vote counts. While at the polling place, she sees that Duke is turned away because it wasn't his polling place. Yikes!

Throughout the book, she takes Duke to the correct place so that he can cast his vote. Unfortunately, things start to go down hill from there. It was definitely an eye opener for polling places that have long lines and have the potential to run out of ballots. Marva gets pretty upset, and so do some of the people who have been waiting in line for hours, and they are completely in the right.

A lot of things that came up just blew my mind. I'm sure it has happened in a lot of places whenever there is an election. Heck, it made me mad that people have to wait in line for hours and hours. For example, if you went to vote on your lunch break and you're in line for 3 hours but your lunch break is one hour - you could be in trouble with your boss. Even if it's important to vote and such, that doesn't mean every person is going to think that is acceptable.

Now I've been voting for a while now, since I'm 28, but I don't think I've ever waiting in line for an hour. Usually I'll go before work, so that's about 6am-ish or after work around 7pm-ish. Luckily for me, I live pretty close to where I get to vote (like maybe 5 mins if I walk there) so I could go whenever if I'm home. But for the people who don't have the luxury, I feel for them.

Then there's the people who don't feel like voting or don't think their vote counts. Oh lord, this just wanted me to pull out all my hair. Voting matters. If you don't vote then you have no right to be mad at who is in power then.

Other than that, I really enjoyed this book. I'm happy that I got a chance to dive into and fall in love with the characters and the plot. Especially since we have a big election coming up soon. Be prepared. Do your research. Go vote.
Profile Image for Ms. Woc Reader.
533 reviews705 followers
July 4, 2020
This isn't just some forced romance in a day story. Marva and Duke feel like real people. Some of us were Marva back in high school or college. She's the Black girl who has to navigate white spaces while being the best face forward. She has to check her white boyfriend and friends because the color of their skin allows them to not understand the privileged they use every day. They don't have to vote when the policies are already in their favor.

And Duke knows the importance of voting. It's been drilled in his head for years. But after all he's been through in life it's just not something he's as passionate about anymore. He's doing it to appease his mother while his band's big gig is the most important concern of his day. After his activist brother's death he doesn't want to be the voice of anything. But when Marva sees him get turned away at the polling place she's determined to make sure his vote counts.

Why hasn't Disney Plus adapted this to film? This would've been the perfect movie for our current climate. Being set in election year already made it relevant. We're seeing voter suppression in real time and the media is ignoring it! The pandemic is being used to make sure that certain votes don't count. This book discusses Juneteenth and it's importance. Many people only became familiar with it last month due to the spotlight placed upon it as white companies attempted to capitalize on the Black Lives Matter movement. And best of all it's a story that calls out racism without focusing mainly on Black pain.

View full review at
Profile Image for Natasha Niezgoda.
643 reviews229 followers
October 6, 2020


If you need one more person to convince you to vote this year, meet Marva! Because saying that she’s waited her whole life for this day is an understatement and she’s here to empower all eligible voters to DO THE DEED!

In fact, the majority of this book is spent helping a new friend, Duke, vote in his first election too! She even goes so far to help a bunch of seniors make it to the polling place to cast their ballots. Yeah, voting is THAT important to her.


And she’s right, folx! Never feel like your voice is too small to matter. Because it does, especially in your community, county and state!

I highly recommend The Voting Booth to everyone, but especially for first time voters and parents of teens that will get to vote this term! There’s a lot of social commentary that’s represented in here and I think it can spark a crap ton of conversations!


A huge thank you to Libro.fm for this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read! The audiobook was fun, encouraging and passionate!

Bottom line: voting matters, friends!
Profile Image for Mari.
711 reviews5,606 followers
July 20, 2020
3.5 stars

I received a copy of this audiobook from libro.fm as part of their advanced listener copy program.

I'm not a huge reader of contemporary YA, but this was very sweet and readable and tackled a lot of important topics. I read it in one sitting on a Saturday afternoon, stuck in quarantine, and felt cozy as I read about being outside and also voting for policies that protected my right to live in peace. This gave me big time The Sun is Also a Star vibes, just because it has the same set up of two teens meet up one day, run against the clock, and also catch feelings. It's writing style is more matter of fact, however, and less poetic.

Ultimately, I ended up really enjoying everything this book explores about civic duty, the importance of voting, and frustration at the ways our system is still broken. That said, it was a little much in the beginning. The story comes out, guns a'blazing, and reaches an "after school special" sort of pitch before calming down a bit. That is certainly something that plays differently for me, an adult, than it would for someone in the intended audience.

The best moments were quieter for me: music as healing, the rush of worry when being pulled over while black, and loving things like a good cat instagram. And while this is very much about instant attraction and connection, it played it smooth and slow enough that it never felt like the bad side of insta-love.

Overall, enjoyable!
Profile Image for Natalia Sylvester.
Author 9 books71.4k followers
September 10, 2020
"I know voting doesn’t solve everything, and people may think that one vote isn’t all that important, but I really believe it makes a difference.”

This quote by Marva in The Voting Booth so wonderfully sums up the hope & conviction at the heart of this novel. I loved it.
Profile Image for ✨    jami   ✨.
681 reviews3,951 followers
December 30, 2020
dnf @ 45%. it's with a heavy I heart I am not finishing it. I really loved Brandy Colbert books in the past, but I was hesitant because this has lots of stuff I .. don't like? One day romances are not my thing, and it's an educational kind of YA which would be fine except that I am not really learning anything from this since I .. have a degree in this? I wanted to give it a chance anyway since I love the author, but I'm not enjoying it so I thought better to dnf it now before I start to resent it. I want to keep my good standing with Brandy Colbert alive
Profile Image for farith.
342 reviews463 followers
September 20, 2020
2.5 stars

maybe i'm being too harsh on this book but okay...

while there were many things i appreciated like the black representation, the talk about interracial relationships and the encouragement towards youth on activism (and the importance of voting), i had some issues with the development of the story, the lack of depth on certain topics and the instalove .

the story focuses mainly on mava and duke on their first election day and the misfortunes that follow them. throughout the whole book we get to see how their relationship develops -in less than a day- and how they help each other out with their personal struggles.

i went into this novel expecting something completely different. this isn’t the type of book i would personally pick up on my own, but since the 2020 elections are just around the corner, i thought the voting booth would be an ideal read. sadly, it left an unsatisfied void in me.

i think that if the story hadn’t been concentrated predominantly on the relationship, the author could’ve dived a little deeper into the other problems that america is going through right now. we can see how she actually never acknowledged favoritism towards any political party and stayed unbiased until the very end. i can understand the reason behind this due to the message the book is trying to transmit is that your vote matters, as well as the monetary loss it would’ve caused for the publisher had she attacked any particular ideology.

i personally felt a little disappointed but i still think it’s a book that many readers out there would enjoy. i don't see it as a "bad book" just not for me. although it isn’t among my favorites, i still recommend it.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,208 reviews3,694 followers
July 5, 2020
The Voting Booth is a timely and well-executed YA romance that talks about the importance of voting, the history of voter suppression among communities of color in the United States, political activism, and the daily experiences of Black Americans. It's a cute story that also packs a punch and this would be a fantastic book to hand to a teenager wondering if their voice can make a difference.

The book takes place during a single day, but we do get some flashbacks to add context. Marva is excited to finally vote in her first election. She's passionate about political issues and has been working hard to help get people registered to vote. Duke Crenshaw wants to get voting over with so he can go to school and get ready for the gig he has with his band that night. His brother who passed away fairly recently had been passionate about voting and activism. On election day, Marva meets Duke in line to vote and when he's turned away she offers to help him find his assigned polling place. Things go from there.

Marva is Black and Duke is biracial, so we get some good discussions surrounding identity and what Black is "supposed to" be like. We get discussions of grief, particularly with a sibling lost during a drive-by shooting and the racial assumptions of that. There is also a tense scene where they are pulled over while driving. Everything is fine, but there are discussions of how one day it might not be.

Marva is having issues with her white boyfriend of two years as well. When they got together he seemed empathetic and cared about the same issues, but now things are changing and this allows for a great discussion of white burnout and the fact that Black people can't just decide to take a break from being Black because it's hard. I'll also note that nothing romantic happens between Marva and Duke until AFTER that relationship has ended, which I appreciated.

All that to say, it's a great book with a lot of important conversations tied into a cute story. Definitely recommend this one and hope it will get out to teens who really need it. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Romie.
1,094 reviews1,270 followers
August 28, 2020
randomly decided to listen to this book and guess what? I read it in one go. the fact that this book takes place during just one day made everything go pretty quickly, because there's always something happening. I really liked the way this book shows how important it is to use your voice and fight for what you believe (4.25)

thank you libro.fm and Disney-Hyperion for the audio listening copy
Profile Image for Jane.
959 reviews62 followers
July 2, 2020
3 stars (release date 7-7-2020)

You can read all of my reviews at https://www.NerdGirlLovesBooks.com.

This is a quick and easy read about two 18-year-0lds trying to vote for the first time in the general election. Set during a 24 hour time period, the two teenagers discuss such weighty topics as voter suppression, voter apathy, being black in america, white privilege, grief, interracial couples and other tough issues.

This is a good contemporary YA romance that also addresses social issues. Marva is an activist that spent months before the election helping register voters and spreading information about the upcoming election. She is excited about voting in her first election and is looking forward to college where she hopes to eventually go to law school and have a career in politics. She's upset with her boyfriend who has suddenly decided not to vote, so when she sees a young teenager having difficulty voting at her precinct, she is determined to make sure that he is allowed to vote.

Duke has promised his mother that he would vote before school, but when he tries to vote at the local precinct, he realizes that he's at the wrong place. When cute stranger Marva asserts herself into his predicament and insists he exercise his right to vote, he accepts her offer to help.

The rest of the book follows Marva and Duke's exploits as they run into one road block after another to Duke voting in the election. Along the way the couple talk about issues in their lives and we learn the back story into why Marva and Duke feel such a deep need to vote in the election. Most of the topics arise due to a personal experience from one of the two, and while the topics are important and deep, the duo only discusses them superficially before moving on to another topic. This makes it seem more like the topics were artificially raised so they could be checked off a list of current events, rather than an authentic part of the story.

The secondary story line about Marva's cat Selma didn't really work. It was inserted to soften Marva and make her more likable, but it just felt awkward and stilted to me. Same thing with Duke being a drummer in a band.

Overall this is a quick and easy read that discusses current events in a digestible way for YA readers. It stresses the need for everyone to participate in the election process so their voice is heard, and that's a great message to get out.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 7 books1,212 followers
January 1, 2020
Marva is a bit uptight, controlling, and loves to live by the rules. She's beyond excited to vote in her first election.

Duke is a bit more easy going, but he's dealing with tremendous loss in his life and the realities of being mixed race (his mother is white and his father is Black).

When Marva casts her vote in the election and sees the challenges Duke has in doing the same -- he's not on the precinct rolls -- she steps in. Together, they spend a day getting to know one another while also working toward getting Duke's vote cast and helping eliminate barriers to the election for people in their community.

This is a fast-paced, delightful, and also socially-conscious read and one that's by turns spot-on in addressing the realities of how hard it can be to vote in an election while also being sweet and swoony in the budding romance between Marva and Duke. Marva's hard exterior begins to break down a lot around Duke, and as readers become aware of, she's not as hard as she likes to think she is. The girl has a social media account for her cat, Eartha Kitty (aka Selma).

Duke lost his brother due to his activism, and Duke's younger sister Ida has been arrested for hers. His parents are understandably nervous and worried for him, but he knows what it is he needs to do. And Marva only helps him understand the importance of what he chooses to do.

There's so much about activism here that'll appeal to readers young and not-so-young. I loved the ways Marva and Duke discover how small things really do add up to big things. It's not just voting, though that matters. It's also about helping people get to the polls, helping ensure people are still actively registered, and so much more. All of those things happen on the microlevel and matter deeply.
Profile Image for solomiya.
501 reviews53 followers
August 15, 2020
omg I hope there will be more political YA coming out, I enjoyed this so much! I think we are all feeling some type of way ahead of this year's election and it was really fun to see it in this setting while also exploring serious issues.

thank you to libro.fm for an ALC of this book. all thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Madalyn (Novel Ink).
499 reviews825 followers
October 30, 2020
if you know me, you know i’m a sucker for books set over the course of one day, and also a sucker for books about politics. so a one-day romance set against the backdrop of election day, written by one of my favorite YA authors? it’s no surprise that i loved this.
Profile Image for Olivia.
163 reviews741 followers
August 6, 2020
This one-day-romance on election day is a quick read that feels like hope and teen love with an emphasis on important issues.

They are also right to market this as the election day version of The Sun is Also a Star.

I like that Marva and Duke's busy day felt... authentic. There wasn't much that felt far fetched and it was fun seeing all the things they did.

Their day is also moved by the realities of voting issues and suppression and I really enjoyed how this was done. I think this is a great read for teens and adults alike because Brandy Colbert shows the importance of voting and how, while it should be a piece of cake to do and everyone should feel their vote counts, there are many obstacles. Like the 'my vote doesn't matter anyway' thought, or lack of transportation when a city has limited polls, and etc. The determination for our characters to vote is honestly beautiful to see.

Duke is a character I enjoyed reading about. How he deals with trauma, how he feels about Marva right when he meets her and as the day goes along, etc. And maybe I just don't read enough YA contemporary, but it's rare for me to come across a more inexperienced boy (in the dating department) like him. Marva and Duke really got to know each other and have a sweet connection and they have a great story to tell about the day they first met XD

There is a missing cat subplot that also helps keep them together all day- not sure how much I care about that part (though talks of the cat herself were funny- just got my first kitty this year lol). And there is a subplot with Marva's boyfriend Alec who honestly confused me. The way he is first described vs. how he ends up being just didn't seem to make sense- like he only changed just to affect the plot.

In the end, another book I am happy to have read and and a story I am happy has been told. I imagine if this book were, like, class reading in high schools or something- or if it became a super popular book, not only would readers have fun with it, but it would also leave them feeling empowered to vote- which we really need.
Profile Image for CW ✨.
670 reviews1,714 followers
August 14, 2020
I'm in awe of how this book is both warm and soft yet sharp and incisive; what an achievement! I love this book so so much and such a good YA that explores politics.

- Follows two teens in one day on Election Day in America; Marva, a Black teen passionate about voting rights and driven to make a difference in the world, and Duke, a biracial Black teen who carries grief with him and just wants to vote so he can focus on his band's first paying gig.
- The entirety of this story happens in one day, and I LOVED it. It was done incredibly well, and I loved how we got insight into both Marva and Duke's lives, how their lives intersect and how they needed each other at the right time, and how their relationship grows in an organic way across the day.
- The romance in this was so soft and lovely. Marva and Duke don't fall hard and fast for each other - they are unsure, hesitant, but they can't deny how they just 'click' and connect with each other.
- But what I loved was that this book also explores activism, what it's like to be Black in America, family, grief, privilege, and being biracial.
- Honestly, this was such a good book, and a great political YA.

Trigger/content warning:
Profile Image for BookNightOwl.
977 reviews173 followers
July 21, 2020
Cute story about 2 teens who meet while trying to vote.

I found this super cute and fun and entertaining. I loved the little back stories within the story.
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