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Charming as a Verb

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  2,322 ratings  ·  627 reviews
Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger can charm just about anyone. He is a star debater and popular student at the prestigious FATE academy, the dutiful first-generation Haitian son, and the trusted dog walker for his wealthy New York City neighbors. But his easy smiles mask a burning ambition to attend his dream college, Columbia University.

There is only one person who seems immune t
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published October 13th 2020 by Balzer + Bray
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,322 ratings  ·  627 reviews

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Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Ignore me. Only here to mathematically make up for a future one-star review that will genuinely hurt my feelings. :)
Claude's Bookzone
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well that was thoroughly enjoyable! It isn't all light and fluffy though, as a decision made by one of our main protagonists turns the story on it's head. This book explores the pressures teens experience during the college application process, and how the expectations of their parents can add a layer of stress to an already tense situation. The book also addresses inequality in the system and how wealthier teens have access to certain advantages whilst applying for colleges. This novel, however ...more
All children are charming as an adjective, but you're charming as a verb.
I LOVED this book. Can you tell? Can you tell that I absofuckinglutely LOVED this book? Because I LOVED this book.

Set in my favourite thing ever, New York City, the story follows the young adult life of Henri Haltiwanger. A Haitian-American going to FATE Academy. He is a talented wunderkind, a future Tobie Hatfield. Henri also moonlights as a dogwalker for the wealthy, uptight and without a lot of free time. Hi
i binged this book and enjoyed it so so much!!

- Black #ownvoices author + rep
- set in nyc aka the BEST
- realistic hs senior experience in terms of academics and college applications
- cute rom-com with wonderful characters !!!
Larry H
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
In Ben Philippe's new book, Charming as a Verb , making it look like everything comes easy for you is often really hard work.

At first glance, Henri Haltiwanger (otherwise known as “Halti” or “HH”) seems to have life in the palm of his hand. He’s first-generation American, the son of hard-working Haitian immigrants; he’s a good student at the prestigious FATE Academy, where he’s well-liked; and he runs a dog-walking business for upscale New Yorkers.

The one thing he wants more than anything is
Vicky Again
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this was so cute and adorable and fantastic!!! i absolutely adored the characters and their voices (charming, sociable Henri and introverted, intense Corinne!) and this book was just. so fun and enjoyable.

would highly, highly recommend for people looking for a fun, contemporary romance ft. some college stress.
Lanae Anne
I think I'm in love ❤️

It's been so long since I read a sweet romance, and I enjoyed it. I wasn't in love with the mc, and frankly, I liked the mc's love interest more than him. Charming As A Verb is a cute little romance filled with dogs, privileged students, and college stress. So without further ado, let's get in to it.

First generation Haitian-American Henri "Halti" Haltiwanger walks dogs early in the morning before school to make some money. You heard me, he walks cute dogs. And even though
Paula M
"All children are charming as an adjective, but you’re charming as a verb."

Okay, before we proceed with the review, can we all just stop and stare at this stunning cover? Without reading the book, you already know that this book will be nothing but charming just by looking the cover alone. And what a roller coaster ride this was and I'm not complaining!!

Charming as a Verb is from Haitian-American Henri's POV. In this story we get to enjoy Henri's internal struggles about going into c
rafaella // blm
Jan 24, 2021 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
the cover is so beautiful
Samantha (WLABB)
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Henri had many talents, and his charm was one of his secret weapons. A chameleon, who could easily fit into all school cliques. A persuasive orator, who dominated at debate. An entrepreneur, who created a successful dog walking business. He was also a first generation American, who was under a LOT of pressure from his parents to achieve their dream of him attending Columbia, and for once, his charm might not be enough to help him attain this goal.

I fell in love with Philippe's writing via the g
Ms. Woc Reader
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
The meet-cute is blackmail in the cute and witty YA contemporary where our protagonist Henri is just trying to balance life as a college-bound senior in NYC attending one of the cities most elite private schools.

Henry runs his own dog walking business and he's discovered people are more likely to trust you with their fur baby when you have a professional company behind you. Unfortunately for him his neighbor Corrine has already figured out why he's seemingly the only one employed by this alleged
Nov 07, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was good but disappointing. I'm not sure what I was expecting, I just wanted this book to exceed my expectations when all it did was fulfill what I thought would happen in the first place. The book was pretty average. Sadly, everything I thought would happen, happened, which bored me. I loved the characters, and the whole blackmail thing felt creative. But, everything else about this book felt unoriginal. I can barely talk as I can only imagine how hard it must be to write a book, but ...more
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, arc
Henri Haltiwanger is one of those characters who leaps off the page. You’re immediately immersed into his side dog-walking hustle, high performance high school and high expectation of his immigrant parents.

He’s relatable and a real teen, complete with a dumb decisions and earnestness and misguided ideas. This story was a sort of personality deconstruction and I loved Henri’s journey.

hell yes, september better come fucking fast
This was really fun and cute and I shipped it so hard; the LI is definitely a personal favorite for me in YA. I really liked the way it dug into being a first generation American and different inequalities that are built in to the college admissions process, and yes, I know, I must must go back and read his first book. I already bought it, I swear.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
this book was so wholesome, i loved reading about henri and corinne. can anything be more adorable? but romance and friendships put aside, this story had a lot of elements that would hit home for pretty much anyone coming of age right now. it was those moments that really made me love this story. all except for one where i was seriously stressing because of the mc's bad decision making but it all worked out in the end and that's all that matters. ...more
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
this was a very cute and very fun book overall. i enjoyed the characters and how they felt relatable.
A cringe-y, delightful rom-com about a boy who wants so deeply to get into Columbia he'll do some extremely unethical things and a girl who has the tools to blackmail that boy and who wants to lose the label attached to her as "intense." Fun, full of heart, and indeed, charming -- both the verb and the adjective.

If you liked Philippe's first book, this is a must-read, too. For anyone itching for a Black-led YA rom-com, with legitimate moments of laughter, a fake/real dog walking business, and m
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OH THIS WAS SO CUTE! TOO CUTE!!! I listened to the audiobook while at work and I kept screaming commentary to myself so many times, my coworkers kept looking at me funny. It was an amazing book that drew me in and I didn't pause the audiobook for ANYTHING! How cute is Henry??? And Corrinne??? OMG!

Henry and Corrinne are high school seniors who cross paths after Henry starts dogwalking Corrine's new pup. What starts out as light blackmail soon leads to something super cute and beautiful. This boo
The Nerd Daily
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler

All in all, Charming as a Verb was as entrancing as the cover promised to be, showing the excruciating pressure teens are to start their futures right all while making me nostalgic for my own high school days. With a bunch of funny antics and adorable dogs in the mix, Philippe’s second novel is perfect for anyone needing moral support through their senior year or who wants to relive their own high school days.

Read the FULL REVIEW on
Amy Imogene Reads
3 stars

With a lot of humor and hustle, two seniors discover hidden depths to each other in this charming novel about New York City, pre-college anxieties, and finding yourself.

Plot/Pacing: ★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Enjoyment: ★★ (I was too old, probably!)

Henri Haltiwanger, a first generation Haitian immigrant in New York City, is all about the hustle. He's a scholarship student at the illustrious and exclusive FATE Academy, he's on the debate team, he attends every party, and he's making money on the
2.5 stars

I was really excited to pick this book up because the premise sounded incredible!! I mean a fake-dating romance and a fake dog-walking business?? This book had me on the edge of my seat anticipating its release! But when I finally picked it up, I found myself disappointed.

It was genuinely a struggle for me to get through this book and it took me over a week to read it, when normally a contemporary like this would take me 2-3 days. The story felt like it dragged so much and I couldn’t f
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe is a book I wish had been released when I was in my senior year of high school. Filled with both entertaining mishaps and vulnerability, this is a realistic depiction of the end of high school. Henri is a relatable main character who makes mistakes, and the descriptions of the New York/Montreal backdrop makes the book even more special. I would definitely recommend this one.

This book follows Henri, a popular high school student na
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yacontemporary
This book was everythinggggg. First of all that cover is beautiful!! Henri was so adorable and charming. His struggles as a first generation American (and how stressful it can be) was something I don’t think I’ve seen in a book before and I just appreciated it so much 😭

I LOVED Corinne and her no bullshit personality and how sweet and supporting she was as a friend! Henri made some infuriating decisions but that ending made up for it lol

*5 stars ⭐️ because I’m so glad this book exist*
kelly {BookCrushin}
very cute story! Fast paced, authentic feels, and enjoyed the MC & LI a lot! There is one morally object-able thing that suffers barely any consequences but I wasn't sad about it? IDK maybe because I am an adult and I wanted the MC to succeed. lol ...more
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Got to Chap. 16 before I DNF’d this one. Just wasn’t the story I was expecting. Also, the parent-approved under-age drinking ( because it was at THEIR house), and the many references to graphic teen sex was a turn-off. Disappointed, because I enjoyed Field Guide to the American Teenager.
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An amazing YA read with fun characters and a hilarious coming-of-age contemporary rom com I highly recommend.
Brandy Painter
I was actually LOVING this. LOVING. IT. Then Henri did something so abysmally dumb I couldn't continue. Teens do dumb things. Believe me I know. However, what he did was grossly unethical, illegal, and had the potential to hurt so many people. The mom in me just wanted to smack him. It made reading the rest of the book with enjoyment difficult. ...more
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
The characterizations are really well done here. Philippe gives every main and side character their due creating a vibrant, funny, smart cast. You root for them, cringe at their mistakes, and there are some big! mistakes, and laugh and hope with them. The dog walking business plot falls away a bit, but the characters are so good I'd read about them doing anything or nothing. ...more
Neha Gandra
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
i feel like when i turned 20, i was like oh i’m much too wise for YA fiction but:
1) absolutely not
2) it’s just so good

this book is the kind of content i should have been exposed to in middle school. representation matters!!!
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Young Adult Conte...: #22 Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe 1 3 Nov 02, 2020 07:18PM  

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Ben Philippe was born in Haiti, raised in Montreal, Canada, and resides in New York City where he teaches and writes for television. He is an alum of Columbia University and a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers of UT Austin. To this day, he still does not have a valid driver’s license, which is both #beautiful and #brave.

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