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Love Is a Revolution

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  3,502 ratings  ·  814 reviews
From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Renée Watson comes a new YA--a love story about not only a romantic relationship but how a girl finds herself and falls in love with who she really is.

When Nala Robertson reluctantly agrees to attend an open mic night for her cousin-sister-friend Imani's birthday, she finds herself falling in instant love with Tye B
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 2nd 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
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Katy Picken The wording was certainly crass. But in the book itself, Nala's size isn't a big deal - it's mentioned, but it's not an issue, which I liked.…moreThe wording was certainly crass. But in the book itself, Nala's size isn't a big deal - it's mentioned, but it's not an issue, which I liked.(less)
Elyssa 290 minus a note abt the lyrics and acknowledgments and 292 with

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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  3,502 ratings  ·  814 reviews


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Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
I have some pretty mixed feelings on this one. I had a love hate relationship with the main character because while I think she was realistically flawed which was nice, I don't always want to read about a perfect character, but it did also make the book really frustrating. Enjoyment wise, that's where it did kind of suffer. However, I think the book did a lot of great things as well. It's a love story but self love is also at the forefront and that was a really nice touch. I think a lot of peopl ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Since I start reading this ultra delicious, moving, honest, motivating, inspirational book Bob Marley’s song started playing in my head: “ Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights!”

Renee Watson did an incredible job by creating those memorable, truly sweetest, most lovable and natural characters! I’m not only talking about Nala who grows up, wearing big girls pants , learning to be brave to rediscover herself by facing her fears. Or Tye who checks all the boxes to become sweetest pie and
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Lala BooksandLala
Feb 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021-releases
Renée Watson continues to write fully realized and dynamic teen characters. I always enjoy my time getting to know the casts of characters she crafts and discovering their feelings and motivations along the way. Unfortunately the goal of the book I feel got a little lost along the way. Thanks to Raincoast Books for the early copy! Full review is on my youtube channel.
Kezia Duah
Apr 09, 2022 rated it it was ok
Nala goes to this open mic thing with her cousin Imoni, and there she meets Tye. It was instant attraction (NOT LOVE NALA), and the lie that she herself is an activist drops from her mouth so quickly that she keeps this up for a good part of the book. Tye seems to reciprocate this attraction probably because she “does a lot for her community.” How long does Nala keep this up?

I’m not mad that she lied. Honestly, it’s a solid plot. Girl likes boy and pretends to be someone else to impress the boy
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SincerelyTahiry
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Im lowkey disappointed with this book. I was living for the cover and the idea of a plus size black girl learning to love herself. Also the book is set in NYC which I didn’t know initially. However Nala and every other female character were competing to see who was was more “not like other girls”. All of her relationships with her peers were super shallow. But mainly I was DEEPLY annoyed that Nalas whole personality was that she wasn’t “super woke”. How are you judging these other black kids for ...more
Kai Spellmeier
I like that Renée writes YA for actual teenagers when most of the YA books I read these days are written for an older audience. I also love the body positivity and the generally joyful contemporary story about a young Black girl trying to find her place in the world. What bothered me were the predictability of the story and the girl-on-girl hate that dominates most of the main character's relationships with other girls around her. The author eventually acknowledges that the MC needs to change th ...more
Holly | The Caffeinated Reader
* thank you to Bloomsbury for providing an Arc in exchange for an honest review *

I really wanted to love this book. It'd been one of my anticipated reads for 2021 because not only do I love cute YA contemporaries, but I especially love ones that give us plus-size rep. Unfortunately though, I felt it missed the mark.

I think the main reason for this, is because the book sets up and uses a lot of toxic tropes that we've seen in YA over the years, and whilst the ending shows the authors intent to u
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Reading_ Tamishly
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was ok
*A few good lines from the first few pages of the book:

Imani: "I mean, I'm a fan too, but really? You've had the song on repeat all day."

Nala: "This from the queen of rewatching movies and saying the lines with the characters."

(Well, I'm both ☺️ May the Fangirling Nation prosper everyday!)


"I'm fat. It's just a description. It doesn't have to cast a negative judgement."

'And this is where we differ. I am not down with the Say-It-Loud-I'm-Fat-and-I'm-Proud movement. I don't have low self-esteem or
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Hilly ♡
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
This was a cute book but it didn’t have a great impact on me as Piecing Me Together did. It’s very clear what it wanted to do, and I appreciated the way Nala came to accept herself, but I didn’t enjoy how unrealistically childish some of the issues that Nala faced were. I don’t see what the problem with her saying she “works” at Sugar Hill really is. I can understand why saying she’s vegetarian could make Tye not trust her, but the book was mostly about her lying on the volunteering job and....s ...more
Layla (Between the Lines)
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
First, let me just (not be the first to) say that this cover is absolutely beautiful. I love everything about it, and I especially love seeing plus-size representation.

Now, it is no surprise to me at all that Renée was able to cultivate the voices of such realistic and messy teens. She truly owns the craft of writing for young adults. I'm an "adult" reading YA books, so not everything is going to resonate with me, but that doesn't take away from the importance of this story. Love Is a Revolution
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Chidimma Desiree
This book was a big fat NO for me. This is my fourth Renée Watson book and I’m so disappointed. I could have never predicted me disliking this book this much. My main issue with this book is the main character, Nala. SHE WAS INSUFFERABLE! I found her to be condescending and judgmental of others ironically because she also thought people were judging her. She was so dismissive of what people around her were passionate about for literally NO REASON at all it was really weird to me. Like someone wo ...more
Bethany
Jan 16, 2021 marked it as dnf
Shelves: black-authors
DNF at 72%

This is kind of a case of: this isn't really what I was hoping for and the more I read the more I find that irritating. I was really excited for a summer romance with a plus sized, Black heroine. I wasn't expecting the entire plot to involve the main character lying about herself to impress a boy, or for that relationship to become increasingly toxic. It's more a case study in what not to do, and using tropes that I just don't enjoy at this point in my life. I also wasn't a fan of the
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Cassie
Sep 20, 2020 marked it as to-read
I am so in love with this cover and I am here for all the plus size and self love rep 😌💗
anna ✩
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!

Love is a Revolution is a powerful book about finding yourself in the height of your teenage years. It's about love and family and everything that comes with the pressure of growing up and figuring out who you are.

It's summer and Nala Robertson wants to make sure she makes the most of it before her senior year begins. When Nala reluctantly joins her cousin for her birthday celebration/talent show, she ends up meeting Tye Brown and sparks fly instantly. In order to impress Tye, Nala te
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Dahlia
I just love Renee Watson. Her books are such a great tough love + big hug combo, and this was no exception.
Kelly
Nala's stoked about summer, and among the many lists she keeps, one thing she knows for sure she wants to cross off before school begins again is to finally get a boyfriend. So when Nala joins her cousin/best friend Imani at one of Imani's activist group events and sees Tye, it's crush at first sight. But activism isn't really Nala's thing, as she struggles with tremendous insecurity and worries about using her own voice as a tool of power.

Her feeling for Tye continue to amplify and Nala begins
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Delaney
May 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
This was OKAY. I was expecting to love it more than I did so MMM.

Love is a Revolution has an incredible title. It's a quick, light read about loving yourself. But!!!!

It has a lot of typical YA content:
- (Once again I ask myself: am I getting too old for YA?)
- hating on a girl because she's "better" than Nala the MC (a.k.a. I'm tired of girls hating each other for a boring ass boy)
- #ImNotLikeOtherGirls
- Nala is judgemental, she’s flawed in order to learn and grow
- love interest is bland and "
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Anniek
Many thanks to Bloomsbury for the ARC!

I often read YA contemporary to not have to think too much for a little while. But sometimes, you come across a book that really makes you think.

This is not a book that everyone will love. It's really messy, and the main character, Nala, is not always at her best and not always very likeable. I did however really love her and I loved going on this journey of self love with her.

This book has some really nuanced discussions of what is important in life. And I
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kate
Sep 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
A wonderfully heartwarming coming-of-age story exploring activism, racism, community, relationships, self love and the pressure to get it all right.

I think Renée did a brilliant job at presenting a middle ground for activism, a way in which you can do the right thing and focus on 'doing good' without allowing it to become your whole being, especially as a teen. Nala and Imani's approach to activism were polar opposites and I loved the journey they both found themselves on in uncovering the nuan
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Althea
3.5/5 Stars

For a while now I've been dying to pick up one of Renée Watson's novels, after hearing so many glowing reviews of her writing, and after seeing her latest novel, Love Is a Revolution up for request on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to read it!

Love Is a Revolution follows Nala who, one night, goes along to a local open mic night to celebrate her cousin's birthday. While there, she falls head over heels for the MC, Tye, a local activist and friend of Nala's cousin, Imani. When Nala s
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 ⛅ Saniya (sunnysidereviews) ⛅
Love Is a Revolution is a timeless coming of age that you won't want to miss this year!

The initial premise of the book immediately intrigued me as stories regarding self-love aren't very common in fiction. Unfortunately though, the message of loving oneself was too obvious for me. I usually like to look for a deeper meaning, but in this case, I was already presented with the message. 

In addition, the characters weren't very likable. While I can appreciate the different relationship dynamics the
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Toya (the reading chemist)
Rating is between 3-3.5 stars.

I'll be honest, I couldn't stand the MC (Nala) for the majority of this book. I think I read it so quickly just to get to the point where she underwent some growth because I was tired of her judging Black folks for wanting to uplift their community and the constant hating on/competing with other females trope.

More thoughts to come.
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mer reads
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.75 out of 5 stars.

This was a delight to read! Renée Watson is clearly a very talented author who can create characters with strong voices. Love Is a Revolution was super easy to read due to the seemingly effortless writing style. This story had wonderful representation and well developed characters. I would love to read from Watson again in the future. My only minor complaint is with the premise of the book as I didn't love how Nala lied to Tye upon meeting him. However I don't think that the
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camilla
Jun 05, 2022 rated it liked it
i didnt absolutely love love love it, but i didn’t hate it either! wanted something fun, cute, and quick to give my brain a break and this was just that. i found most of the characters, except for tye, some side characters. and the adults very agitating so that wasn’t fun. but at the same time i can remember being 17/18 and feeling the same things that nala (mc) did, so that made it easier.

i would have absolutely loved this in high school, so that’s what i’m mostly happy about & i’m glad black
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M.  Reads Often
Aug 06, 2021 rated it liked it
I fell in love with cover and do think this book is pretty awesome! I just was not a full fan of it, but I know this will resound so much more with teens!

I love her grandma, and her relationship with her and her grandma's friends. The whole feeling of family in the book was so lovely, even when she was torn on how to feel about her mom. It just felt like a great way to focus on family and culture, making the book so well done!

I did not like the drama or insta love. But I think the social justice
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Jennifer
Feb 09, 2022 rated it liked it
3,25★

This was cute, eyeopening and sweet.
Mikaela Garcia
Feb 20, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exactly as it's described, it was predictable. A slight lie that turns into larger lies.
How a girl tries to impress a boy.

I love it. It was full of passion, dedication and activist teens.
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Misty Wilson read.fine.print
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to read this Renee Watson book because I loved her book Piecing Me Together. I enjoyed Love is a Revolution too, thought the ending “moral of the story” wasn’t what I hoped for.

When I say the main character Nala lies to impress a boy, and then regrets not being herself from the very beginning, you can not picture a rom com. It’s definitely more than a teenage fling. It’s a story of a girl figuring out what’s important to her and learning how to make decisions on her own without trying
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USOM
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Nala immediately hooked me. Not only does she make lists for just about everything, but she lets her vulnerability shine on the page. While she may not have plans to conquer the world, for the summer she just wants to find love. Love is a Revolution was extremely character driven as we are wrapped up in Nala's lies and emotions. I loved how Watson delivers Nala, completely, flawed, a
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Logan (sketchbooks and book-books)
The best way I could describe this book is generic or mediocre. If this was a middle grade book I'd rate it higher, but since it is YA it reads very far below that style wise. I found the main character's voice to be very juvenile along with all the metaphors and jokes Watson made. She didn't feel like a teenager about to be a senior in high school.

The romance was very lackluster to me as well, I wasn't rooting for Nala and Tye even though Watson gave me every reason to think they were cute and
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Renée Watson is the author of the children’s picture book, A Place Where Hurricanes Happen (Random House, June 2010), which was featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Her middle grade novel, What Momma Left Me debuted as the New Voice for 2010 in middle grade fiction by The Independent Children's Booksellers Association.

Renée’s one woman show, Roses are Red, Women are Blue, debuted at N
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