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Discover the backstory of the new Stranger Things fan favorite, Robin, played by Maya Hawke! The perfect read while you're waiting for Season 4 to drop on Netflix!

High school is a monster, and it's eating everyone Robin knows. As sophomore year starts, Robin's Odd Squad friends have decided to try to be just like everyone else. Her best friends couple up and expect her to come along for the ride. They can't stop talking about school and college and careers. But Robin has bigger problems--she's been hiding out with the band kids since middle school, hoping nobody would notice that she's something even stranger than a French horn player who can speak four languages: she's gay.

She's convinced the only way she can learn to be herself is by fleeing to Europe for a summer to experience real life. But she has no money, no permission, and no one to share the adventure with. How is she supposed to be her true self in Hawkins, Indiana? The weirdest girl in Hawkins has spent her whole life trying to fit in. Now, she's going to break out.

Sprinkled with Easter eggs that reference our favorite Stranger Things characters, this contemporary coming-of-age story set in the '80s is about one girl's realization that the only person she needs to be accepted by is herself.

368 pages, Hardcover

First published June 29, 2021

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About the author

A.R. Capetta

15 books827 followers
A. R. Capetta (all pronouns), the author of Echo After Echo and The Lost Coast, has lived in Austin and worked as a professional baker and holds a master of fine arts in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. A. R. Capetta is married to author Cory McCarthy, and they live in Vermont with their young baker.

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5 stars
1,191 (40%)
4 stars
1,137 (38%)
3 stars
527 (17%)
2 stars
85 (2%)
1 star
20 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 513 reviews
Profile Image for kal.
3 reviews
July 1, 2021
win for the lesbians honestly
July 23, 2022
Another ST novel. Okay, but not mindblowing. I love Robin, so I was excited to read more about her experiences. It was fun to get bits of her that the show didn't share. Her character is just so relatable. This particular book in the series feels more YA than the first two. Good representation. Gotta love Robin! Recommended for ST fans.
Profile Image for Andy.
2,408 reviews190 followers
Want to read
June 20, 2021
Queer teens in the 80s!! Tell me you don't need it!
Profile Image for Nev.
1,053 reviews136 followers
July 3, 2021
3.5 - I absolutely loved Robin’s character when she was introduced in season 3 of Stranger Things. So I was excited when I learned that there was going to be a book all about her backstory. The book follows her in her sophomore year as she’s feeling out of place in her friend group, trying to figure out how to get out of Hawkins for the summer/for good, and as she realizes that she’s gay.

It was fun to see this purely real world focused story happening during the same timeline as season 1. Seeing how people who weren’t in the know about what really happened with Will Byers, Barb, and the Upside Down were reacting to the events was cool. I’m a sucker for a good teacher as a mentor character so I liked how Mr. Hauser was incorporated into the story. Also, seeing a young gay person coming of age and realizing their sexuality in the 80s during the AIDS epidemic was an interesting and heartbreaking read.

The book is written in first person which felt a bit weird to me. I think third person would’ve felt more natural since I’m used to seeing Robin from an outside perspective in the show rather than from inside her head. At times the voice Robin had in the book didn’t totally feel like the character. Also, because this is a prequel and we as the readers already know that she’s gay, I think it would’ve worked better to have Robin herself realize it a bit earlier in the story. It felt somewhat rushed at the end when she starts to not care so much about fitting in and decides that she’s just going to live for herself. I would’ve liked to see more of the progression rather than that just squeezed into the last few chapters.

But overall this was a nice read and it has made me even more excited for season 4… whenever that will actually come out.

P.S. I hope they give Robin a girlfriend or love interest that isn’t unrequited in season 4.
Profile Image for Zulaima.
202 reviews64 followers
March 11, 2023

• my gurlllll is here, she’s queer and I am about to cheer.
• the constant Steve Harrington slander though lmao
• "high school is a monster and it's eating everyone I know"
• "Steve Harrington shows up three and a half minutes late, looking lost, probably because his hair flopped into his eyes and he couldn't see any of the classroom numbers" - ah yes, Steve "The Hair" Harrington strikes again<3
• "Even Miss Click beams at Steve like his hair somehow cured cancer." - who’s to say it hasn’t (perhaps the evil government just keeps the cure hidden lol) have you seen his hair ???
• love that the description of Tammy fits Vickie perfectly… our girl’s got a type (though, I am a Ronance shipper)
• ADHD!Robin is real and valid (gonna repeat that statement for almost every character in the ST universe, watch me)
• lmao absolutely iconic that Robin has the worst gaydar ever
• looove that her parents are hippies and stoned all the time
• "Mike, her extremely pale child snarls at her and runs away" why do people keep pointing out how pale and sickly he looks, my poor son
• "Her ghostly child with a frightful dark bowl cut shrieks"
• "Steve Harrington is always going to be the same. He’s going to suck exactly this much forever." just you wait, babygirl, just you wait
• Kate saying Steve is interested in Nancy and Robin going: "'Really?' I ask with an unwelcome spike of interest" mhhhmmmm ronance is real
• the language learning hyperfixation is so ADHD-coded
Why does everyone assume that all 15-year-old girls are obsessed with boys? Can’t I want to go about my day without trying to date? I mean just because a person isn’t interested in dating doesn’t mean that they are broken or anything, I’m allowed to care more about school and actually someday getting out of Hawkins instead of finding someone who is gonna tie me to this place forever, aren’t I?

• Robin searching for the perfect partner to travel through Europe with her but failing to find them… now I want Steve and Robin (or Robin and Nancy !!!) to do that once Henry is defeated🥺👀
• "Is what we have really civilization if boys still can’t say the word period out loud?"
• Steve's hair is having a dialogue with Tammy now, I kid you not… this shit is canon.
• Robin repeatedly emphasizing how much she dislikes Steve, when this is literally them:

• the way it’s implied that Robin drove past the Demogorgon hiding in the woods (cause she lives in the same neighbourhood as Will) and that he easily could have abducted her instead of Will… damn, he really likes his victims fruity, huh?
• Jonathan actually making eye contact with someone (his own age)? sounds fake but okay
• when Robin meets Will and she’s like: OMG. THIS CINNAMON ROLL. I WANT TO ADOPT HIM. HE MUST BE PROTECTED. Does that mean that Robin is going to be Will’s gay guru in S5👀👀 I have connected the dots!
The things I did to keep myself safer, smaller, quieter. Because I know how different I really am. I know letting it all out is committing to a life where I fight the monsters of normality every single day. And doing it alone.

• Robin’s parents immediately going: THE GOVERNMENT IS HIDING SOMETHING when they find out a boy is missing lol. Kinda headcanoning now that Murray is friends with them and when S5 comes around Murray walks in and Robin is just like ??? why is my parents’ weird conspiracy theory friend besties with Joyce ???
• why is it always the English (literature) teachers that are the #inspirational ones
• I absolutely adore that Robin sees Joyce and thinks she’s found someone like herself… I really really need Robin to interact some more with the Byers (literally ANY of them) in S5 pleaseeeee😭😭
• I am once again asking for Robin & Jonathan besties content… THINK OF THE POTENTIAL!!!
• "Mrs. Byers’ eyebrows went on a journey" is a very fitting way to describe Winona’s iconic facial expressions
There are times when I crash hard into the hope of finding my people. Friends who would stick with me through anything. A girl I can have a less hopeless crush on.

• the fact that Hopper's car smells like waffles… my heart
• "Mr Hauser said there are gay people everywhere but all I see are middle schoolers" oh, honey... the middle schoolers ARE the gay people *winks in Byler*
• the fact that Robin mistakes Nancy for Tam and gets incredibly jealous oHohOHoooHOOOhhoooo… thank you I shall take that as Ronance foreshadowing🥰
• Robin yelling at Steve ahhhh👌🏼
• I bet Hopper would rather die than chaperone the high school prom lmao leave the poor man alone
• Awww Robin and Sheena dancing together at prom… yesss
She spins me, and I spin her. My hand rushes over her waist as I pull her back in. Then she dips me, which is pretty hilarious because I’m at least five inches taller. She looks down at me and beams. I don’t know what this dance means to her—if it’s just a prom-night whim or something else—but I know what it means to me. It’s my first dance with a girl. And it won’t be my last.

• Robin: "Are you going to be this much of a prima donna about everything?“ Steve: "I’m nothing like Madonna, so that doesn’t even make sense."
• "Steve," I say sweetly, "we might be coworkers but there is no universe in which you and I become friends." guuurl u sure about that ???

Runaway Max (#3) ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆
Rebel Robin (#4) ⭑⭑⭑⭑☆
Profile Image for Bailey &#x1f33b;.
89 reviews8 followers
August 28, 2021
This is definitely the best Stranger Things book I’ve read so far. I love LOVE Robin and this book just made me love her so much more.

I desperately need, no, DEMAND a sequel to this with Robin and Steve going to Europe together. They’ll get stuffed full of croissants; they will help each other flirt with girls in French; Steve will drag Robin to every high end beauty store so he can find the best hair products; and Robin will constantly correct Steve’s pronunciation. They’ll make so many memories together and now I’m crying.

I could read an entire book on just Robin and Steve’s banter. It’s the kind of wholesome content my heart deserves.
Profile Image for Karen Kohoutek.
Author 9 books19 followers
July 3, 2021
The best of the "Stranger Things" novels so far, in my opinion. The author totally nails Robin's voice, and fills out her backstory in a way that fits in with everything we know about her. It's also really interesting to see the point of view of someone who didn't know about the things that were going on in the show, and how those events were perceived. Plus, it's pretty funny! If you've been curious about the tie-in novels, this is a great place to start.
Profile Image for Alexis T.
11 reviews2 followers
April 12, 2022
I really liked this book! I like how she changed at the end
Profile Image for mckenna.
35 reviews
August 8, 2022
adored everything about this book,, robin buckley is so personal to me
Profile Image for Sophie.
116 reviews8 followers
November 27, 2022
was this groundbreaking writing or plot? no. did my stranger things obsessed brain absolutely absorb every single word? yes 100%. I really just had the best time reading this and that alone is worth 5 stars. and it was nice to get a bit of the ST world without the supernatural elements.
anyway robin is such a fucking important character and she means a lot to a whole group of people including me so reading about her life leading up to her working at scoops with steve and getting tangled up in the mess™ was just so healing (I say mess as if they aren't gonna get kidnapped and tortured by russians weeks after the end of the book).
forever thankful to maya for convincing the duffers to let robin be a lesbian (and also for giving me my codependent platonic soulmates steve and robin) this character truly makes me feel seen.
Profile Image for qi.
146 reviews73 followers
July 5, 2022
who would have thought that robin's inner monologue would be so relatable.
anyway, maya hawke would own the prom crashing scene i just know it.
February 4, 2022
I truly do think that had I read this book when I was younger, I would have figured everything out a whole lot sooner. Honestly the main reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is cause I’m mad at myself that I didn’t read it sooner cause younger me needed a book like this so badly.
Profile Image for Christy.
1,505 reviews258 followers
June 16, 2021
An excellent deep dive into Robin that shows how the normies handled everything in the first two seasons!

Also, the book starts and ends on my birth date so how can I not love it?
Profile Image for Sarah Jean.
23 reviews1 follower
April 16, 2022
This is a really nice book. I can forgive it being slightly melodramatic as Robin is fifteen for the majority of it. It's a pretty straightforward coming-of-age novel and the author managed to nail Robin's voice pretty well. She was very easy to warm to and feel empathy towards (and I agree with Steve, she can do a lot better than that irritating melt, Tammy Thompson, who lost me as soon as I realised that she sings out loud IN class and not just at like, recess or whatever) particularly since her parents seem to be phoning it in most of the time.

The only parts I didn't enjoy were the parts where Robin interacted with pre-existing characters from the show like Joyce and Hopper. Those moments felt like they were crammed in for the sake of fan service and were therefore jarringly unnatural, particularly this one scene with Hopper wherein his voice is very off.

Also, why IS Steve in Robin's history class when he's a year ahead of her?
Profile Image for phine.
93 reviews
July 18, 2022
robin buckley you will always be famous
Profile Image for Lu.
1 review1 follower
August 9, 2022
I’ve read this book for my inner 14-year-old and i regret nothing
Profile Image for Autumn Marie.
30 reviews
September 24, 2022
Before I start, I will say I’m glad I listened to the podcast before reading the book. The book talks about the effects of Robins friendship with Mr Hauser, the podcast gives a chance to hear their conversations.

If I could only use one word to describe this book, I would use the word cohesive. No charachter is insignificant. There are charachters from them show, there are charachters introduced in this story. Despite their break up into parts, this book moves along smoothly.

This book is split into three parts, and the timeline jumps around some. The first part is set around Fall of 1983, and there are mentions of Will Byers. However, they don’t overpower them story. They aren’t anything more than mentions.
The second and third parts are set in 1984. Part two is when the timeline starts to break up. Neither of the parts follow the stranger things season two timeline. This works for the story, because it offers a chance to follow Robin entirely.
There is also a brief epilogue at the end set in June of 1985, right before we meet Robin in the show.

For me, this book hit deep. I am a queer person living in a small town, and a lot of this was so painfully relatable. This moved me, and I’m glad I read it.

This is, in my opinion, the best of the ST spin-off novels. I like how Robins story is clearly separated from the first two seasons of stranger things. This gives Robin a chance to shine. I also like that this book is set in Hawkins. It demonstrates a small town dynamic (where you can run into people anywhere and everywhere). There are also some brief periods where Robin talks about what she likes about Hawkins. This is realistic, especially thrown into parts of the story where Robin wants to get out so badly.

I’ll say it, this book made me cry. If dug down deep snd not me personally.

I highly recommend this book. I would suggest listening to the podcast first, though. It adds important context to the story.
Profile Image for Rosie Henry.
199 reviews24 followers
September 9, 2021
This was about what I expected. It was fun, and had some good references to the show, but overall it was just meh. I did like it more that the three previous Stranger Things novels though, because the writing wasn't godawful. I didn't like book!Robin nearly as much as I like show!Robin. I absolutely love her for all her dry humor and sparkle in season 3, but in Rebel Robin she just came off as a standard pretentious not-like-the-other-girls YA protagonist.
Profile Image for kelly {BookCrushin}.
745 reviews266 followers
November 7, 2021
Loved getting a backstory to Robin and her life along the disasters that occurred in Hawkins before she found herself involved.

This is a coming of age, make mistakes, and finding yourself and what matters.
Profile Image for Marilee.
272 reviews
July 22, 2021
This was a really fun read! You get the back story of Robin from Stranger Things season 3, and she's the perfect jaded highschool character that you come to expect from stories that take place in the 1980s.
Out of all the Stranger Things books so far, this one, and Runaway Max, are my favorites. All the books in this series serve as stand alone stories, with different main characters, so you can read (or not read) the books in any order you choose.
Oh, and there are a lot of fun easter eggs included as well!
Profile Image for Silvia.
24 reviews2 followers
April 3, 2022
"Mi mundo está lleno del supuesto, adondequiera que mire, de que a las chicas les gustan los chicos. Que las chicas salen con chicos. Que los gays son solo un rumor sobre algo que sucede en pueblos muy lejos de Hawkins, un segmento de las noticias. No tenía contexto para asumir que, cuando miraba a Tam, estaba sintiendo algo más que amistad.“
Me ha gustado mucho, fluye de manera muy natural. Al estar situado en 1983, hay partes en las que se muestran comportamientos homófobos, pero se suele tratar de manera bastante light y yo lo agradezco.
Profile Image for Nessa [October Tune].
639 reviews63 followers
July 31, 2021
Robin was one of my favourite new characters from the third season of Stranger Things and when I found out about this backstory novel about her I needed to read it asap. This book mostly takes place around the same time season 1 of Stranger Things happens (and a little after) and I really enjoyed reading about the events of the season from the POV of someone who wasn't involved.

There were lots of references to the show and of course characters that make appearances in S1 and S2 make an appearance in this book as well.

All-in-all, I really enjoyed this story and I definitely am going to check out the other two books in this series that I haven't read yet, because I think they might be nice as well! (One of them is about Hopper, the other about Max).
Profile Image for Jmorenocidoncha.
52 reviews34 followers
May 17, 2021
Esta nueva novela oficial del universo de Stranger Things es un spin-off centrado en la vida de Robin Buckley que aporta una visión mucho más completa de uno de los principales y más queridos personajes de la tercera temporada. De hecho, prácticamente todo el desarrollo narrativo del libro es inédito. Aparecen casi todos los personajes de la serie y se desarrolla íntegramente en Hawkins, pero la historia es desconocida para todos, con lo cual tiene mucho más valor para todos sus fans.
Robin se convierte en un personaje rebelde por muchas razones, primero porque es muy inteligente y se hace preguntas distintas a los demás. Pero también es rebelde porque siente de forma distinta, al principio no sabe lo que es, pero cuando logra identificarlo, ella se da cuenta por fin de que vive en un mundo (la ambientación en los años ochenta es mucho más determinante en este sentido) que no aprueba una forma de sentir que para ella es natural. Robin es rebelde y un icono para entender una nueva sexualidad.
Profile Image for gemma.
45 reviews4 followers
July 27, 2022
a less mediocre stranger things novel than the hopper one
Profile Image for Anny.
77 reviews45 followers
September 1, 2022
I'd say solid four stars.

Though I definitely had some reservations.

So, first of all - I don't think I would have loved this as much if it didn't have to do with Stranger Things and my favourite character in the whole show. I don't think I would have been as excited if there weren't glimpses of what actually happens in the show.

I also definitely have my own Robin headcanons and while not entirely different, they do clash a bit with those in the book, making me feel a little conflicted.

Overall the story isn't the most powerful one and it's a more a of a string of rather disjointed scenes. But I did like the writing style, really enjoyed the short chapters and the overall pacing.

So, yep, four stars seems very fair.
Profile Image for Fia Mae’.
49 reviews3 followers
February 4, 2023
Probably more of a 3.5, but I wanted to round up. This was sweet! It was way better than the last two stranger things books, which was a relief. I think I would’ve like it more if it was shorter, because I did love the message in it and the time period for Robin, but it seemed to drag at parts. I also felt like the author had only seen the show a single time, because there were other characters who would do or say something that just felt off to me. But I did love getting to see a glimpse into Robin’s life, and I am always down for a book about realising you’re queer. While the voice of Robin could’ve had a little more flare/charm to it, I think it was still captured pretty well (and I’m trying to take it all with a grain of salt because I’m pretty judgemental on this topic and think I know these characters better than anyone).
Displaying 1 - 30 of 513 reviews

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