Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
Pages: 242 (Kindle)
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
Kyle Blake likes plans. So far, they’re pretty simple: Finish her senior year of high school, head off to a good college, find a cute boyfriend, graduate, get a good job, get married, the whole heterosexual shebang. Nothing is going to stand in the way of that plan. Not even Stella Lewis.
Stella Lewis also has a plan: Finish her senior year as cheer captain, go to college, finally let herself flirt with (and maybe even date) a girl for the first time and go from there.
Fate has other plans for Kyle and Stella when they’re paired up in their AP English class and something between them ignites. It’s confusing and overwhelming and neither of them know what to do about it. One thing they do know is that their connection can’t be ignored. The timing just isn’t right.
But is there ever a good time for falling in love?
I am ashamed to admit that it took me until sitting down to write this review to figure out why the title is Style. Stella and Kyle. Duh! Stella is the pretty, popular, cheerleader who everyone thinks is a bitch. Kyle is a bit of a nerd with overbearing parents. When Stella transfers into AP English, Kyle is not happy. Especially when they’re paired up for a project. But Kyle can’t stop staring at Stella and noticing how pretty she is. She also catches a few moments of Stella being a nice person. Meanwhile, Stella has sworn off dating and coming out until college, but Kyle is exactly her type and making things quite difficult.
I’ll start with that I didn’t like about Style. The beginning was a bit rough. Kyle and her friends are constantly calling Stella a bitch. It’s like the only word that they have for her. We don’t really see Stella acting in a way to earn that title, so it rubbed me the wrong way. But Stella refers to herself in this way as well, and owns it. It’s actually a front that she’s putting on because of some past trauma. I’m not sure if her actually purposely being a bitch makes it okay for Kyle and Grace to call her one, but it does make it seem like they’re not just saying it for no reason. If that makes sense. Of course, it does stop when Kyle gets to know Stella, and Stella tells her about her past.
What I liked about Style was…just about everything else! There’s lots of friction and tension between Stella and Kyle at first, and then they just explode! Basically, they channel all of that energy into making out. Stella already knows that she’s gay and that she plans on dating in college. Kyle has no clue. She’s dated boys and it was okay, but suddenly Stella is all that she can think about! Neither girl is sure if they should come out now or wait, but they do want to be together and hiding isn’t exactly ideal. I did really enjoy the coming out aspects of the story. They do it on their own terms.
I also appreciated that the author includes frank discussions of masturbation and sex in Style. Self love is not the territory of dudes; girls do it too! It’s about time that that’s acknowledged. Kyle and Stella also have sex on the page! It’s nothing graphic, but it’s certainly not vague. Kyle’s mom even has a bit of sex talk with her, so hooray for involved parenting even when it’s awkward!
Clearly, I really liked Style once we got past those first few chapters. Kyle and Stella are wonderful together and seeing them navigate coming out and first love together made me giddy.