Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Practice Girl by Estelle Laure

Practice Girl
by Estelle Laure
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Imprint: Viking
Release date: 2022-05-01
ISBN: 9780593350911

Wrestling manager, Jo, is devastated to discover that the boys on the wrestling team consider her a “practice girl”–good enough to build their sexual prowess, but not the girl they want for a relationship. Gutted to discover this, she finds herself confronting the state of all of her relationships.

Frank, but not gratuitous, scenarios about teen sexuality capture the need for teens to sort out the difference between sex and “real love.” Many will see parts of their relationships in Jo’s story, but may also recognize themselves in the other realistically inspired characters of this book.

Readers who wonder about where the line is between sexual desire and relationship desire and where to place themselves in high school will eat this book up. It is never overtly sexual, but really lets us in Jo’s mind as she deals with her hurt. Similar titles include Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Girl Unframed by Deb Caletti

– Michael Fleming

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.