Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Feature Review: Last Chance Dance by Lakita Wilson

  • Last Chance Dance
  • by Lakita  Wilson
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
  • Imprint: Penguin Random House
  • Release date: February 21, 2023
  • ISBN: 9780593525616

Leila has just been dumped by her high school boyfriend right before graduation. Feeling lost and like she wasted her time, she’s looking for something new. Luckily her school has a tradition called Last Chance Dance. Students write down three of their crushes and with a serious algorithm they are paired up with matching crushes. When Leila does hers, she’s excited about all her matches except Tre, an annoying boy who bugged her all through high school competing to be the best, and making fun of her at the worst times. So Leila decides to go on dates with all her matches, except for Tre.  As Leila goes on her dates, she learns about love, loss and what it takes to find the right match. Because when she finally does date Tre, she discovers that not everyone is who they seem on the outside, and sometimes people surprise you.

This cute romance story has wonderfully well-developed characters that teens can relate to. The journey Leila takes as she goes on each date is relatable and readers truly get to know them just as Leila does. Readers will love reading about her dates. There is humor, romance, and a diverse main character.

Readers who enjoy the enemy-to-lovers trope, realistic fiction about graduating, and stories with strong friendships will like this one.  For more enemy to lover’s romance try Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert. For another realistic, relatable diverse romance try Love Radio by Ebony La Delle.

-Rachel Adams

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: September 13, 2022
Release Date: January 31, 2023

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.