Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach
An Amy Book
For a YA look at important topics like gender equality and activism, for a tiny bit of delicious drama, for word ners
Eliza Quan is the perfect candidate for editor in chief of her school paper. That is, until ex-jock Len DiMartile decides on a whim to run against her. Suddenly her vast qualifications mean squat because inexperienced Len—who is tall, handsome, and male—just seems more like a leader.
When Eliza’s frustration spills out in a viral essay, she finds herself inspiring a feminist movement she never meant to start, caught between those who believe she’s a gender equality champion and others who think she’s simply crying misogyny.
Amid this growing tension, the school asks Eliza and Len to work side by side to demonstrate civility. But as they get to know one another, Eliza feels increasingly trapped by a horrifying realization—she just might be falling for the face of the patriarchy himself.
I was pretty pumped about this book because I’m a sucker for Korean characters, culture, location, etc. And while that was a factor in the character’s life, it certainly wasn’t the basis of the story. I loved the way things kind of got away from her in this book, and I think you’d like it too! Or at the very least, it’s probably a good one for your classroom.
Somehow I didn’t expect there to be such a strong theme of feminism and activism in this, which is stupid since the whole premise is how she is advocating for women that are getting unfairly passed by when more qualified than their male counterparts. To be fair though… MC also didn’t expect her annoyance to become a certified community-wide crusade. Watching things snowball, in both good and bad ways, felt really accurate to how a situation can get way out of hand.
Like I said, a good one for the classroom to show how folks can a) make a difference even when it feels like they’re too small to change anything, and b) be careful what you star because you never know how it will grow once it’s out of your control and taken up by the mob. I bet you could have some great conversations about gender equality in your own school too! Honestly, this could lend itself well to a lot of those tougher, grander conversations that don’t always have an accessible point for young students.
And of course there’s a bit of romance, because basically all books have that now right? Nothing too crazy, though there’s some implied almost-sex, but even that could spark conversations about consent and readiness.
I guess what I’m saying is that as a book for a young adult audience, Quach nailed it. xD And I loved it because I’m still basically 17 in my brain. Aren’t we all? Plus, there’s boba.
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