FINDING YVONNE by Brandy Colbert


Age Range: 14 - 18
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Privileged teenager Yvonne must decide what to do with her future.

Yvonne has lost her passion for the violin...or she never had it to begin with. She’s unsure, but what is clear is that her longtime violin teacher has dropped her, and she feels lost. Yvonne’s mother left when she was little, and her famous chef father is rarely around and stoned most of the time. Feeling she has nothing to distinguish her—other than a passing compliment for her musical abilities from her childhood orchestra teacher—Yvonne is acutely aware of the fawning attention her father receives for his gifts. One day, strolling Venice Beach with her not-quite-official boyfriend, Warren, Yvonne is enraptured by two buskers. She’s especially taken by the violinist—handsome, dreadlocked Omar. After Warren prioritizes work on her 18th birthday, Yvonne begins hanging out with college-dropout Omar, whom she soon sleeps with, leading to complications. Yvonne engages in endless introspection, but her character feels flat, and the lack of forward momentum makes it difficult to sustain interest in her story. The musical theme does not ring true, and secondary characters are underdeveloped. The book takes on gentrification, double standards around female sexuality, and race (light-skinned Warren has a white father and identifies as black), but readers may long for more depth. All major characters are black, and Yvonne’s best friend has two moms.

Patient readers may appreciate this one. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-316-34905-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2018


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