Dear Rachel Maddow

Dear Rachel Maddow

In Adrienne Kisner's Dear Rachel Maddow, a high school girl deals with school politics and life after her brother’s death by drafting emails to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow in this funny and heartfelt YA debut.Brynn Haper's life has one steadying force--Rachel Maddow.She watches her daily, and after writing to Rachel for a school project--and actually getting a response--Brynn...

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Title:Dear Rachel Maddow
Author:Adrienne Kisner
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Dear Rachel Maddow Reviews

  • Rachael

    It’s the perfect blend of emotion, humor, diversity, and political references.

    tells the story of Brynn, a junior in High School. Brynn had a good life, but when her brother Nick died a year ago, her life started falling apart. Now she’s on the “Applied

    It’s the perfect blend of emotion, humor, diversity, and political references.

    tells the story of Brynn, a junior in High School. Brynn had a good life, but when her brother Nick died a year ago, her life started falling apart. Now she’s on the “Applied” track at school, her first girlfriend has broken up with her, she’s kicked off the school newspaper, and her abusive and manipulative parents are driving her up the wall. She’s looking forward to turning eighteen when she can finally move out of her house and possibly drop out of high school. After being assigned to write to her personal hero, Rachel Maddow, for an assignment, and after being overjoyed at receiving a reply, Rachel begins to keep a journal of letters to Rachel about her struggles in High School journalism and politics that she never sends.

    This book packs a

    of tough topics into under 300 pages, but

    . Not only that, but the characters and writing just blend together with the plot so well that I’m not convinced that the author didn’t

    . All the characters are all so flawed and three-dimensional, and that’s especially difficult to do when the book is told in journal format, so hats off to everyone who worked on this book.

    Brynn, the narrator, was my favorite character. She’s brash, unapologetic, funny, and just trying to get through life and maybe get a girlfriend along the way.

    She hides her depression and her trauma in her online journal while putting on a smiling face (or, at least, a righteously angry one) for the people around her.

    I really felt for Brynn throughout this entire book. The quote at the beginning of this review really does describe her, and even though she doesn’t realize it, she’s

    at persisting and pushing herself through life. Her character arc, and how her mental health progresses throughout the book are both so realistic and stunning. So many moments in this story made me tear up – I don’t know if it’s just because so much of it was relatable or what, but I know that depressed teens, teens who struggle in school, and teens who’ve had to deal with trauma will be able to see themselves in Brynn.

    And Brynn’s reluctance to get into school politics, but completely owning it once she enters, is so iconic. She is an underdog who represents the other underdogs in her school, chosen to represent them and take down the elite and selfish honors students. This book also doesn’t fall into the “popular kids are always evil” trope; Brynn gains more popularity as she goes on, especially with the “normal” people in her school (e.g. not the top 10% GPA ranking). I really rooted for her, and I know other readers will, too.

    Another favorite character of mine was Lacey. Lacey is a peer mentor for Brynn and the other students on the “Applied” track, and is Brynn’s best friend at school. She’s also in a wheelchair and uses a keyboard to speak, but I love the fact that this book emphasizes that a person’s disability isn’t the most important thing about them. There’s a hilarious quote from Lacey where she addresses people’s ableism, saying,

    The dry wit in this quote is the

    in the rest of the book, and that makes the voice of the novel refreshing and laugh-out-loud funny.

    Brynn’s romance with her love interest, Michaela, is so cute and funny. Though it’s a little insta-lovey in the beginning, the way it develops is so realistic and cute after the fact that I don’t mind it that much. Neither of them are perfect people, but Brynn’s tendency to blurt whatever she’s thinking around Michaela is so endearing and adorable.

    The plot of

    has a surprising amount of twists for a contemporary novel – I would compare it to a Shakespeare comedy, but more serious drama than just meaningless shenanigans.

    I thought that the email/journal format actually really worked well for this novel. I’m always hesitant to read books that are solely told through journaling, because they tend to lead to less character development for everyone but the narrator, and provide a limited scope on the novel itself, but this book was a defiance to those assumptions. The journal format here is the way it should be done everywhere – with humor, some chapters in other people’s lives, and personality.

    Another important message in this book is that high school isn’t everything. I don’t just mean socially – this book emphasizes that going to college, that being successful academically, isn’t the best thing for everyone.

    Just do what you care about and it’ll all work out.

    The transition from seriousness to humor is PERFECTLY DONE. Throughout the entire book. It’s incredible.

    I hope to god that this book gets a lot of hype when it comes out – it so deserves it. Not only is it diverse, but the plot, characters, and writing are so so incredibly high-tier. I would recommend this for any contemporary fans, and even non-fans, especially those with disabilities, those in the LGBT community, or those who are looking for a funny, refreshing, realistic book that will make you feel

    .

  • Stacee

    I am a huge fan of books in epistolary format and I loved the synopsis of this one.

    Brynn was a great MC. I enjoyed being in her head and reading her struggle was relatable. There’s a pretty big group of characters here, but only a few really stood out to me. And someone really needs to junk punch her mom and her stepdad for just not caring. At all.

    Plot wise, it took some time to settle in. I wasn’t instantly captivated, but as soon as Brynn started to get worked up and active, I was drawn in.

    I am a huge fan of books in epistolary format and I loved the synopsis of this one.

    Brynn was a great MC. I enjoyed being in her head and reading her struggle was relatable. There’s a pretty big group of characters here, but only a few really stood out to me. And someone really needs to junk punch her mom and her stepdad for just not caring. At all.

    Plot wise, it took some time to settle in. I wasn’t instantly captivated, but as soon as Brynn started to get worked up and active, I was drawn in. I loved how she had a group of people behind her and she didn’t even realize it. I imagine a lot of people feel that way and it was handled well.

    Overall, it was a quick and intriguing read. I loved the spin with the politics {something I would have never read or enjoyed until about 2 years ago} and I was rooting for Brynn. My only complaint is that I would have like just a bit more at the end, but I was mostly satisfied.

    **Huge thanks to Feiwel and Friends for providing the arc free of charge**

  • Ava

    Perfect for fans of NICE TRY, JANE SINNER, this is a YA novel about a lesbian girl that's told in a completely unconventional way: in emails written to political journalist Rachel Maddow. I read it a few months ago in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down.

    Why should you pick up DEAR RACHEL MADDOW? I have 2 main reasons.

    1. unique formatting

    YA has been more creative lately with the formatting and style of books, and this is a great example of that. Because of the fact that it's told th

    Perfect for fans of NICE TRY, JANE SINNER, this is a YA novel about a lesbian girl that's told in a completely unconventional way: in emails written to political journalist Rachel Maddow. I read it a few months ago in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down.

    Why should you pick up DEAR RACHEL MADDOW? I have 2 main reasons.

    1. unique formatting

    YA has been more creative lately with the formatting and style of books, and this is a great example of that. Because of the fact that it's told through (mostly unsent) emails, you get a really interesting look into the main character's head and unfiltered thoughts that really makes the book stand out.

    2. excellent main character + representation

    The main character of this book, Brynn, is lesbian, and I loved this representation. In the book, she fights to get non-Honors-class kids into her high school's leadership team so that they have a say in the school events. It shows teenagers that they're not lesser if they're not the top of the class academically. Brynn is funny and real, and is a character that many teenagers can identify with.

    I hope this convinces you to go pick up DEAR RACHEL MADDOW. I promise you, it's worth it!

  • Susie Dumond

    When I was a closeted teenage lesbian, trying to figure out how to come out and what to do with my life, Rachel Maddow meant a lot to me. She was smart, and successful, and delightfully nerdy. She made me feel like it was ok to be passionate about things, like being politically engaged was cool. When I saw the description of Dear Rachel Maddow, it felt like the publisher was describing my past self. I had to check it out.

    Brynn is a teenager who has a had a rough few years. Her family has been th

    When I was a closeted teenage lesbian, trying to figure out how to come out and what to do with my life, Rachel Maddow meant a lot to me. She was smart, and successful, and delightfully nerdy. She made me feel like it was ok to be passionate about things, like being politically engaged was cool. When I saw the description of Dear Rachel Maddow, it felt like the publisher was describing my past self. I had to check it out.

    Brynn is a teenager who has a had a rough few years. Her family has been through a tragedy that has left her reeling, her aggressive stepdad makes her home life challenging, her girlfriend broke up with her, and her previously impressive grades are slipping. After a school assignment leads Brynn to write an email to her celebrity hero, political commentator Rachel Maddow, Brynn finds her draft emails to Rachel serving as a kind of diary that allows her to further explore her interest in representative democracy and student government.

    This book has a lot of heart. As a longtime fan of Rachel Maddow, I love how she's used as a vehicle for Brynn to explore her advocacy interests and embrace her inner nerd. Reading this would have meant a lot to me as a teen, to see that you don't have to be perfect to make a difference in your community, and that being passionate about something is cool. The concept is very strong, and sometimes the writing doesn't quite live up to it, but it's certainly an entertaining and engaging read. I look forwarding to seeing what comes next from Adrienne Kisner.

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    not to make this weird but does Rachel Maddow know this book is being published is she proud

  • Jasmine

    If you're interested, you could check out the exclusive excerpt, which is an ADORABLENESS OVERLOAD for me, and an ARC giveaway for my friends in the U.S.

  • kayla ☺

    I FEEL SO BAD FOR DNFING THIS BOOK BECAUSE ITS WONDERFUL BUT I'M IN A NON-CONTEMPORARY MOOD AT THE MOMENT SO I'M BARELY ABLE TO GET INTO IT.

    I'LL PICK THIS BACK UP IN A FEW WEEKS. HOPEFULLY 😭

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