Are you a lesbian? Are you in college? Are you upsettingly single? Do you have mommy issues? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider reading “She Gets the Girl.”
When I learned that married couple Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick wrote a YA novel set at the college where they met, I knew I had to find any way I could to read and review it. Lucky for me, I am TikTok mutuals with them. A little bit of nepotism goes a long way.
Anyway, here’s what the book is about.
Alex Blackwood was just dumped and wants to win back her ex. Molly Parker has a crush she doesn’t know how to act on. The two of them are just starting their freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh, and when they meet each other and open up about their romantic struggles, they hatch a plan. Alex will help Molly get with her crush, and hopefully, that’ll show her ex that she’s not self-absorbed and is ready for commitment.
But then, of course, they start to fall for each other.
Effortlessly queer (nobody is closeted!) and delightfully tropey, “She Gets the Girl” is one of those books that you wish your younger self had. Alex and Molly have a hilarious, adorable dynamic, and watching them slowly realize their true feelings was simply wonderful. My roommate can attest that I had very visible and audible reactions to many things happening in this book.
What hit me the hardest was not the love story, though; it was the characters’ relationships with their mothers. Alex’s mother struggles with alcoholism, and Molly’s mother has a rocky relationship with her identity, as a Korean -American adopted by white parents, that she passes on to her kids.
But you feel the love that they have for their mothers, in Molly’s close relationship with her mom (who is pretty much her best friend), but also in Alex’s determination to provide for her mom and prevent her from making poor decisions. I wasn’t expecting any of that going in.
And another thing — you can feel the love that Lippincott and Derrick have for their alma mater. I may be a bit biased, as someone who wrote a book set at a place that rhymes with Schmellesley Schmollege, but college settings just have so much character to them.
I read “She Gets the Girl” knowing that the places they were going were real, knowing I could very well go to the University of Pittsburgh’s library and actually see the place where the main characters have a few of the novel’s pivotal moments. And I love that so much.
At the end of the day, though, I keep going back to the romance. It’s cheesy, it’s fun, it’s everything you could possibly want. More married couples need to write books together.
“She Gets the Girl” comes out on April 5. I received an early copy from the publisher, Simon and Schuster, with persuasion from Rachael herself, in exchange for a review.
Also, this book made me cry, but not in a way that you’d expect.