- Author: Ben Philippe
- Books Published: 2 and a 3rd on the way (an adult book doe)
- Genre: YA Contemporary
- Background: Haitian-Canadian (AYYYYYIIIIIISSSSYYYYYEEEEENNNNNN)
- Social Media Accounts: IG-@benphilippe, Twitter-@gohomeben
- Website: www.benphilippe.com
- Release Date: Out Now!
- Publisher: Epic Reads
- My Favorite Character: CORINNE!!!!! She’s my queen FOREVER and ALWAYS! If you haven’t read the book yet, you have to read to understand why I stan so hard but she’s a character who is unapologetically herself and is not ashamed to talk about any taboo subjects! She’s just THEEEEEEEE BEST! Seriously, she needs her own book or at least a novella (I will never not push for this)!
- Favorite Quotes: “Oblique pop culture references do seem to be a cornerstone of social language, actually.”-Corinne….I mean, she isn’t wrong about that! “Not to mention the amount of porn I stream is almost fraternity house level.”-Corinne…I laughed so loud that I think my entire neighborhood heard me! She’s so freaking great!
First off, this post is LONGGGGGGGGGGGGGG overdue! I have been meaning to sit down and write about how much I loved this book since I finished the ARC last year and then life began kicking my a$$ in the most exquisite of ways…but I’m finally writing this!
Before I get into talking about this book, I wanted to talk a little about how I came to bothering Ben, I mean became friends with Ben. While I was reading his first book, The Field Guide To The North American Teenager (which is also hysterical and I would highly recommend), I came to a point in the book where he threw Hufflepuffs under the bus and instantly, I was like “HOW DARE HE?!” (I’m a proud Huffle) and I DMed him a picture of the page with the line underlined and a “REALLY BEN?!?!” written in… He not only responded but he then took it to his stories… This incited a slight war that somehow led to a insta-friendship… Ben has become the brother I always wanted but maybe not fully realized what I was asking for…just kidding (kinda, lol) but seriously Ben’s one of the people I love to bother on IG and he humors me every time, lol! He also has the cutest dog, Blue, and I’m never mad when she pops up on my feed (see the feature picture and tell me where I’m wrong on this)!
When I saw his post about his second book, Charming As A Verb also known as CAAV, I got to bothering him right away about getting an ARC. I guess I Haitian guilted him enough that he eventually sent me one and I’m so glad because it was everything I could’ve asked for in a contemporary book! I started it on a Friday and finished it the next day! Reading this book was one of the best ways I could’ve ever possibly spent a Saturday night and I would do it all over again too (he thought he ruined my Saturday night but it was better than any comedic movie I could’ve possibly watched)! It is so flipping brilliant in its humor and social commentary! I can’t say enough how much I love this book and that I think EVERYONE should have a copy in their homes!
Recently, I did a geek out with another bookstagrammer @raethereviewer, about this book and we both geeked SO HARD about Corinne, also known as Queen Corinne! Who wouldn’t love a Black girl who is confident in who she is and is unapologetic about her abilities?! She calls people out with very little filter and I LIVEEEEED for it! It is truly a lost art, calling people out, to their faces rather than over social media in a passive aggressive nature. She gave so little Effs that it was near sub-zero levels! Corinne lets people have it, especially when they don’t want it but when they need it. She was the perfect balance to Halti and all his shenanigans throughout the story. We don’t get to see too many characters like her, and we really need to see MORE Corinne’s in books! A Black Girl existing and THRIVING in the world…intelligent, talented, beautiful and HILARIOUS! Corinne was the love interest Gawdess the world deserved! She was most certainly a scene stealer and Halti may not like that I’m saying it but I’m just stating facts here. I don’t make the rules, I just follow them *Ye Shrug*!
Speaking of Halti and shenanigans…he is one messy dude! There were so many times while I read where all I could do was shake my head because he was doing so much! If he were a real person, I would’ve snatched him by his collar and dragged him out the building but such as not possible…thank Gawd for Corinne to do that for all of us! As much as Halti is messy, he is also very intelligent and slick tongued, which proved useful for him in so many situations. Think of the smoothest talker you know, multiply their ability times 10 and you would get Halti! There were points where I was just like “HOWWWW” but I guess when you are blessed with the gift of Gab, it just is the way it is! Ben did warn me that Halti was messy, if not more so than his first main character Norris in TFGTTNAT, and he wasn’t wrong to issue such a warning. I still loved Halti’s character….just not more than Queen Corinne, LOL!
One of the things that I loved about this book was his parents! They were your standard immigrant and very Haitian parents who supported and pushed (almost literally) Halti in all he did. There were no uncertain terms in what they expected from him in school and what they foresaw in his future. I loved that they cared so deeply for him and it showed in how they interacted with him, this includes the shade that only immigrant parents can impart upon their offspring…. it’s truly its own brand that leaves you shivering, it’s so shady! There is a part in the book with the classic Haitian Father Blow up that made me think my father was somewhere in the room when I read it…I wouldn’t recommend the experience. His mom is also super dope in the example she was setting for Halti and what she wanted for her own future! I really loved his parents, shade and all!
Another thing I really loved about this book that Rachelle & I talked about was how Halti got to just be a teenager! He could just be joyful or miserable without thinking about being a Black boy in our world. Halti could just exist and it not be a thing where he lamented about being Black in America. Any pain he felt, it was because of situations in the book dealing with school, family or friends and not because of very real world circumstances that we could see on the news. We don’t get to read too many books where Black kids could just be kids, where there is more happiness than there is pain of some sort. Books that cover real world commentary are extremely valuable but so are books like TFGTTNAT and CAAV that showcase Black Kid Joy! Truly, we need more books like Ben’s out in the world and I hope we see more of them in the future.
There is so much that could be said about this book but I want you all to read it too! I do have a recording of Rachelle & I’s geek out on IG that you can click here to watch! If you don’t have this book already, you NEED to get this book (or borrow it from your local library at least). If you have it in your TBR and haven’t gotten to it, change that ASAPually my friend! I promise you won’t be disappointed…I haven’t led you astray yet…right?! *lights up halo over my head*
Thanks for stopping by! Happy Reading and sending Bookish love your way! Feel free to find & follow me on Instagram @bookishgirlmagic or Twitter @bookishgrlmagic for more bookish banter! Until the next post, see ya later!