I am so excited to get a chance to be a part of this book tour hosted by TBRandBeyondTours . Make sure you check out the rest of the posts that are a part of this tour by looking at the schedule for the tour found here.
Jessica Verdi is an author of books for kids and teens about identity, family, acceptance, and love.
Though she’s always been a bookworm (her childhood was basically defined by the philosophy that working your way through giant stacks of library books is far superior to playing outside), she remained convinced throughout high school and college that theatre and music were meant to be her creative outlets. After nearly ten years in the NYC theatre world, she got an idea for a novel. While that first attempt at a “book” will never see the light of day—nope, don’t ask—it was the book that started her love affair with writing. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else.
Jess received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School and is a freelance editor of romance and women’s fiction. She lives in New York with her family.
You can find Jessica at:
Follow Your Arrow by Jessica Verdi
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: March 2, 2021
For fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, this is a riveting and irresistible take on love, life, and identity — both online and off.
CeCe Ross is kind of a big deal. She and her girlfriend, Silvie, are social media influencers with zillions of fans and followers, known for their cute outfits and being #relationshipgoals.
So when Silvie breaks up with her, CeCe is devastated. She’s lost her first love, and now she can’t help but wonder if she’ll lose her followers as well.
Things get even messier when CeCe meets Josh, a new boy in town who is very much Not Online. CeCe isn’t surprised to be falling for a guy; she’s always known she’s bi. And Josh is sweet and smart and has excellent taste in donuts… but he has no idea that CeCe is internet-famous. And CeCe sort of wants to keep it that way.
But when CeCe’s secrets catch up to her, she finds herself in the middle of an online storm, where she’ll have to confront the blurriness of public vs. private life, and figure out what it really means to speak her truth.
You can find the book at:
Thoughts and Themes: Do you ever read something and think, am I reading my life?!
I don’t even know how to begin talking about this book. I can start by letting you all know that this book felt like I was reading about myself when I was a teenager. It was not only something teenage me needed but also something that current me still needs to hear. At the end, this book felt like a hug that I’ve needed since I came out to my parents as bisexual at 13 years old.
From the beginning of the story as Cece deals with her break up with Sylvie and struggles through that, to the end where she gives such as important speech to thousands of people, I saw myself in this story. I cried in the first few chapters as Cece dealt with her breakup the way that I dealt with the end of my first relationship, and than cheered her on through her confusion of having new feelings for someone else. I smiled and laughed when she mentions coming out at 13 years old, having 2 girlfriends, and is now dating a guy because that was my life.
Cece sharing how her relationship with her dad was turbulent felt so much like seeing my relationship with my dad. I cried for myself in those moments in which her dad said things that I have heard come out of my own dad’s mouth. It felt like a hug when Cece stood up for herself each time against him and walks away from him. I wish I could demand the respect that Cece demands from someone so important to me.
I am going to warn you all because there is a lot of biphobia in this book and those moments were hard to read through. These weren’t things I hadn’t seen before but it still hurts to be reminded that people think this way. The internet’s response to Cece dating a male put all of my fears onto a page, it reminded me of why I am so scared of catching feelings for a cisgender male. It also reminded me of how scared I am for the LGBTQ+ community to perceive me in a “straight relationship” because I don’t want to lose that community based off what they perceive. Cece’s response to this and the response of others on the internet when she stands up for bisexuals really resonated with me.
Characters: Throughout this story you meet several characters but it revolves around Cece’s life and the people in it. Through Cece you meet her ex, Sylvie, her new boyfriend, Josh, her internet family, and her mom.
I really liked how Cece’s relationship with Josh develops organically without the pressure of other’s weighing in. I thought it was nice to see them really getting to know each other and how unfiltered Cece was able to be with him. I did feel bad for both of them when the internet got involved in their relationship because they both were dealing with what it meant for each of them.
I loved how supportive Cece’s mom was of everything that Cece did and how she stepped in whenever she was needed. I loved watching the moments in which they watched television together or when Cece’s mom stepped in to take care of her. Her mom being supportive reminded me of staying in my mom’s bedroom shortly after getting my heart broken and how much I needed her in those moments.
Writing Style: This story is told in first person through the perspective of our main character, Cece. I really liked that we got this story through her perspective and we don’t get to see how anyone else is feeling. I think it was great that we didn’t get Sylvie’s perspective on the breakup beyond what was posted online, and we don’t get to know Josh’s feelings when he isn’t with Cece.
There were some pieces of things on the app included in the story in a different color font which I thought was great to include. I really liked that we got to see these messages from others online and were not just told how Cece feels about it.