Not Here to Be Liked
Author: Michelle Quach
Pages: 416 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Published: 16th September 2021
Rating: 5 Stars
Eliza Quan fully expects to be voted the next editor-in-chief of her school paper. She works hard, she respects the facts, and she has the most experience.
Len DiMartile is an injured star baseball player who seems to have joined the paper just to have something to do. Naturally, the staff picks Len to be their next leader. Because while they may respect Eliza, they don’t particularly like her.
Eliza is not here to be liked. She’s here to win.
But someone does like Eliza. A lot.
Shame it’s the boy standing in the way of her becoming editor-in-chief….
Warning: This book features an unlikable female character, intersectional feminism, and instruction for the fall of the patriarchy. And kissing, lots of kissing.
Thank you to NetGalley and Usborne Publishing for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I absorbed this book, I could not put it down. Whilst there is a warning in the synopsis of this book for an unlikable female character, Eliza grew on me regardless. I loved how she questioned her values and was constantly growing throughout the story., She was a strong independent female character and I found myself rooting for her. Whilst this book was just told from Eliza’s perspective, I would have loved to see Len’s and how he felt at certain points of this story. He was a very interesting character and I really liked what we saw of him.
Eliza is an extremely hardworking member of the Bugle, the school newspaper. She begins the book as the only member running for editor-in-chief for the following year, however, once she arrives at school on the day of the election, she is greeted by Len running also. Ultimately, Len gets picked for school newspaper, which causes Eliza to angrily write up a manifesto about how Len was picked due to sexism as she has more experience and it appears that Len was running just for something to do. Eliza never plans for her manifesto to be published, as it acts more as an outlet for her anger and other emotions. However, the following day, her manifesto has been publishe and the whole school soon knows about her accusing them of sexism. What follows is an extremely interesting book about romance, finding yourself and, of course, feminism.
‘I thought you didn’t care about being liked’… ‘I can care about whatever I like.’
The author deals with the topic of intersectional feminism very well and I loved the way it was explored by each character and how it seemed to mean something different to each person. There were many different examples of sexism throughout this book, showing how boys could get away with cheating, how periods were something to be embarrassed of. I think it was really interesting the way this important topic was mixed in so well with a YA romance book. Eliza and Len are forced to work together, despite the fact that Eliza is campaigning to get him to step down. But very quickly, things get more complicated as Eliza realises that Len may not be as bad as she first thought and feelings become involved. Overall, this book was the perfect YA romance and had me hooked and I recommend it if you want some cute romance!