I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the SPIN WITH ME by Ami Polonsky Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
Title: SPIN WITH ME
Author: Ami Polonsky
Pub. Date: February 16, 2021
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
From the author of the critically acclaimed Gracefully Grayson comes a thoughtful and sensitive middle-grade novel about non-binary identity and first love, Ami Polonsky’s Spin with Me.
In this elegant dual narrative, Essie is a thirteen-year-old girl feeling glum about starting a new school after her professor dad takes a temporary teaching position in a different town. She has 110 days here and can’t wait for them to end. Then she meets Ollie, who is nonbinary. Ollie has beautiful blue eyes and a confident smile. Soon, Essie isn’t counting down the days until she can leave so much as she’s dreading when her time with Ollie will come to an end.
Meanwhile, Ollie is experiencing a crush of their own . . . on Essie. As Ollie struggles to balance their passion for queer advocacy with their other interests, they slowly find themselves falling for a girl whose stay is about to come to an end. Can the two unwind their merry-go-round of feelings before it’s too late?
Such a sweet book!
I loved the way this book was set up–Essie’s “butterfly” narrative counting down the days she has left in town, while Ollie’s “hand” chapters count up the days since they met her–and that both voices sound unique and genuine. There is a bit of repetition, but considering we’re seeing the same time period twice, the author does a nice job of keeping it fresh and showing us new angles. Ollie’s texts with their older brother Max were some of my favorite bits; their relationship is just so adorable.
I loved that Ollie has so many people in their life that 100% support them, but also that they manage to get across to their mother that they don’t really need *quite* as much help now as they did two years ago. Both Essie and Ollie had issues to resolve with their mothers here, and I think the author did a nice job of letting the teens show their mothers what they needed from them without being bratty and overly me-centric.
My one complaint is that some aspects of one character’s story that end up being fairly important to them–the best example being Ollie’s after school Stage Combat class–are barely or not at all mentioned in the other character’s POV. Sure, Essie wasn’t involved in the activity, but since Ollie ends up having to make a fairly major decision around it and Essie does help out, it’s odd that it doesn’t even get a mention on her side of the story.
(And can we just say? Stage Combat class? Where do I sign up? ;))
Altogether, this was a really fun read and I’ll definitely keep an eye out for more from this author.
Rating: 3 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
Ami Polonsky is the author of the critically-acclaimed Gracefully Grayson and Threads. She is a middle school English teacher and a parent of two kids, one of whom exists happily beneath the trans umbrella.a Rafflecopter giveaway