Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Jan. 2023. 400p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063212992.
Gr 8 Up–It’s New Year’s Eve and Delilah’s inability to disappoint her cool friends at her new private school means she’s the front woman in a punk band and about to sing in front of people for the very first time. Enter Reggie, a self-conscious Dungeons & Dragons nerd whose anonymous online essays about race in D&D have been gaining traction. Their meet-cute would have gone perfectly if it weren’t for Delilah’s unresolved crush on a guy in her new band. And thus begins the year of falling. Reggie and Delilah’s paths cross on Valentine’s Day, then St. Patrick’s Day, until they’re sure the universe is trying to tell them something. As the year progresses, they start inventing holidays as an excuse to hang out as they slowly grow closer. Delilah finally starts gaining the confidence she needs to finally do her own thing, but Reggie, who has faked total self-assurance, still has things to hide. Told through dual narration, this sweet, will-they-or-won’t-they romance has refreshingly authentic depth. It leaves room for Reggie and Delilah to grow, mess up, and explore their relationships with friends, family, and each other. While the secondary characters are a bit flat, Reggie and Delilah shine. Delilah is biracial (Black and white) and Reggie is Black.
VERDICT Recommended for all collections. Hand to fans of Brandy Colbert’s Little & Lion or Kristina Forest’s Zyla & Kai.

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