Speak For Yourself by Lana Wood Johnson

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to the author for the ARC!

Skylar’s got ambitious #goals. And if she wants them to come true, she has to get to work now. (At least she thinks so…) Step one in her epic plan is showing everyone that her latest app is brilliant. To do that, she’s going to use it win State at the Scholastic Exposition, the nerdiest academic competition around. First, she’ll need a team, and Skylar’s not always so good with people. But she’ll do whatever it takes to put one together … even if it means playing Cupid for her teammates Joey and Zane, at Joey’s request. When things get off to an awkward start for them, Skylar finds herself stepping in to help Joey. Anything to keep her on the team. Only, Skylar seems to be making everything more complicated. Especially when she realizes she might be falling for Zane, which was not a #goal. Can Skylar figure out her feelings, prove her app’s potential to the world, and win State without losing her friends–or is her path to greatness over before it begins?

After reading Technically, You Started It, I was ready to read anything that this author wrote. So, a book about an app making teen, a fat teen who has migraines, sounded amazing. Plus, she tries to matchmake two people, and ends up falling for one of them. One who she thought she didn’t like. This book sounded like would be completely awesome all around, and I was really eager to read it.

It is official. I will read anything that Lana Wood Johnson writes.

Technically, You Started It, read fast because it was told completely through text messages. In this book, it is mostly told like a normal book. I really loved getting to know Johnson’s writing style, because it was just as amazing as it was in the text. It was light, fluffy, and completely sweet. I felt like I could fly through this book because the writing completely sucked me through the story.

This book is also told in part through text messages, emails, and other memo type things. Through this, a little piece of Sky’s coding is scene. I thought it was awesome, because it felt like a little piece of the character’s brain, seeing them text instead of just seeing them through their actions. I dunno, I really enjoy reading texts between characters! And other flyers and emails just add some more depth to the overall story.

I really, really loved Sky. She has ambitious in droves. She knows what she wants, and dang, she is going to do everything in her power to get there. She feels like people can’t handle her, because she’s too much, too overbearing. She has to grapple with this, plus the fact that she believes everything has to go according to her plan. Just, she was such a fantastic, brilliant character. I also really, really loved that she was fat and that just was. It’s a part of the story because that’s just how Sky is.

All of the side characters were absolutely brilliant too. There is a non-binary character who just is as well! They just are! Really, Sky has a group of complete dorks for friends, and I adore them all. Mads and Zane and Dom and Logan and Joey and Kaden, all of them were brilliant. They’re all geeks and it’s wonderful.

Oh, the romantic relationship was top notch. There is so much mutual pining and both parties being ridiculous about it. Just, so much yes to it.

The familial and friend relationships in this book were also something I really loved. They’re complicated, but love is at the heart of them. These characters truly care about each other and it was just so awesome to see.

The one thing that I didn’t completely fall in love with was the ending. I felt like it was a bit rushed. I think I would have liked an epilogue to completely wrap things up or for there to be a few more chapters of resolution or to drag out the last emotional plot point. Though, I did read an ARC, so perhaps and epilogue will be in the final copy!

Overall, I really, really did love this book. It’s completely nerdy, geeky, sweet and amazing. I loved Sky and I loved her friends and her apps. It is a very, very good book.

Speak For Yourself comes out June 1, 2021! You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order a copy in the meantime!

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