‘How to Speak Boy’: A Sweet and Funny YA Novel


STORY | Speech and debate is pretty much the only thing that concerns Quinn just now. She has great friends, and a mother who supports her, but winning the state championship is THE top priority. The one thing standing in her way is her nemesis, Grayson, the only boy who seems able to beat Quinn in this forum.

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Things grow awkward when Quinn begins to exchange letters with a boy at school, only she doesn’t know who he is. Is it the boy who’s been Quinn’s best friend for years? Is it someone she doesn’t know? Or might it be the only boy Quinn swears to never like…?

How to Speak Boy, by Tiana Smith | Book Review

how to speak boy

REVIEW | Going into this novel, I didn’t know a great deal about it, but did think it sounded as if it had the potential to be a light and frothy read, something that’s always in style when it comes to my reading habits. How to Speak Boy is this and then some. The sophomore novel of 2019 debut scribe, Tiana Smith, her novels read like the old-fashioned romantic-comedy movies of our teenage years. They’re cute and full of some angst-y banter, all of which serves the story well.

Between the two, I think I may have enjoyed this novel more over Match Me If You Can. (Although I cannot deny both are sweet novels that work well within the genre they comfortably fit.) This story is fast-moving and features a host of cute antics and likable characters. To say a great deal about the plot feels like a spoiler, though I realize the back cover copy does give away the direction of the plot. However, if you don’t read the back copy, just know that Tiana does a great job in keeping the reader guessing as to who could be Quinn’s pen pal soul mate.

If you enjoy fun romantic-comedies with heart, you’ll likely enjoy How to Speak Boy. It touches on some issues like friendships in a way that adds some weight to the story, and it’s the way the book ends that takes me most by surprise – or at least the lead up does. It makes me feel a little bittersweet, and cling to the idea that someday Quinn will again be okay enough to let go, and forgive.

Ultimately, this one is cute and uplifting, and when it comes to stories, that’s my kind of read.

‘How to Speak Boy’: A Sweet and Funny YA Novel. A book review of the Swoon Reads novel by Tiana Smith. #NewBooks #YALit #CleanRomance Click To Tweet

Content: there’s really nothing to mention in this secular YA. There may be one or two minor instances of profanity or innuendo, but everything is pretty PG-rom-com-clean.


Author: Tiana Smith
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: 2020
Source: Publisher Provided – thank you, Swoon!
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary YA Romance
Find the Book Elsewhere: Goodreads
Find the Review Elsewhere: Goodreads
Rating: ★★★1/2

‘How to Speak Boy’: A Sweet and Funny YA Novel. A book review of the Swoon Reads novel by Tiana Smith. Text © Rissi JC

Sincere thanks to Swoon Reads for a complimentary copy of this novel; all opinions are my own!

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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