Title: Simone Breaks All The Rules
Author: Debbie Rigaud
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: June 1st, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Young Adult Romance
Her strict Haitian immigrant parents enforce no-dating rules and curfews, and send Simone to an all-girls school. As for prom? Simone is allowed to go on one condition: her parents will select her date (a boy from a nice Haitian immigrant family, obviously).
Simone is desperate to avoid the humiliation of the set up — especially since she’s crushing on a boy she knows her parents wouldn’t approve of. With senior year coming to a close, Simone makes a decision. She and her fellow late-bloomer friends will create a Senior Year Bucket List of all the things they haven’t had a chance to do. On the list: kissing a boy, sneaking out of the house, skipping class (gasp!), and, oh yeah — choosing your own prom date.
But as the list takes on a life of its own, things get more complicated than Simone expected. She’ll have to discover which rules are worth breaking, and which will save her from heartbreak.
Simone Breaks All The Rules is a book for readers who are looking for a story to enjoy wholeheartedly. It has newly developed friendships, characters learning to express themselves the way the want and is just packed full of joy.
Simone was such a loveable character, she was smart, funny and learnt from her mistakes as the story went on. Her dynamic with the different members of the family, while a little strained at times for one reason or the other, was obviously full of love.
Despite the fact that that Simone and her friends only formed their group at the beginning of the book more out of desire to experience things, than anything else. They became so close and it was so beautiful to read. Their interactions were so light and full of energy and the friendship and it’s development felt very authentic.
Speaking of the group, each girl in the group became a part of it because they had over-protective parents and wanted to experience things that other teenagers had. One thing I notice was that each set of parents were overprotective in different ways. I think that added a little bit more to the story.
This book also touched lightly on not feeling as connected to your culture as you would like. While it was not a deep dive into the discussion, the author made Simone’s feelings really clear and made it known that this was a real thing.
One thing I appreciated was the fact that Gavin wasn’t vilified in order to justify him and Simone not getting together, and to make Simone accept her feelings towards Ben. Also Simone’s realisation of her change in feelings towards both characters felt very organic.
All in all the book is a perfect read if your are looking for a light read, focused entirely on a Black Girl loving and living her life.
That’s All I Got, Romy.