*I was given a copy of Lark & Kasim Start A Revolution in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Faber and Faber and Kacen Callender*
Maybe it’s too late to tell them how I really feel. That I’ve had these feelings for months, for years . . .
Lark Winters wants to be a writer, and for now that means posting anything and everything on their social media accounts – just to build their platform. When former best friend Kasim accidentally posts a thread on Lark’s Twitter declaring his love for a secret, unrequited crush, Lark’s tweets are suddenly the talk of the school. To protect Kasim, Lark decides to take the fall, pretending they accidentally posted the thread in reference to another classmate. It seems like a great idea: Lark finally gets the courage to ask out their crush, Kasim keeps his privacy and Lark’s social media stats explode. But living a lie takes a toll – as does the judgement of thousands of Internet strangers. Lark tries their best to be perfect at all costs, but nothing seems good enough for the anonymous hordes – or for Kasim, who is growing closer to Lark, just like it used to be between them . . .
In the end, Lark must embrace their right to their messy emotions and learn how to be in love.
Honestly, I’m really not sure what I thought about Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution. It was a very quick read, thanks to the chatty nature of the writing style. As someone with a chatty writing style, this was one of my favourite parts.
Another area that was done very well was the inclusion of neurodivergent characters. I liked how Lark was sure they had ADHD and autism but they didn’t feel the need to label it. That was very relatable for me and I saw a lot of myself in them.
I also loved the LGBTQIA+ representation. Often when you have characters who are bisexual or polyamorous there’s an underlying phobia or erasure from other characters, but everyone was very accepting here. I really appreciated that. It’s probably not the most realistic having almost every character being polyam or bi but it was nice to see either way.
This brings me to my next point. A few of the relationships in this felt a little forced. Especially a polyam one that happens at the end. It didn’t feel necessary to the plot and it went against what one of the characters said. I won’t say who as I don’t want to include any spoilers.
Lark was an interesting main character, they represented what being a teenager on social media feels like very well. Obviously, the circumstances of being semi-famous on Twitter and having people care about every aspect of your life aren’t something everyone goes through, but the fears you can face whilst on social media are something I’m sure most people have been through at some point or another.
The inclusion of Birdie, the character from Lark’s book, was bittersweet for me. At first, I was extremely confused about how Birdie was, but after that I quite liked them. They were an important part of Lark’s character and their interaction were often quite funny. Birdie was a bit of a savage.
Overall I enjoyed Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution but I’m not sure how much. It dealt with some very heavy topics, which do need to be talked about, but I had it in my head that this was going to focus heavily on romance. Don’t get me wrong I am glad that so many serious issues are being discussed in this book, but I didn’t like that they were at a detriment to Lark. The bullying they faced at times really was not nice and the excuse the bullies gave was such a cop-out. It made me mad.
But anyway, Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution was well written and I enjoyed the style a lot. It was very easy to connect with Lark as it felt like they were addressing the reader at all times. For these reasons, I will be giving it four stars.
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