Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour!
Thanks to Hear Our Voices for hosting this tour and Scholastic (Trade Publishing) for providing this book via Edelweiss+.
This book was marketed as a mash-up of You Should See Me in a Crown and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, one of which I have read and enjoyed the other I have heard so many things about. Reading this book was a pure delight. I will not get started on the beautiful cover!
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Title: Simone Breaks all the Rules
Author: Debbie Rigaud
Publication date: June 1, 2021
Simone Thibodeaux’s life is sealed in a boy-proof container.
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 Thibodeaux is a Haitian-American whose life has basically been structured and boxed by her parents. She is not allowed to date, she goes to an all-girls school to further point home the no-dating rule, she does not really have friends except her cousin and sister who do not really count. She has her late-bloomer friends who also have a stifling life like hers. She has got accepted into a prestigious university and even with that, she has to attend from home by taking the bus. So the opportunity to have normal college life is also out of the window.
Then there is prom (as someone who attended school in Nigeria, I do not understand the fuss around prom, I mean it is basically dancing to old school music, dirtying the hem of your gowns and underage students trying to drink- but what do I know), Simone really wants to have the time of her life at Prom but that dream is almost thwarted when her parents inform her that the only way she would go to Prom is if she goes with the boy they select for her. (As you can expect he was going to be what is perfect in their eyes.) – you can imagine her horror.
You can say that this was what broke the camel’s back. She decides to break all the rules. This is when she and her late-bloomer friends make a list to do all the things they could not do. Ditch class, kiss a boy, sneak out of the house, travel around NYC and finally pick a prom date. She and her friends did all they could do all the things on the list and honestly, I was surprised that they were able to do everything without being completely caught. especially since the point was that their parents were stifling their joy. Anyways, Simone mother finds out about the list and things seem to hit the roof. (Will stop here to avoid further spoilers)
I really loved reading this book. I personally could not relate to Simone because my mum was not the type to prevent me from going out. Yes, she taught me to be cautious and I needed to inform her if I was going out with friends and who I was meeting (which really is the common-sense thing because of safety issues). So relating to Simone was hard for me, except the fact that she is a Black person and we share similar experiences in terms of appreciation of arts and culture and the drive to learn about Black people who have stood in the frontline in the first for equality and justice.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars
Hey, there! I’m Debbie, NYTimes Bestselling author who writes for young and young-at-heart readers. Viewers, too!
I was born in NYC to Haitian immigrant parents and before I could say “Theodore Aloysius Huxtable,” my family moved from Brooklyn for East Orange, NJ to break from city living. (Ha!)
Our new hood was a magical place. I grew up next door to my cousins and directly across the street from my now husband! Plus, the TV star I spent my tween days imagining as my dream bestie (Alyssa Milano), became my co-author!
Thanks for reading.