Review: Long Story Short by Serena Kaylor

Long Story Short by Serena Kaylor

Long Story Short
Serena Kaylor
Wednesday Books
Published July 26, 2022

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Long Story Short

Growing up homeschooled in Berkeley, California, Beatrice Quinn is a statistical genius who has dreamed her whole life of discovering new mathematical challenges at a school like Oxford University. She always thought the hardest part would be getting in, not convincing her parents to let her go. But while math has always made sense to Beatrice, making friends is a problem she hasn’t been able to solve, so her parents are worried about sending her halfway across the world. The compromise: the Connecticut Shakespearean Summer Academy and a detailed list of teenage milestones to check off. She has six weeks to show her parents she can pull off the role of “normal” teenager and won’t spend the rest of her life hiding in a library.

Unfortunately, hearts and hormones don’t follow any rules, and there is no equation for teenage interactions. When she’s adopted by a group of eclectic theater kids, and immediately makes an enemy of the popular—and, annoyingly gorgeous—British son of the camp founders, she realizes that relationships are trickier than calculus. With her future on the line, this girl genius stumbles through illicit parties, double dog dares, and more than your fair share of Shakespeare. But before the final curtain falls, will Beatrice realize that there’s more to life than she can find in the pages of a book?

In this sparkling debut from Serena Kaylor, Long Story Short is a YA rom-com about a homeschooled math genius who finds herself out of her element at a theater summer camp and learns that life—and love—can’t be lived by the (text)book.

Growing up homeschooled in Berkeley, California, Beatrice Quinn is a statistical genius who has dreamed her whole life of discovering new mathematical challenges at a school like Oxford University. She always thought the hardest part would be getting in, not convincing her parents to let her go. But while math has always made sense to Beatrice, making friends is a problem she hasn’t been able to solve, so her parents are worried about sending her halfway across the world. The compromise: the Connecticut Shakespearean Summer Academy and a detailed list of teenage milestones to check off. She has six weeks to show her parents she can pull off the role of “normal” teenager and won’t spend the rest of her life hiding in a library.

Unfortunately, hearts and hormones don’t follow any rules, and there is no equation for teenage interactions. When she’s adopted by a group of eclectic theater kids, and immediately makes an enemy of the popular—and, annoyingly gorgeous—British son of the camp founders, she realizes that relationships are trickier than calculus. With her future on the line, this girl genius stumbles through illicit parties, double dog dares, and more than your fair share of Shakespeare. But before the final curtain falls, will Beatrice realize that there’s more to life than she can find in the pages of a book?

Long Story Short on Goodreads

My Review

Witty banter is my favorite reasons to fall in love with a book, and LONG STORY SHORT has it in droves. I really enjoyed the back and forth between Beatrice, Mia, and Nolan. Also, I loved the verbal combat between Beatrice and Nik. I found it easy to invest in the characters and want them to succeed.

My only criticism is that I felt like Mia and Nolan were kind of too perfect as friends. Beatrice’s awkward inability to connect and her difficulty developing friendships got squished into an almost unbelievably short timeline. I get that the plot needed that, and I wanted to invest in the relationships, so I did. But I couldn’t help asking myself why her parents were so worried? All she seemed to need were two people who were simply willing to give her a chance.

I really liked that she had to go to a Shakespeare camp. The way those stories and quotes were used in the book added a lot of depth. Also, I enjoyed the quote match between her and Nik. I loved the way they used those quotes to trip each other up and as a whole other conversation, too.

On the whole, despite the super quick bestie plot armor, I really enjoyed reading LONG STORY SHORT. I think fans of KATE IN WAITING by Becky Albertalli will really enjoy this one.

Long Story Short on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Representation
Nikhil is English and Indian. Beatrice’s best friend Mia is Black and bisexual, and another friend, Nolan, is gay.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. Reference to Beatrice’s parents being sexual therapists.

Spiritual Content
None.

Violent Content
A girl bullies another girl.

Drug Content
Bea and other teens drink alcohol at a party.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of LONG STORY SHORT in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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