Ophelia After All
Feiwel & Friends
Published February 8, 2022
Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads
About Ophelia After All
A teen girl navigates friendship drama, the end of high school, and discovering her queerness in Ophelia After All, a hilarious and heartfelt contemporary YA debut by author Racquel Marie.
Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to.
So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love–and sexuality–never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a debut so wise as this one. While Ophelia is herself a romantic, her story doesn’t truly center around a romantic relationship. It explores romantic feelings– both hers and some of her friends’. But the story truly shines as one of self-discovery. Ophelia wrestles with her own expectations for herself and the challenges of navigating close relationships as those expectations or feelings change.
Ophelia has a large and loud friend group, but the relationships aren’t all equally shared. Not only did this feel very real to me, because it’s hard to imagine a homogenously friendly group that size, but it deepened each of those characters because every relationship with Ophelia was individual, and impacted the group differently. It created a lot of tension and opportunity for ripple effects in that tension, which really made the big moments in the book even bigger.
I feel like I spent a long time on the edge of my emotional seat holding my breath and rooting for Ophelia to finally spill her guts and talk about the things she was holding back. I love the scene where things do come out and how wild and dramatic it was. I felt like it was the perfect scene for the story as a whole.
I think readers who enjoyed CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY by Steven Salvatore or HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE by Dahlia Adler will enjoy this one.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Ophelia is Latine and white. She has a diverse group of friends. Some are black, Latine, and LGBTQIA+
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.
Kissing between boy and girl. Kissing between two girls. Brief reference to sex. Some conversations about asexuality.
Reference to family members who are homophobic for religious reasons.
Some homophobic comments.
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