Review: Ready or Not by Andi Porretta

Ready or Not by Andi Porretta

Ready or Not
Andi Porretta
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Published July 2, 2024

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Ready or Not

An anxious teen hopes that a summer of adventure and offbeat dares will keep her friend group together after graduation in this luminous coming-of-age graphic novel with the feel-good vibes of Booksmart and Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone.

With senior year finally behind them, Cassie and her three best friends are on their way to what’s next. Like their parents, the crew has always been there’s Marcy, the artist, for whom style is self-expression and sarcasm is a love language; Aaron, the future lawyer, whose good humor balances out his competitive streak; Nico, the musician, whose flirtatiousness, obliviousness, and recent interest in a rising senior are becoming increasingly unbearable to Cassie; and of course, Cassie herself, the only one who doesn’t have her future all figured out.

This summer is their last chance to make memories together in New York City before everyone but Cassie scatters across the globe for college—and she’s determined to make the most of it. Her plan? They’ll spend August playing the game of dares and risks they invented as kids! From adventurous to outrageous, these dares will definitely make for an unforgettable summer. Even better, Cassie is hopeful they’ll help the group stay friends no matter what…because she is not ready for a future without them.

Ready or Not on Goodreads

My Review

The tricky thing about this book is that it centers around four friends, who all appear in the opening pages. Because they appear before we learn their names, I found it a little hard to keep track of who was who. One of the things I really like, though, is that each character’s speech bubbles appear in a different color, which helps readers track who’s speaking even when they’re not on the page. (A lot of conversations happen via text message.)

Once the group agrees to play the game they call Risky Slips, the story starts to move more quickly, and I felt more connected to the characters. The four of them invented the game as kids. It involves tearing up a kids’ menu from the diner where Cass works. They each write dares on the slips of paper and put them into a cup. One by one, they draw a slip of paper with a dare on it. Then they have 24 hours to complete the dare or they’re out of the game.

It really energizes the group and gives them something to look forward to each day. This helps them celebrate the bond of their friendship and helps Cass push off her anxiety about the fall for a bit longer.

I enjoyed the connections between the characters. There are some great scenes that really show when someone feels hurt, and it goes unnoticed by the other person or there’s a miscommunication. The staging (if I can call it that) of the scenes is nicely done.

All in all, Ready or Not is a fun summer read, perfect for a sunny afternoon by the pool or at the beach.

Ready or Not on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Cass and her friends are a diverse group.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
A few F-bombs. Some strong profanity used somewhat infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between two boys. Kissing between a boy and girl.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
A girl slaps another girl across the face. A boy punches another boy. A girl says some cruel things to another girl. Someone steals a sign from a neighbor’s yard.

Drug Content
Teens drink alcohol. Brief reference to smoking.

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

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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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