Review: Spin Me Right Round by David Valdes

Spin Me Right Round by David Valdes

Spin Me Right Round
David Valdes
Bloomsbury YA
Published December 7, 2021

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About Spin Me Right Round

From lauded writer David Valdes, a sharp and funny YA novel that’s Back to the Future with a twist, as a gay teen travels back to his parents’ era to save a closeted classmate’s life.

All Luis Gonzalez wants is to go to prom with his boyfriend, something his “progressive” school still doesn’t allow. Not after what happened with Chaz Wilson. But that was ages ago, when Luis’s parents were in high school; it would never happen today, right? He’s determined to find a way to give his LGBTQ friends the respect they deserve (while also not risking his chance to be prom king, just saying…).

When a hit on the head knocks him back in time to 1985 and he meets the doomed young Chaz himself, Luis concocts a new plan-he’s going to give this guy his first real kiss. Though it turns out a conservative school in the ’80s isn’t the safest place to be a gay kid. Especially with homophobes running the campus, including Gordo (aka Luis’s estranged father). Luis is in over his head, trying not to make things worse-and hoping he makes it back to present day at all.

In a story that’s fresh, intersectional, and wickedly funny, David Valdes introduces a big-mouthed, big-hearted queer character that readers won’t soon forget.

Spin Me Right Round on Goodreads

My Review

Though it explores some heavy issues, SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND was a really fun story to read. I loved Luis’s indomitable personality and his ability to charm for days. Even though I felt like he has a tendency to go on about how pleased he is with himself, he also showed vulnerability in exactly the right places and absolutely had me cheering for him. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat at all the right moments.

The whole Back to the Future, 80s vibe of the book was a lot of fun, too! I loved the celebration of the 80s in all its weird, glorious splendor. I loved the way music was included in the story. More than that, I found myself really drawn in to the way Luis’s life in his present-day and his struggles for acceptance and equality were contrasted against the prejudice and danger the students at his school in the 80s faced. I loved the way that experience impacted him, too.

On the whole, I’m really glad I read this book. There’s so much to enjoy here, and though it’s got some dark moments (trigger warning for homophobia), it’s a beautiful triumph celebrating finding the courage to be your true self and how those choices can impact others for the better.

Spin Me Right Round on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Representation
Luis is gay and Latino. His best friend is nonbinary. Other minor characters are gay, too.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity and homophobic slurs. There are also some instances of crude humor.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boys. References to an affair between a teacher and a student. References to sex.

Spiritual Content
Luis time travels back to the 80s where he attends a Christian school. At that time, being gay is referred to as a sin. Other behaviors, like lying or hateful behavior toward others, are labeled as sins, too.

Violent Content – Trigger Warning for Homophobic Slurs and Homophobic Violence
The F slur is used several times in reference to Luis and another gay boy. Luis learns of a gay boy’s death that’s ruled a suicide, but which he thinks was actually murder. A group of boys hit two other boys with rocks and threaten to further hurt or kill them.

Drug Content
None.

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 SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey Giard

I'm a mama, reader, and writer. Passionate about peppermint (it's not just for Christmas, okay?!), fly fishing, and movie night.

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