AUTHOR: Jaime Reed
CATEGORY/AUDIENCE: Young Adult
GENRE: Contemporary, Romance
RELEASE: February 26, 2019
LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book— all opinions are my own.
Sorry Not Sorry is a diverse story of friendship between two girls from different backgrounds: Alyssa is a white girl raised by a single mom and has grown up chronically ill, while Janelle is a Black girl raised by a family full of philanthropists. These former besties have grown apart, but when Alyssa’s diabetes puts her in dire need of a kidney donation, Janelle wonders if she could be a match. Janelle struggles with the decision to help Alyssa despite the bad blood between them. Meanwhile, flashbacks reveal what really tore Janelle and Alyssa apart.
While considering donating a kidney to Alyssa, Janelle receives backlash from her friends, classmates, community, and family, especially for being a young Black girl donating to a white girl. I loved that this book addressed the different views on organ donation and healthcare in different communities, and how Janelle’s experience is different than that of a white organ donor. Sorry Not Sorry is told from Janelle’s perspective, and is an own-voices novel.
This is also about teens making a difference in their community; their town has recently been devastated by a storm. Janelle is a lovable protagonist who works to organize relief efforts. The storm also leaves Janelle and her crush Mateo (a cute, sensitive boy who loved to bake!) staying under one roof; their sweet romance balanced out the seriousness of the novel.
Sorry Not Sorry is a short, quick read about making hard decisions, building community, falling in love, and best friends finding their way back to each other. It’s perfect for readers who love Ibi Zoboi, Renee Watson, and Nic Stone.
Look for Sorry Not Sorry on February 26, 2019.