Cover Image: Girls Like Girls

Girls Like Girls

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Member Reviews

Love Hayley Kiyoko and love this book! Great story and kept me up all night reading i didn’t want to put it down!

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In this emotionally charged Young Adult novel inspired by author Hayley Kiyoko's popular song and music video of the same title, two young women navigate the complexities of love and loss. Seventeen-year-old Coley, grappling with the aftermath of her mother's suicide, collides with fierce Sonya, a wealthy dancer trapped by her own facade of perfection. Despite their undeniable attraction, both girls are haunted by past traumas, wearing masks to shield themselves from pain. Set in the summer of 2006, the story unfolds through Sonya's public and private LiveJournal posts and Coley's introspective first-person narrative, weaving a poignant tale of self-discovery and burgeoning romance. With sharp, poetic prose and nostalgic references to early 2000s music, the novel captures the raw intensity of teenage emotions and the transformative power of love.

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I unfortunately did not finish this one - I could not get into it at all and overall was not enjoying at all. Rating 3 stars since I didn't finish, therefore no real critiques to standby.

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While Girls Like Girls has the potential to be an engaging sapphic story based off Hayley Kiyoko's iconic music video, it ultimately fell short. I found the plot to be quite basic, but much more importantly, so was the writing. I understand it is the author's debut, but the writing was at best unoriginal, and at worst cringey. The author's sense of humour came through in the writing, and while it felt a bit dated and lacklustre for me, I'm sure it will align with someone.

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I Couldn’t get through this because I felt the writing wasn’t that good. I wish there was a more adult version as well. But it is really cool to see the story of the iconic music video written out.

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Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review!

I was really hoping that this would be a new favorite. While I did enjoy a lot of it, it sadly didn't live up to those expectations for me. Coley moves in with her father after her mom dies and has to adjust to living without her mother and in a new city. That's when she meets Sonya. The two quickly grow closer together to the point where they start to have romantic feelings.

The story is set in a small town in 2006, which you could definitely tell! There were not a lot of visible queer people, which made it hard for some characters to come to terms with their sexuality. The main character, Coley, seems to be comfortable with her sexuality and the love interest not at all. This is something that still happens. There are people who have fallen in love, but are struggling to come out of the closet. Kiyoko showed those inner struggles and internalized homophobia really well in the pages that were focused more on Sonya.

In the end, I found myself not really rooting for the love interest. I think that they both had a lot of stuff to work through first, before . Even though them not ending up together wouldn't have "fit" in the romance formula, I do think that would have worked better for Coley's growth arc. Now, the ending felt a little rushed, which is unfortunate.

Even though it was a very rocky relationship throughout the book, I did like the parts with Coley and her father. You could really see it develop slowly. I personally think that it was done very realistically, as Coley was grieving and hurting from her loss.

I do hope that Kiyoko continues to write. Even though songwriting and novel writing are two very different things, she has proved to be good at both!

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Girls Like Girls was a bit of a letdown, as it was a highly anticipated read of mine. The writing wasn’t bad, which is probably why I kept reading. I just wish some of the things brought up were fleshed out more.

The characters weren’t great. It felt like there was no depth to them. However, I will say that the representation within this book is handled well. There were discussions of mental illness and struggling with sexuality and identity.

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this. It felt repetitive and I didn’t like how it ended so abruptly. Thank you NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC

Girls like Girls follows Coley and partially Sonya (through her live journal posts lmao throwback) as they navigate a summer romance.

Honestly this book did not feel like it was fully ready to be published. It read a bit like the first time you try to write something when you’re in high school Creative Writing class. There were some good parts and lines especially towards the end as Coley finds herself, but for the most part I was skimming HARD.

I didn’t really like any of the characters in this story and the plotline of Coley and Sonya getting back together AFTER MULTIPLE BETRAYALS felt really cheap. Coley deserves waaaaay better than Sonya and I get that Sonya was afraid to admit she liked girls but the way she treated Coley was honestly really cruel.

Overall not worth the time or read mainly because I was angry at the characters majority of the time.

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I’ve loved hayley kiyoko for so long so I was very excited I was approved for the arc! Its a cute story and nicely done.

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The was a really cute story and I really enjoyed reading it! I LOVED the audiobook, the production was so well done. I hadn't listened to the song until I read the book, but I also really liked the song! I think this a great example of a YA story that is done right. There is a great coming-of-age arc in this book and it packs an emotional punch, Coley is a very realistic teenage girl and I really liked all the growth and acceptance that she gets to throughout the book.. There are some really heavy themes in this book and I think they are handled with care. The writing style was not my favorite, but I think the audiobook production really made up for it! Overall, I enjoyed this story and while there were some things that were not my favorite, this book was an emotional read which a lot of growth and character development.

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I love Haley Kiyoko's music and especially Girls Like Girls so I was pretty excited that there was a "novel adaptation," if you will of the music video. Unfortunately this felt like a lot of words and nothing happening in the story.

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This was a very cute book. I have been a big fan of Hayley Kiyoko and the song that inspired this book forever, so I was very excited to read this story.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this review copy in exchange for an honest opinion. Review has been posted on Amazon.

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I love Hayley Kiyoko, and I was obsessed with the song and music video for her song Girls Like Girls when I was in middle school. So of course I was intrigued when I saw her writing a book of the same name… and it was so cute! A fast-paced and highly enjoyable LGBTQ+ read.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.

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This was such a sweet book to read. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the artist. I would recommend that anyone struggling with mental health issues to skip this as the theme is not handled well. Overall a solid debut with room for improvement.

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This is book feels like it belongs in the early 2000's, I was really surprised to read a book like this in 2023, especially from a queer artist. The subject matter felt a bit been there done that, girl falls in love with closeted girl in a small town. There wasn't anything unique about the story to hold my attention or set it apart from other YA books of the same subject. Coley was really frustrating and annoying - it's understandable given she's a YA character but it felt a bit cliche a typical YA MC. I was also really frustrated by how mental health was handled in this book. It felt like it was set in the early 2000's as a way to avoid having to deal with the character's getting help with their mental health because it wasn't a widely done back then. All of the problems these character's face could have been solves/handled better if they had a therapist or mental health professional. Coley literally find her mom after she commits suicide and never goes to see a mental health professional to deal with that trauma.

I wouldn't recommend this book to my audience, I think there are much better YA books that deal with similar subject and are much better written.

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I dnf’d this. Just could not get into it. It felt slow paced and I deserve better in a book. Wish I liked it, because it was an anticipated read.

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Girls Like Girls by Hayley Kiyoko

1.5/5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of the book in exchange for a review.

Boy oh boy where do I start with this book? I was sent this book without requesting it, I had heard of the song but hadn’t seen the video. So I watched the video, said hey! This could be very cute, and I’m always looking for sapphic YA reads to send over to my little sister.

The characters:

Coley moves in with her dad after the suicide of her mother. She doesn’t want to be there, blames herself for the death. Coley is a very flat and one-dimensional character, there’s no growth to her throughout the book, she ends it the same way she started, boring and emotionally stunted.

Sonya is supposed to be Coley’s love interest, she is the epitome of Gaslight, Gatekeep, Girlboss. But not once did she girlboss in this book. She was nasty, rude, gaslighting, and overall just a horrible character. If she was a real person, she’d be friendless, a girl who peaked in high school and uses it as her only personality trait.

The Relationship:

Can you really call it a relationship? They were never really together in the story, never really fitted well. They were toxic when around each other, two magnets on the same setting that people try to force together but end up bouncing apart – and they should have stayed apart.


It’s very hard to not compare the story to the music video, but it was definitely a story trying to hit the key aesthetic moments in the video – beside the pool, in the bathroom, on the bike. But the story between those highlights is all just a filler that is extremely poorly written. Maybe it’s mean, but it’s all just the most dramatic filler a fanfiction writer could muster while trying to hit the vibes and aesthetic (which it didn’t)

On top of the overall book being…not good, the biphobia and homophobia is just absolutely astronomical in this story. It was so tone deaf – even if it was set 15 years ago. There’s no reason for one of the main storylines to be homophobia when everyone is expecting or wanting a cute sapphic romance between two highschoolers.

Overall, this was very disappointing.

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Hayley Kiyoko's debut novel based on her hit song's music video is one of the best sapphic coming-of-age novels I've ever read. Girls Like Girls introduces us to Coley, who has just moved to Oregon. She meets Sonya, and their quick friendship soon grows into more, but their developing relationship comes with its problems. Sonya is new to sapphic relationships, and Coley is nervous about opening up to someone who could hurt her in the future. This book is exactly what 14-year-old me was dying for after I watched Hayley's music video for the first time. Learning about the backgrounds and the actual development of the relationship between Coley and Sonya was an amazing addition to the world of Girls Like Girls. My only issue with this novel was that the relationship felt like it developed very quickly. I live for a little bit more pining in the lead-up to relationships.
This book also covered the incredibly difficult topic of homophobia and acceptance. Sonya's internalized homophobia was pretty difficult to read, but an incredibly important topic to cover and address. Young sapphic audiences, even those who have accepted that they are queer, often struggle with internalized homophobia. Seeing a character in a book also deal with it and eventually overcoming could be a powerful form of support.
The relationship between Coley and her father, and the way that Hayley discusses grief over the loss of a parent was very moving. The growth in their relationship by the end of the book gives another hopeful message to readers who might be dealing with similar situations.
This book was one of my favorite reads of 2023 and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an easy sapphic coming-of-age novel.

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