Cover Image: Dear Wendy

Dear Wendy

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Member Reviews

such an amazing book!! I am so grateful to read it early. I loved Dear Wendy so much and I cannot wait to recommend it to my book club. Ann Zhao captures the times of being a college student amazingly.

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I think this book is going to mean a lot to some teens, so I'm glad it exists for them! I just felt that it read too much like a debut and could have used a few more rounds of edits. I also found Jo a bit difficult to like, particularly in how she treated her roommates.

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I've never read a story like Dear Wendy in my life! In fact, the only a-spec representation I've ever really encountered that felt legitimate was Isaac in season 2 of Heartstopper. I love that Jo and Sophie are both a-spec but completely different, fully realized characters. I love the how their internal exploration of their identities plays out differently for both of them. And I love their dynamic. I think this book will speak to people in all phases of their journey to understanding themselves. Plus the writing is just so cozy, even in the novel's most tense moments. I finished the last page feeling like I'd been wrapped up in a warm hug. Ann Zhao has created something really special here.

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Yay for more ace and aro representation in YA novels, first of all. This book didn't fully click for me, but I am in no way its target audience. I deeply wish something like this had existed when I *was* its target audience, though, I might've figured out a few things much earlier.

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I may or may not be the author of this book, so I may or may not be giving it a very biased review here, but I think this book is pretty cool. :)

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I appreciate this book for what it is, but the writing style was too bland for me and I didn't end up loving the story. Younger readers who relate to the characters could definitely enjoy this, though.

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First and foremost, I love the representation of different LGBTQ identities. Going into it knowing that it was about a-spec characters, was enough for me, but the amount of representation was impressive. Personally, I almost went to Wellesley, it was one of the first colleges I applied (and got accepted) to when I was looking, and that part heavily influenced my choice for this book. Let’s dive into the nitty gritty though, shall we?
Wendy and Wanda (aka Sophie and Jo). Throughout this novel, I, many a time, found myself relating back and forth between the two characters. I have always been very on top of everything, but also very questioning at times– so I enjoyed that we got to see the world through two very different, very relatable, points of view for the duration. I think the characters were likable in their own rights (albeit for different reasons) including all of their friends (whose storylines fed the plot extremely well and whom I was just as interested in). My only complaint in the way of characters was the development. We see development in Jo for the most part– She ends realizing it’s okay to be in a different place with “knowing yourself” and accepting who you are– but in my opinion, Sophie stayed very much the same. She ends up realizing love and relationships don’t have to match the model or standard anyone (not even her parents) consider “normal,” but it’s not much of a change. She’s still on top of things, she’s still planning, going, acting. There’s never a waver, there’s never really an exact moment that she doesn’t have it all figured out (except maybe when their identities are discovered and Wendy comes out as aroace on Dear Wendy), and that’s a selling point for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great book, but personally, I spent the first 162 pages waiting for something to happen that just never did.
Outside of that realm, I think all of the subplots were put together nicely– the Dianas, the friend group drama, Professor Fineman, even the blogs. Each one individually sucked me in (and probably could have had their own books) and gave me a reason to smile and something more to contemplate. The ending (still void of romance), was a top tier depiction of a-spec relationships and I did truly love it. I’m glad I got to read it and explore these characters and a college I never attended. It was a nice break from regular romances and the day-to-day experience. Thank you!

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This book left me feeling warm, welcomed and loved. Jo and Sophie are such cute characters who I loved getting acquainted with. Ann Zhao is a profound writer, so there is not much to critique with this one. I hope to read more!

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I have been eagerly awaiting this book since it was announced, and I am so happy to say it more than delivered on all my expectations and hopes! A fantastic addition to the a-spec literary canon, I wholeheartedly believe this book will change lives.

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I did not love this book. I think the setting: a small Eastern liberal arts college, was just too specific for me. The concerns and issues of the characters did not interest me that much, and I wasn't fond of the constant Instagram back and forth. I'm sure some readers would like this, particularly if they are college age and economically advantaged. It probably would not appeal to many readers in my location.

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