Member Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC of this graphic novel. 3.5/5 stars.

I liked the art style and the overall plot of this, but it just felt like it dragged on and the ending was rushed. It deals with Cassie trying to keep her group of friends together in the summer before they all leave for college (except for Cassie) while playing a game of dares. It gets more and more complicated and Cassie becomes obsessed with the game while losing sight of her friends in front of her. It is a heart touching graphic novel at some points, but some of it was also just...obnoxious? It does have a good message about old friends growing apart though.

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Cassie and her friends graduate from high school (finally!), but within weeks, their tight-knit friend group is already drifting apart. Cassie will be staying in New York and working at her family’s restaurant while Nico goes to music school in London, Aaron starts his freshman year at Harvard, and Marcy moves to San Francisco to pursue her career as an artist. Cassie is desperate to make the most of their last summer together, but between Nico’s new girlfriend, Aaron’s Harvard prep, and Marcy’s desire to experiment with new friend groups and identities, it’s nearly impossible for Cassie to get anyone to commit to plans.

In desperation, Cassie challenges her friends to a game of Risky Slips, where they all write dares on slips of paper, drop them in a paper coffee cup, and take turns drawing a dare to complete.

The dares certainly make for a memorable summer, but they don’t stop everyone from growing up and preparing for their futures, and each member of the friend group has to wrestle with this reality. Cassie, in particular, has to wrestle with her insecurities about being left behind while everyone moves on. These are real feelings: our students graduate, vowing to be friends forever, but their adult lives quickly pull them in different directions. And while many YA novels focus on eager preparations for college, some of our students will see themselves in Cassie, taking a year off for a wide variety of reasons.

We think your students will find the four friends in this graphic novel highly relatable, but the after-high-school focus and inclusion of some profanity and teen partying probably make this a better recommendation for high school students.

Thank you NetGalley, Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, and Atheneum Books for Young Readers for sending this book for review consideration. All opinions are our own.

Review will be posted at on July 15, 2024.

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I really enjoyed this debut graphic novel. I think the art style is fun and I’m excited to see the finished copies with full colour. I really liked the cast of characters we are introduced to. I think they’re all relatable in their own ways but I felt like Cassie was the most relatable for me. Taking a year off between high school and college is hard, especially when your friends are going straight to college. It can be isolating and we see how Cassie deals with this life change. We get to see the characters deal with growing up, love, family issues, sexuality discovery, and so many more things. And I think they were all handled in a great way.

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It was a quick cute read. I was not the biggest fan of Carmen, she seemed a little too self-centered a friend to me. But overall I connected to the story, I remember feeling the same way as I graduated and was headed off to college. There is a significant growth that has to happen with friends. And it isn't always easy. This graphic novel helps to portray all of that in a way that I do feel will help teens not feel so alone in this particular struggle. I will definitely be recommending this to my teen readers and the library I work for. It is always nice to feel seen in a book.

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Fans of Heartstopper and Booksmart won't want to miss this tale of trying to figure out life after graduation. How do you keep friendships together? What do you do next? Find out how Cassie and her three best friends navigate these waters as they discover what life has in store for them.

I loved this book. It was fun, thought provoking, fast paced. Readers won't want to put it down.

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READY OR NOT is a lovely, fun, and honest coming-of-age story. The art in this graphic novel is truly one of my favourites ever, and I had a lot of fun spending time with these messy teenagers as well. Really recommend checking this one out!!

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