Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution

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Pub Date 01 Sep 2022 | Archive Date Not set

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From the award-winning author of Felix Ever After, comes a heart-melting and joyful romance for everyone learning to love themselves.

When 17-year-old nonbinary, neurodivergent and aspiring writer Lark pretends that they are the creator of a viral thread that their ex-best friend, Kasim, accidentally posted onto their Twitter account, things get out of hand fast. As Lark's lie deepens and they begin a famous relationship with their own crush, Lark searches for the courage to speak the truth and discover how their own self-love can be a revolution.

From the award-winning author of Felix Ever After, comes a heart-melting and joyful romance for everyone learning to love themselves.

When 17-year-old nonbinary, neurodivergent and aspiring writer...

Advance Praise

Praise for Felix Ever After:

"Groundbreaking." - Buzzfeed

"Beautiful." - Justin A. Reynolds

"Full of love." - Publishers Weekly

"This book is a gift." - Becky Albertalli

Praise for Felix Ever After:

"Groundbreaking." - Buzzfeed

"Beautiful." - Justin A. Reynolds

"Full of love." - Publishers Weekly

"This book is a gift." - Becky Albertalli

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9780571375875
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 9 members

Featured Reviews

I've just finished this so bare with me if this review is a little incoherent- I am recovering! This book was phenomenal and such an easy five stars. From the minute I opened this book, I knew that it was time to prepare for my heart to be ripped out of my chest and then put lovingly back. Yes, it was that good!

This book follows an interesting and overlooked premise- a young writer as a leading protagonist, followed by a cohort of other writers as they battle identity, acceptance and learning to take accountability. This book was philosophical and funny but emotional and hard hitting when it needed to be. It also looks in on itself and clashes intentionally with publishers and other authors. Why can't we be indulgent in the characters we create? Why can't we write for ourselves rather than for what others want?

The representation in this as well was amazing, with a ND, POC, queer protagonist and so many other queer POC side characters. Non-binary representation is always so special to me and seeing so many characters identify this way was amazing. Lark's experience with autism (or the possibility of it at least) was covered really well, coming from an autistic person, things other neurotypicals often overlook make such an impact when you're ND. Especially Lark's conversation about their rejection sensitivity which is something I still struggle with myself. Getting to see yourself in characters is really one of the highest joys of reading.

I also adored the side characters, alongside Kasim! The romance didn't centre as strongly as I thought it would and I found myself preferring that. Kasim had just as much of a character arc as Lark- every character in this book did. They all felt so dimensional and human (presumably), that you found yourself rooting for the positive change you could see from the beginning. Everyone has the capacity to change and learn and grow and I think this novel was so important in its expression of that. Especially with the highlight on cancel culture and social medias impact on ourselves and others. I think a lot of people get caught up in that.

The character, Birdie, created a level of dissonance for me but where some disliked this, I think it added to Lark's character. Whenever they were struggling, they looked inside their head at a character they created and began to rationalise. I think this showed what a reflection Birdie was of Lark themself. And the ending (you'll know what I mean), granted such a beautiful conclusion to Lark's journey with their novel and with Birdie. I think this novel shows perfectly the power of growing with what you create and changing as you do so.

Overall, I loved this, so so much and I can't wait until it actually comes out! A novel that perfectly encapsulates what it means to be human, to make mistakes and learn to grow from them. Phenomenal as always.

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this eARC of "Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution" by Kacen Callender.

I previously have read Callender's novel "Felix Ever After" and I adored their writing style. This book is no different. The story felt so real to me and it dealt with topics such as homophobia, cancel culture, Racism and polyamory.
I loved this story so so much.

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I loved Felix Ever After and so I wax so excited to be approved for this and in my opinion this is just as good, if not better than Felix. It was both heart-wrenching and heart-warming at times and was a real exploration into self love and what it means to love yourself. I smiled all the way through it I loved it. Please write more imeediately

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I adored Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, and when I saw this upcoming release I was beyond excited and then I got accepted and my excitement continued throughout the entire book, I devoured it in one sitting!

“Please love me. Fuck that shit. I don’t need other people to love me when I already love me damn self”

I will not lie initially it took me a little while to get into the book, but after the first couple of chapters I was invested, and Lark & Kas had stolen my heart. The characters are all so well written and the themes and representation in this book are next level, the book does fantastic to highlight and tackle the fact that those who are white and CIS really do not understand their privilege, and the book makes a point of highlighting just how problematic people can be when they are not willing to take accountability and learn and change their behaviours when called out on their problematic comments/behaviours, and with the current way that particular “famous” people are behaving I feel that reading this book really can help identify that people are not trying to “cancel” others without first giving them the opportunity to accept their faults, educate themselves, adjust their behaviours accordingly and apologise.

This book felt completely realistic, especially the way that Lark was being targeted and attacked via the comments on their tweets, it honestly felt like those could have been copied and pasted from Twitter today. All of the characters were completely lovely and three dimensional, and it was very unique to read a story from the perspective of a main character who was a writer themselves, it felt very fourth wall to me, but also offered a lot of insight into the way that young writers are critiqued and criticized (I love the fact that Kacen included the difference between the two!) I also love the inclusion of the self-love throughout the book, especially with Kasim trying to encourage Lark to not care what others think and to develop their own self-esteem and love themselves. I will admit there were a couple of predictable moments in the book but that did not take away the impact this book has on its readers.

The representation is amazing, there are a number of characters that can be easily relatable, and its fantastic to see the increase in diverse reads, and even more so with own voices reads, Lark is a black, queer, non-binary and neurodivergent character who does not hide any of their flaws, you are able to see through their behaviours just how insecure they are but also just how much neurotypicals cannot fathom that their behaviours are a symptom of their ND. I also liked the introduction of a polyamorous relationship, that was something completely new to me, but I like the fact that this relationship and other relationship developments throughout the book did not take away from the other topics being covered.

I really like the little pop references mentioned throughout the book too (I noticed the Pokémon reference!) plus the commons writers class was a fantastic backdrop for all of the important discussions that the characters were having (although this could have been highlighted as more of a safe space for all of the characters, especially as there was an adult presence who could help navigate the conversation) the little snippets for each classmates novels (and the other characters critiques) was a great little touch, and really helped to add to the side characters developments. There was also Kacen’s advice at the end of the book, which was a lovely little addition to really help any new writers, or even those that may in a writer’s block!

All in all, it was an eye opening read for me that has left me questioning certain facts about myself, as some mentions in this book have made me question my own neurodiversity (I feel I relate a lot to the anxious avoidant and hypersensitivity to rejection) I would highly recommend this read to everyone, Kacen has done it again and I cannot wait for their next release!

TWs: Homophobia, Accountability, Bullying, Cyber Bullying, “Cancel Culture”, Racism, Transphobia, Polyamory, Profanity and Suicidal Thoughts


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[3.75 stars]

Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution is a book with a lot of heart and I know that it's going to be beloved by the people who need it most. It deals with *a lot*: racism, transphobia, police brutality, the pandemic and the detriments of spending too much time on social media at a young age. I did enjoy the book as a whole. The characters were occasionally annoying (but they are all between the ages of 16 and 17 so what else is there to expect?) but this didn't stop me from rooting for them!

The one thing I didn't really vibe with was Birdie, the protagonist of the novel that Lark (our main character) is writing. It's a nice idea, the thought of the characters that we create always being with us, but their presence wasn't really necessary and often took away the impact of the scene.

Still, Kacen Callender will always be on my list of authors I automatically read!

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This was an absolutely phenomenal piece of work. To read a book centring a non-binary, neurodivergent teenager is wonderful. They want to be a published writer? Okay, Lark Winters <i>is</i> me.

Of course, there are many experiences that Lark has and I do not, significantly that they are Black. Their intersectionally oppressed identity was explored through the book and helped me to learn.

As always, Kacen Callender’s prose is glorious. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough. The characters were real, the neurodivergent and autistic experiences were impeccably represented, and there is a trans boy who does not always bind. Kacen Callender pushed at the boundaries of books deemed palatable with <i>Felix</i>, and they have done it again with <i>Lark & Kasim</i>. Both are incredible.

The focus on polyamourous and non-traditional relationships was something I was not expecting, but it was wonderful to see.

And the message of the book — the contrast of Lark’s and Kas’s beliefs — that people make mistakes and do stupid stuff and should not be shamed for it because shame doesn’t get anyone anywhere, but accountability does… it was amazing.

Thank you so much to NetGalley for the digital advance copy.

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I really enjoyed Felix Ever After, so was excited to read another book by Kacen Callender and I really enjoyed this book! Lark and Kasim used to be best friends, but now Lark is under the impression that Kasim hates them, and mourns their previously fantastic relationship. Lark is a very optimistic person, always wanting to see the good in people, whereas Kasim is more pessimistic, believing actions speak louder than words. When Kasim accidentally posts a thread to Lark's Twitter feed that goes viral, Lark has to choose whether they should tell the truth or tell a "white lie" and use this newfound fame to their advantage. This books takes you into Lark's head, with often more internal monologues than dialogue, as they make some questionable decisions whilst attempting to fit in and be accepted. I am so glad there are so many new Young Adult books being released that feature characters from all different walks of life, with different races, gender identities, sexualities, etc. so that it is much less difficult for all teens to see themselves in what they are reading. I will certainly be recommending this title to other librarians and purchasing it for my library, as I think it is very important that school libraries have books that reflect the lived experiences of all of our students.

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"In a world that wants me to hate myself, teaches me to hate myself, expects me to hate myself, learning to love myself instead can be an entire revolution."

I loved this read.

Lark and Kasim Start a Revolution follows a Lark; a Black, neurodivergent, polyamorous, non-binary teen as they and the rest of their writing class discover and begin to understand a cacophony of important life topics such as taking accountability, identity and love.

At the beginning of the book I was apprehensive about the mention of the pandemic, it's not really something I want to think about in my reading time, however, I came to realise that this was a device to put the setting of the story into context. These are teens who have seen the world change around them and become almost entirely online, they are also teens who have witnessed and likely been involved in the BLM movement, a movement very relevant to their own discussions.

This novel introduces several important and underrepresented topics throughout its pages via these said discussions (Racism, transphobia, polyamory, mental health etc) This could have felt forced in another author's hands but instead Callender creates realistic flawed but deeply loveable teens who actually interact like teens: meaning we get to see everything through their collective lense.

However, talking of forced my biggest (maybe only?) issue with this book is Birdie. I like Birdie's inclusion in theory, but in practice, it just simply didn't work for me. I feel a little taken out of the story upon every mention of them, which is an otherwise extremely readable book is a shame. I think the story would be no different without them though their comments did in fairness sometimes make me laugh.

Without wanting to reduce the story in any way, ultimately Lark and Kasim Start a Revolution could be described as a tale about love, but a love different to that in most YA novels. Love for your friends, family, partners, the human race, your work and even your identity.

I greatly look forward to hearing everybody talk about this book when it's officially published, I truly enjoyed this read and will not hesitate to pick up another Kacen Callender book!

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