Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest
Roaring Brook Press; 2020; 326 pages
Content Warnings: Underage drinking and strong language
About the Author: “Kristina Forest is the author of YA romance novels, including I Wanna Be Where You Are and Now That I’ve Found You. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Writing for Children at The New School. She lives in New York City with two huge bookshelves.” (Bio taken from the author’s website.)
Evie Jones was finally contributing to her family’s Hollywood legacy when a betrayal leaves her blacklisted. To redeem herself in the public eye, Evie turns to her grandmother: renowned actress Evelyn Conaway— or, Gigi to Evie. Evie plans on being seen by Gigi’s side, as the adored celebrity makes her first public appearance in years. But then Gigi disappears. Desperate to save her career and her grandmother, Evie warily accepts help from the last person to speak with Gigi: Milo Williams. As they adventure across New York City, Evie uncovers secrets about Gigi, starts falling for Milo, and begins to understand who she is outside of a Hollywood career.
Now That I’ve Found You beautifully blends old and new Hollywood, while discussing the consequences of social media and competition. Forest’s dynamic characters provide a much-needed and well-thought-out celebration of Black stories, both in and out of the limelight. With heart-warming romance, organic humor, and themes of self-discovery, this book does an excellent job capturing the feelings of a teenager in today’s culture. Like many teens, Evie struggles with equating her personal identity with external validation. Evie’s growth as a character felt natural and was so rewarding to read. I also loved Gigi’s character and her relationship with Evie. Gigi is classy and glamorous, yet grounded, despite her former Hollywood starlet days. I enjoyed learning about Gigi’s past and unraveling the truth about fame and self-worth, as Evie later discovers. Though this book contains romance, the strongest relationship centers around Evie and Gigi. But that isn’t to say the romance doesn’t add to the book. Milo and Evie had my heart racing, aching, and completely swooning by the end of the story! Now That I’ve Found You is the perfect book to read in one sitting that both engages and excites readers, while reminding you where your worth truly comes from.
PRR Writer, Erika Brittain