From author Kelly Quindlen comes a poignant and deeply relatable story about friendship, self-acceptance, and what it means to be a Real Teenager. Late to the Party is an ode to late bloomers and wallflowers everywhere.
Seventeen is nothing like Codi Teller imagined.
She’s never crashed a party, never stayed out too late. She’s never even been kissed. And it’s not just because she’s gay. It’s because she and her two best friends, Maritza and JaKory, spend more time in her basement watching Netflix than engaging with the outside world.
So when Maritza and JaKory suggest crashing a party, Codi is highly skeptical. Those parties aren’t for kids like them. They’re for cool kids. Straight kids.
But then Codi stumbles upon one of those cool kids, Ricky, kissing another boy in the dark, and an unexpected friendship is formed. In return for never talking about that kiss, Ricky takes Codi under his wing and draws her into a wild summer filled with late nights, new experiences, and one really cute girl named Lydia. The only problem? Codi never tells Maritza or JaKory about any of it.
Codi loves the comfort of hanging with her oldest friends, but she's increasingly frustrated that they don't seem to see that she's changing or at least wants to. In Atlanta, pals Codi, Maritza, and JaKory are all queer and have never kissed anyone. Now that they're 17, Jakory and Maritza want more experiences and some romance in their lives, even though they don't know how to make it happen. When Codi refuses to attend a party, they think she's not interested in making changes. But she starts hanging out with a senior who's struggling with his sexual identity, which leads her to a new circle and a girl she likes. She doesn't know how to stay friends with both groups, and before she knows it, she's lying to her old friends. Quindlen (Her Name in the Sky) deftly conveys both the awkwardness of outgrowing an old life without having a clue how to move toward a new one, and the difficult work of being true to oneself and honest with those one cares about. Ages 12 up.
I loved this book so much! 10/10 recommend.
5 stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Really amazing, I was so sad when it ended
Well written, enjoyable even as an adult
If you are like me, a 30 year old lesbian, who recently has gone through some major life changes that has me completely nostalgic for my youth, and are now obsessed with young adult queer fiction, then I definitely recommend this book. It pulls you in, and doesn’t have any plot having to do with dying teenagers, so that’s a plus. For real though, it’s a great book.