Love Is a Revolution [Book Review]

veFebruary 16, 2021

Love Is a Revolution by Renée Watson

Love is a Revolution by Renee Watson (cover) Image: a plus size Black girl is centered....4 smaller images of the same girl and her boyfriend sound her

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction, African-American, Coming of Age

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Nala Robertson meets a cute boy, Tye Brown, at open mic night. They experience an instant attraction but Nala is worried because they have very different interests….Tye is an activist, a vegetarian, and a community organizer while Nala would rather stay home and watch movies and enjoy a juicy, fully-loaded hamburger. Nala finds herself lying to Tye to foster a foundation of common interests and to encourage him to keep asking her out. As much as this is a cute romance on the surface, the story is more substantially about loving others as well as yourself, discovering the things that are truly important to you, and embracing your authentic self.

My Thoughts:

Love for family, community, retirement home residents, a boyfriend, and for self!

In February as we celebrate Love and amplify the voice of Black authors, it’s a perfect opportunity to share that I have recently discovered author Renée Watson. Shout Out to Afoma at Reading Middle Grade for a fabulous author interview and for introducing me to Watson’s work. Love is a Revolution is the second book I’ve read having previously read Piecing Me Together (review to come). Both books were added to my TBR after reading Afoma’s reviews….thanks Afoma, the queen of MG/YA reading lists!

Transition from Middle Grade to Young Adult: One aspect I love about Watson’s stories (at least the two I’ve read) is that they are perfect for young YA readers transitioning out of MG or for older MG readers. One of my issues with YA is that some of them seem to be written for adults and can include excessive profanity and graphic content that may not be appropriate for younger YA readers. (But this is a guaranteed rant post for another day!) I appreciate Renee Watson for writing engaging, thoughtful, compelling, and heartfelt stories for the YA audience. I’m obviously not in the target audience, but great stories can be appreciated by readers of all ages!

Community Involvement: I love how Watson shows the characters making a difference in their community and the world. This group of young people is seriously committed to recycling and they are actively involved in community service. It’s endearing that Nala spends time with her grandmother at her retirement home, takes ice cream to her grandmother’s friend there, and cares about painting a wall and adding art to the community room at her grandmother’s place of residence. These teens are inspirational for all of us.

Highly Recommended:  I very much appreciate a book I can recommend to young adult readers without hesitation! If you are looking for a diverse, gentle, realistic, engaging, and heartwarming read, I highly recommend Love is a Revolution. I will definitely be reading more stories by Renée Watson.

Note: If you are an “own voices’ reviewer or reader, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments (and/or leave a link to your review).

My Rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded up to 5 on Goodreads)


Love is a Revolution by Renee Watson (cover) Image: a picture of a plus size Black girl surrounded by four smaller images of the same girl and her boyfriend

Love is a Revolution Information Here

Meet the Author, Renée Watson

Renee WatsonRenée Watson is a New York Times bestselling author, educator, and community activist. Her young adult novel, Piecing Me Together (Bloomsbury, 2017) received a Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor. Her children’s picture books and novels for teens have received several awards and international recognition. She has given readings and lectures at many renown places including the United Nations, the Library of Congress, and the U.S. Embassy in Japan and New Zealand. Her poetry and fiction centers around the experiences of Black girls and women, and explores themes of home, identity, and the intersections of race, class, and gender.


Is Love is a Revolution on your TBR or have you read it?
Have you or your children read books by Renée Watson?
Do you read MG or YA?

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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  1. Awww! I’m so glad to hear that you loved this as much as I did. And yes, finding good young YA is such a challenge. I’m so glad we have authors like Watson who consistently provide age-appropriate content. And thank you for the shout out, Carol! 🙂

  2. I’ve not read this particular Renee Watson book, though I’ve read a couple others by her (including your soon-to-be-reviewed). I always find her work accessible, readable, similar to as you say. Readers of a variety of age sets can read and enjoy. And I do enjoy them, but I always enjoy them less than I think I will when I first hear of the story. I’m not sure if I liked Piecing Me Together or This Side of Home better, probably the former simply because of the female mentorship program (a concept I’d like to see more of outside of literature).

    • Yes, the mentorship program in Pieces of Me is a noteworthy theme of the story! In Revolution, there is an important theme of community involvement and activism which is special, too! I’m definitely interested in reading more by Watson! Thanks for commenting!

  3. I don’t see very many books that would qualify as good transitions from MG to YA. I really do think we need to change the age range labels on books.

    • So many YA books are not appropriate for the younger YA readers so MG readers ready to move into YA have a limited selection of good literature. I’m always happy when I find one!

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