Vanilla by Billy Merrell
Reviewed by: EPL
By: Billy Merrell
Call #: YA Fiction Merre.B
“Vanilla and Hunter have been dating since seventh grade.
They came out together,
navigated middle school together,
and became that couple in high school
that everyone always sees as a couple.
There are complications and confusions, for sure.
But most of all,
they love each other.
As high school goes, though,
and as their relationship deepens,
some cracks begin to show.
Hunter thinks they should be having sex.
Vanilla isn’t so sure.
Hunter doesn’t mind hanging out with loud, obnoxious friends.
Vanilla would rather avoid them.
If they’re becoming different people,
can they be the same couple?
Falling in love is hard.
Staying in love is harder”
Vanilla is a traditional fiction novel told in verse about the struggles of falling in, and out, of love; and the pressures put upon you by both your friends but by your own expectations. I love this book and will cherish my copy forever. This is the first book-in-verse I have ever read and the poetry is expertly handled by Merrell. It is clear, easy to follow, and very evocative. I would recommend this to any person who loves queer love stories.