Audiobook Review: I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Posted May 7, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 18 Comments

I Kissed Shara Wheeler
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Half a Flame

by Casey McQuiston
Publication Date May 3, 2022
Published by St. Martin's Publishing Group
Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
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Genres: Young Adult Fiction / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / Own Voices, Young Adult Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Reading Challenges: 2022 Audiobook Challenge

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

From the New York Times bestselling author of One Last Stop and Red, White & Royal Blue comes a romantic comedy about chasing down what you want, only to find what you need...

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, she’s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and the puritanical administration of Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principal’s perfect progeny.

But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed. There’s also Smith, Shara’s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Shara’s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Shara’s trail of clues and find her. It’ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair and square.

Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybe—probably not, but maybe—more to Shara, too.

Fierce, funny, and frank, Casey McQuiston's I Kissed Shara Wheeler is about breaking the rules, getting messy, and finding love in unexpected places.

"This one has it all: rivals who share a shocking kiss, a mysterious disappearance, an unexpected alliance and the kind of page-turning drama that makes McQuiston one of the best in the game. You won't want to miss this one." - Good Housekeeping

"I Kissed Shara Wheeler is a love letter to all of us queer kids who were high schoolers in the ’90s. Especially those of us who lived in small towns and whose social scenes revolved around Friday night football games and church on Sunday. [An] unexpected mystery and love story all in one." - Bust

"Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by this funny, weird, razor-sharp, intensely compassionate, subversive, sweet, electrifyingly romantic knockout of a book. Casey freaking McQuiston, you’ve done it again.” - Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Kate in Waiting and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston is an adorable, angsty story of a high school senior’s quest to find her missing friend, Shara Wheeler.  

Chloe Green, a high school senior at Willowgrove Christian Academy in Alabama, is getting ready to graduate with her friends and has everything planned, until Shara Wheeler, the perfect popular girl in school kisses her, and then disappears.  Chloe, a lesbian, with two moms, is a bit of an anomaly at the Christian Academy, but still has a close group of friends who support each other.  

After Shara’s disappearance, Chloe teams up with Shara’s quarterback boyfriend Smith and her bad boy next-door neighbor, Rory to find her.  Shara leads the team on a scavenger hunt, by leaving notes in places with clues for the next task.  The clues are hidden well and only her closest friends will be able to figure out where to find the next clue.  

I just loved this coming-of-age story, mostly because the narrator, Chloe Green is very authentic.  Her snark, cynicism, and insecurities are very realistic and I loved that the entire story was told from her point of view.  Being a lesbian at a Chrisitan Academy in Alabama isn’t the most supportive environment for Chloe, and add in that she has two moms, and it could be a recipe for disaster.  But, Chloe has a way with people and a strong personality that makes her able to make friends and dismiss those who don’t accept her for who she is.  

The book is funny, adventurous, and fast-paced.  Chloe’s friends jump off the page and I felt like I was in high school with them all.  Chloe, Smith, and Rory make an unexpected team of sleuths as they all work to find out what happened to Shara.  I loved the bond the three unexpected allies form as they worked together to figure out the clues and hunt for the next one.  

I highly recommend I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston to anyone who enjoyed Young Adult fiction.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuistion counts towards my 2022 Audiobook challenge.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

18 responses to “Audiobook Review: I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

  1. I’ve really picky about my narrators. I need to check out Chloe Green since she was able to add different sides to the character.

  2. I’ve been really interested in this book. I’m glad to hear that it’s good. I look forward to reading it all the more now. 🙂

  3. The only thing that gives me pause about this book is the angsty-ness. Everything else sounds wonderful. Excellent review, Wendy!