Finding Yvonne

Brandy Colbert. Little, Brown, $17.99 (278p) ISBN 978-0-316-34906-2
Colbert (Little & Lion) delivers another emotionally layered story, this time centered around Yvonne, a young African-American woman struggling to figure out what she wants to do with her life—torn between whether to attend a music conservatory and try to become a professional violinist, or give up the violin and choose another profession. Lonely at home, where her mother left years earlier and her father is largely absent, Yvonne finds solace in baking. Her dad, a celebrated L.A. chef, and his friend see talent in Yvonne’s cakes and tarts, and they encourage her to consider pastry chef training. Meanwhile, Yvonne is floating between two boys: Warren, her father’s sous chef, and a street violinist. Yvonne’s character is steady and compelling as she struggles to connect with her always stoned, workaholic father and decide what, if anything, she wants from her romantic partners. Colbert shows a clear knack for secondary characters, and she surrounds Yvonne with a best friend who’s her equal in thoughtfulness, as well as the ever-gentle, if prone to mistakes, Warren. As Yvonne’s struggles grow to include life-changing decisions, this accessible, nuanced novel will reward patient readers. Ages 14–up. Agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/04/2018
Genre: Children's
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