cover image Cancelled


Farrah Penn. Viking, $19.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-593-52830-3

An 18-year-old entrepreneur tackles sexist stigma in this brash-voiced, emotionally charged high school drama by Penn (Twelve Steps to Normal). To help her financially struggling family, Greenlough Academy’s “flirt expert” Brynn Whitaker earns money by capitalizing on her extensive dating experience and helping classmates “foster meaningful relationships through conversation.” When a Snapchat video circulates of someone in a banana suit hooking up with the boyfriend of Brynn’s former bestie at the first rager of the year, everyone believes it’s Brynn, citing her romantic notoriety (and the fact that she also wore a banana costume to the party). With her business, scholarship, and college recommendation letter on the line, Brynn enlists loyal friends to track down the infamous banana and clear her name. But as bullying intensifies, she balks at potentially exposing another girl to judgment and instead launches a feminist club to undermine the double standard that exonerated the guy while canceling Brynn. Penn balances a thoughtful treatment of public shaming and accountability with comedy, indomitable characters, and a swoony rom-com subplot. Brynn cues as white; the supporting cast features varied ethnicities, faiths, genders, and sexualities, facilitating a multifaceted examination of sexual empowerment. Ages 14–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Literary. (Mar.)