The Miseducation of Cameron Post meets Everything Leads to You in this queer young adult novel Taylor Garland s good looks have earned her the admiration of everyone in her small town She s homecoming queen, the life of every party, and she s on every boy s most wanted listPeople think Taylor is living the dream, and assume she ll stay in town and have kids with the homecoming king maybe even be a dental hygienist if she s super ambitious But Taylor is actually desperate to leave home, and she hates the smell of dentists offices Also She s completely in love with her best friend, SusanSenior year is almost over, and everything seems perfect Now Taylor just has to figure out how to throw it all away Lindsay Sproul s debut is full of compelling introspection and painfully honest commentary on what it s like to be harnessed to a destiny you never wanted


10 thoughts on “We Were Promised Spotlights

  1. Iris Iris says:

    Absolutely gay trash It s so cool to see how far YA has come since I was reading regularly There was good discussions of sexuality, and then there was drinking and sex and STIs and cliques and everything you want in a highschool drama Just wait till the prom scene and watch our girl go full disaster gay Anyways, it was quick and fun, and honestly kinda felt like another character in Euphoria _ _


  2. J T J T says:

    I LOVED THIS BOOK Too many LGBTQ books come from the point of view from an outcast, trying to fit into a heteronormative world Taylor Garland is anything but an outcast She s popular, she s pretty, and it s an open secret that her father is probably a famous movie star On the surface Taylor is the hot bitch in high school She s THAT girl However, the book is from her POV And that is refreshing She s neurotic, deals with internalized homophobia, and Is completely uncomfortable in her own I LOVED THIS BOOK Too many LGBTQ books come from the point of view from an outcast, trying to fit into a heteronormative world Taylor Garland is anything but an outcast She s popular, she s pretty, and it s an open secret that her father is probably a famous movie star On the surface Taylor is the hot bitch in high school She s THAT girl However, the book is from her POV And that is refreshing She s neurotic, deals with internalized homophobia, and Is completely uncomfortable in her own body By the end of the novel, I felt I understood Taylor and found her to be funny butimportantly searingly real as a 17 year old trying to negotiate an unknown future in the year 2000 I read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review


  3. Mira Ptacin Mira Ptacin says:

    I love every single thing Lindsay Sproul writes In my opinion, she s the reincarnation of a modern day Carson McCullers and I am thrilled that she will havebooks coming out after this one I love every sentence, and how strong and beautiful and rare her work is Hooray for this book I m a superfan.


  4. Shelly D Shelly D says:

    OMG THIS BOOK I ve been looking for a narrator like Taylor for such a long time Though I wouldn t call it a comedy by any means, this book and Taylor as a narrator both have biting humor, even in the face of difficult issues like homophobia, sexism, and the pressure put on girls and women about their bodies Taylor is unlikable at first, but she s so weird and insecure that ultimately I loved her For once, the popular bitch is multidimensional This barely happens in straight romance OMG THIS BOOK I ve been looking for a narrator like Taylor for such a long time Though I wouldn t call it a comedy by any means, this book and Taylor as a narrator both have biting humor, even in the face of difficult issues like homophobia, sexism, and the pressure put on girls and women about their bodies Taylor is unlikable at first, but she s so weird and insecure that ultimately I loved her For once, the popular bitch is multidimensional This barely happens in straight romances, never mind in LGBTQ books Her voice is the biggest strength of the novel She is anything but flat If you re looking for a book that s heavily plot driven, this isn t for you If you like quiet but incredibly real character driven narratives, read this immediately The dialogue is hilarious and spot on, and every character with the exception of Scottie has their own arc The ending felt both surprising and inevitable Often, class isn t discussed enough This book explores an economically depressed town in such quiet but important way Taylor, though it may not seem like it to an outsider, is up against so much and she manages to make even herpes funny As a queer reader, I m so excited to have found this story


  5. Anne Anne says:

    I wish I d had this book when I was a teen navigating all the cliques at school at the same time I was coming to terms with being queer My high school career occurred around the same time 1999 2000 , so We Were Promised Spotlights was particularly relatable for me Taylor is a product of her surroundings, her upbringing, her class, and for the majority of the book, she s only doing what she knows, what she s been taught Being a mean popular girl is the only way she knows how to survive In a I wish I d had this book when I was a teen navigating all the cliques at school at the same time I was coming to terms with being queer My high school career occurred around the same time 1999 2000 , so We Were Promised Spotlights was particularly relatable for me Taylor is a product of her surroundings, her upbringing, her class, and for the majority of the book, she s only doing what she knows, what she s been taught Being a mean popular girl is the only way she knows how to survive In a small town where homosexuality isn t exactly a sin but is still a facet of personhood to be absolutely detested, Taylor knows how to get by without getting hurt But the problem is she s always hurting, privately, deep down because she s hiding herself away, letting the outside world control her She begins, slowly, to unravel, which in another story might be a bad thing here, it s the best thing that could happen to Taylor and what makes this a successful coming of age story.I m concerned by other reviews that detest the homophobia, fat shaming, etc in the novel that is real life If you can t handle it in a fictional story, how do you understand queer life for young adults in the real world This is the reality for so many kids twenty years ago and now Without the homophobia and fat shaming, this book would be a sham I know it because I encountered it in junior high and high school directly It was a painfully realistic read The writing itself is really lovely, as is the character development I cherished Taylor s inner weirdo, her adventurous spirit, her empathy unexpected from a mean girl, but this girl s got layers She s complicated She isn t just a popular bitch, and she knows that And it s terrifying to her Reading something like this when I was a kid would have opened my eyes to the fact that the cool kids had their own problems that their lives weren t always easy either, that they had to live by a code that they may not have agreed with but felt obligated to I could go on, but instead I will leave you with my favorite quote from the book, which I think is a good representation of the story as a whole because it revolves around female friendship and the sometimes blurry lines of those friendships for a young lesbian It s just after she tells her friend Susan, who has lost her father and who she is deeply in love with, I m so sorry I love you Susan grabs her hand, squeezes, pulls it to her chest and asks Taylor, Keep me warm In this moment, I felt strangely lucky To be a girl, to be able to say these things and for them to be okay and normal to say To tell the truth, even if it meant something completely different to me __Edit I can t believe I forgot to say that this book, despite the heavy subject matter, is so funny Laughed out loud multiple times Taylor is hilarious


  6. Ashley Ashley says:

    This novel is refreshing in several ways, and it s also honest and brave It follows the narrator, a seemingly unlikable popular mean girl who I ultimately found hilarious, vulnerable and sympathetic , on her coming out journey, which is unlike any other I ve seen before Yes, it s full of homophobia, fatphobia and other triggering content, but those things exist Sadly, while this novel is historical, the homophobia portrayed both internal and external were prominent during the late 90s This novel is refreshing in several ways, and it s also honest and brave It follows the narrator, a seemingly unlikable popular mean girl who I ultimately found hilarious, vulnerable and sympathetic , on her coming out journey, which is unlike any other I ve seen before Yes, it s full of homophobia, fatphobia and other triggering content, but those things exist Sadly, while this novel is historical, the homophobia portrayed both internal and external were prominent during the late 90s early 2000s, and still are This author takes risks with her characters, and shows the pressure put on both Taylor and Corvis in a searingly real way They present differently, and they have different problems, but both characters are beyond compelling Another thing this novel nails is the ridiculous idea that lesbians must look a certain way to be gay This, sadly, feels true sometimes Of course it s not, and our narrator realizes this at the end of the book But too often, pressure is put on queer people FROM OTHER QUEER PEOPLE as well as from heteronormative society This is a quiet, but important, theme in this book I also love how this story quietly explores class and education I love that our girl escapes her constrictive hometown, but still loves where she cane from.I highly recommend this book, especially to readers who like Euphoria It doesn t back down from unpopular ideas, and the result is a sad, poignant, real story Love love love


  7. Maddie Maddie says:

    I was given an advanced copy in exchange for this review I am in love with this book The ending is feminist AF It was not what I expected to happen, and I love seeing girls choose to save themselves rather than let a man rescue them Taylor s coming out story was unique and funny I recommend this book to anyone looking for an awesome f f romance.


  8. Sam Sam says:

    If you re a fan of Skins or Euphoria, this book is for you Super realistic f f romance unexpected ending beautiful writing.


  9. Anna Claire Anna Claire says:

    Lindsay Sproul is able to capture the thoughts and voice of teens in a way that is unmatched She takes such care with her characters and her wit is top notch I love how this book flips the expectation of the underdog I love everything she writes, but this is at the top of the list Gay AF.


  10. Sigrid Sigrid says:

    THIS BOOK I am in love with it It s an extremely complex story in the package of a fun read, which it iS, but it s so muchthan that It s not very often that we get the perspective of the popular girl usually, this character is a pathetic stereotype Also, it s not often that we see books that discuss the way physical beauty can actually be damaging to a girl or a woman how literally everyone finds attractive girls threatening This book NAILS IT The male characters are threate THIS BOOK I am in love with it It s an extremely complex story in the package of a fun read, which it iS, but it s so muchthan that It s not very often that we get the perspective of the popular girl usually, this character is a pathetic stereotype Also, it s not often that we see books that discuss the way physical beauty can actually be damaging to a girl or a woman how literally everyone finds attractive girls threatening This book NAILS IT The male characters are threatened by the fact that they can t own Taylor, the other girls are threatened by the fact that the boys like her, and even her OWN MOTHER is threatened by her I ve never quite seen this issue explored, and it s evenimportant with a lesbian narrator People will criticize this book for blatantly exploring homophobia and fat phobia, but in my opinion, this book takes the only risk it could in order to feel real I absolutely love Taylor s weird observations, our invitation into her complicated POV, the way in which she absolutely hates herself but then finds a way to love something about herself that isn t what others love I also found the narrative arcs of Corvis, Susan, Heather and even Brad compelling Also, the prom scene So cinematic Best scene I ve read in a book all year And the writing itself Gorgeous These sentences and the dialogue stand out when compared to other YA titles Read this immediately