Review: Twelfth Grade Night (Arden High #1)

Title: Twelfth Grade Night (Arden High #1)
Author: Molly Horton Booth, Stephanie Kate Strohm, Jamie Green
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Contemporary
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 11, 2022
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The course of true love never did run smooth . . . and neither does high school in this new graphic novel series for fans of Heartstopper and The Prince and the Dressmaker.

Vi came to Arden High for a fresh start and a chance to wear beanies and button-ups instead of uniform skirts. And though doing it without her twin feels like being split in half, Vi finds her stride when she stumbles (literally!) into broody and beautiful poet-slash-influencer, Orsino. Soon Vi gets roped into helping plan the school’s Twelfth Grade Night dance, and she can’t stop dreaming about slow dancing with Orsino under the fairy lights in the gym.

The problem? All Vi’s new friends assume she’s not even into guys. And before Vi can ask Orsino to the dance, he recruits Vi to help woo his crush, Olivia. Who has a crush of her own . . . on Vi.

Star-crossed love abounds in this hilarious and romantic story of self-discovery, mistaken identities, and the magic that happens when we open our hearts to something new.

Review:

Vi decided to go to Arden High for a fresh start in high school and to get away from wearing her uniform skirts. Her brother Sebastian stayed at their boarding school, leaving Vi to start this journey on her own. As soon as she walks into the cafeteria, Vi stumbles into the poet influencer Orsino, and she instantly likes him. They spend time together but before Vi can ask Orsino to the Twelfth Grade Night dance, Orsino asks her to ask Olivia out to the dance for him. Things get even more complicated when Olivia reveals she has a crush on Vi. All of these star crossed lovers come together in a mix of mistaken identities at the Twelfth Grade Night dance. 

As soon as I saw the title of this book, I knew I had to read it. Twelfth Night is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays and She’s the Man is one of my favourite adaptations. This story was set in Arden High, which was full of different Shakespeare characters who will probably be in future books. 

Vi was a girl who dressed in masculine clothing, so others assumed that she was attracted to other girls. This also made Vi look identical to her twin brother. Vi’s masculine appearance led to the mistaken identities that are present at the end of Twelfth Night. These queer and gender identities were a great way to adapt Twelfth Night into a modern story. 

Twelfth Grade Night is a fabulous graphic novel adaptation!

What to read next:

Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

That Way Madness Lies edited by Dahlia Adler

Have you read Twelfth Grade Night? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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