In Hannah Reynolds’s latest young adult novel, Shira Barbanel creates a master plan to win over her crush during her family’s Hanukkah celebration. Sixteen and clueless about how to flirt, Shira knows she needs to step up her game to catch Isaac’s attention. The logical way to solve this problem: ask her former crush Tyler for flirting lessons. He’s charming and popular, so there’s no one better for the job.
Not only is Eight Nights of Flirting a wonderful teen romantic comedy, it’s also a beautiful coming-of-age story. Reynolds portrays Shira as a character holding herself back, thinking she must be perfect at everything to go after what she wants. In reality, Shira simply needs to find her own identity and trust herself. Readers will see two sides to Shira: one that’s carefree with her family and best friend, and one that’s keeping everyone else in her life at a distance. Shira must learn to let other people in and break down her walls in order to truly love.
At the heart of this novel is a large family celebrating Hanukkah. Shira’s family is the only Jewish family in this novel set in Nantucket; their Judaism is important to them. Additionally, Shira has both Jewish and non-Jewish love interests, which adds to her story of personal growth.
Eight Nights of Flirting is a page-turner in which you want to see the characters succeed. This book is perfect for fans of Rachel Lynn Solomon’s young adult books, or for anyone looking for a lighthearted Hanukkah story this holiday season.
Elizabeth Slotnick works in the technology space but has a growing presence on bookstagram, where she reviews books spanning across all genres. She graduated from the University of Virginia and lives in Seattle, WA.