Driscoll viscerally brings 1990s high school drama to life, complete with the angst of solidifying a relationship amid the high school rumor mill. Lindsay, a high school girl who had an abortion after Scott got her pregnant, engages in a pretty extensive smear campaign against Harper to make her look bad, and the discussions between Scott, Lindsay and Harper at prom feel cruel but accurate. Despite Harper’s immaturity in dealing with a girl who knew Scott before her, Driscoll instills Harper with more backbone than a typical freshman. Notably, Harper is unwilling to settle for less than a real and public relationship as she abides by her own code of not missing class or sports practices to spend time with him.
With expert pacing, Driscoll draws the reader into the storyline, creating an immersive narrative that holds attention and entices readers to want to discover whether Scott and Harper finish out their year together and make the difficult transition as he leaves for college. The conclusion is somewhat satisfying, with just enough questions to whet appetites for the next installment.
Takeaway: 1990s high school romance brought to vivid life.
Comparable Titles: Lynn Painter’s Better Than the Movies, Alex Light’s The Upside of Falling.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
“He Calls Me Harp” series by Heather White Driscoll
This romance series follows Harper Whitmore, a high school freshman who falls in love with popular senior Scott Pierce. A reader who loved these books called them “an incredibly realistic depiction of a high school romance set in the late 1990s.”
“These books made me fall in love with the main characters and then tore my heart out. Definitely a great read. Not really a young adult series even though the characters are in high school. Younger readers should check the trigger warnings in book two, as some heavy topics get covered,” the reader said.