Book Review: She Drives Me Crazy

The Queer Enemies to Lovers Rom-Com the World Deserves


Cover art by Aurora Parlagrecco/ Amazon

From the author of Her Name in the Stars and Late to the Party comes the trope-filled, lighthearted high school rom-com that every queer teen needs. She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen is an absolute must-read for all lovers of the romance genre.

Scottie Zajac’s senior year had gotten off to a rough start. She lost her very first basketball game of the season to her ex-girlfriend and ended up in a fender-bender with her nemesis, the beautiful and popular cheer captain Irene Abraham. Scottie was sure that things couldn’t possibly get any worse, but then her mother volunteered Scottie to drive Irene to school while Irene’s car was getting fixed. Scottie is determined not to like Irene and tries to limit her contact with the cheerleader as much as possible. 

When Scottie’s ex-girlfriend reaches out after hearing that Scottie and Irene have been spending time together, Scottie hatches a plan. Irene needs money to pay her parents back for her car insurance deposit, and Scottie needs the popularity that hanging out with Irene brings. A fake relationship seems like the perfect solution to both of their problems; Scottie will get her moment in the spotlight and get to make her ex jealous, and Irene won’t have to quit cheer to find a job so that she can pay back her parents. However, neither of the girls had counted on their fake relationship birthing some very not-fake feelings for each other, and Scottie is more unsure than ever if she’s doing the right thing.

The plot of She Drives Me Crazy is predictable in the way that all teenage rom-coms are, but the stereotypical nature of the book does not make it boring. The conflicts are both interesting and original, and the characters are all well-developed and realistic. The book does not turn the antagonists of the story into flat, dimensionless characters whose only purpose is to further the plot, and even the less likable characters have depth and can be related to. The setting descriptions in the story are nothing remarkable, but they fulfill their purpose and can provide the reader with a sufficient picture. 

Perhaps the book’s most commendable trait is the lack of homophobia as a plot point. That is not to say that the book does not discuss difficult topics: it covers issues such as internalized homophobia, toxic relationships, and teenage insecurity. The unhealthy nature of the relationship between Scottie and Tally and the self-consciousness that Scottie develops as a result, is one of the book’s main conflicts. Despite this, the book maintains its easy-going narrative in a way that appeals to younger audiences. Its primary focus is the romantic relationship between the two main characters and not the struggles of being queer in modern-day society. It is a refreshing and welcome narrative, especially for queer youth who are tired of seeing only tragic depictions of themselves in fiction.  

The somewhat stereotypical nature of She Drives Me Crazy is what makes the book such an enjoyable read. Its portrayal of queer teen relationships offers a modern and much-needed spin on queer literature. She Drives Me Crazy is available now at the Ferguson Library, on Amazon, and at Barnes & Nobles.