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The Problem with the Other Side

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A searing YA debut that follows the joys, complexities, and heartbreaks of an interracial romance between high school sophomores that blossoms during a volatile school election

Uly would rather watch old Westerns with his new girlfriend, Sallie, than get involved in his school's politics—why focus on the “bad” and “ugly” when his days with Sallie are so good? His older sister Regina feels differently. She is fed up with the way white school-body presidential candidate Leona Walls talks about Black students. Regina decides to run against Leona . . . and convinces Uly to be her campaign manager.

Sallie has no interest in managing her sister's campaign, but how could she say no? After their parents' death, Leona is practically her only family. Even after Leona is accused of running a racist campaign that targets the school's students of color—including Sallie's boyfriend, Uly—Sallie wants to give her sister the benefit of the doubt. But how long can she ignore the ugly truth behind Leona's actions? 

Together and apart, Uly and Sallie must navigate sibling loyalty and romantic love as the campaign spirals toward a devastating conclusion.

CW: Acts of racism and bigotry, racist language, and gun violence are portrayed in this novel.

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Praise for this book

"Kwame Ivery has written a powerful allegory of American politics that offers way more healing than we deserve but exactly as much healing as we need." - Preston Norton

"There are debuts, and then there are debuts like Kwame Ivery’s The Problem with the Other Side—a book that is utterly heart-filling, -breaking, and -reflecting all at once. Sincere, funny, and devastating, Ivery's novel holds a mirror up to America and shows the reader the makings of the nation’s true heart: all the ugly, all the bad, and all the good (and all the beauty in between)." - Tyler James Smith

"By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, The Problem with the Other Side had me hooked from the delightful opening scene . . . Told from two alternating points of view, Kwame Ivery's book features characters whose voices are so clear and real that I felt as if they were sitting right beside me telling me their stories. The romance is deliciously sweet, even as it begins to grow complicated under a close examination of racism, white privilege, and bigotry. A masterful work of humor, heart, and human connection." - Alyssa Wees

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