I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle
Narrator: Joniece Abbott-Pratt and JaQwan Kelly
Length: 9 hours
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 31, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Romance / General, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Dating & Sex, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Simon & Schuster
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Bookshop
Hitch meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this witty and romantic teen novel about a self-professed teen love doctor with a popular radio segment who believes he can get a girl who hates all things romance to fall in love with him in only three dates.
Prince Jones is the guy with all the answers—or so it seems. After all, at seventeen, he has his own segment on Detroit’s popular hip-hop show, Love Radio, where he dishes out advice to the brokenhearted.
Prince has always dreamed of becoming a DJ and falling in love. But being the main caretaker for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, and his little brother means his dreams will stay just that and the only romances in his life are the ones he hears about from his listeners.
Until he meets Dani Ford.
Dani isn’t checking for anybody. She’s focused on her plan: ace senior year, score a scholarship, and move to New York City to become a famous author. But her college essay keeps tripping her up and acknowledging what’s blocking her means dealing with what happened at that party a few months ago.
And that’s one thing Dani can’t do.
When the romantic DJ meets the ambitious writer, sparks fly. Prince is smitten, but Dani’s not looking to get derailed. She gives Prince just three dates to convince her that he’s worth falling for.
Three dates for the love expert to take his own advice, and just maybe change two lives forever.
I now officially have a new favorite male protagonist! Mr. Prince Jones is at the top of the list for being the most caring, suave, responsible candidate for an awesome boyfriend in all of YA fictiondom! I declare it! “So let it be written, so let it be done.”
If you liked The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, you will catch similar vibes from Prince that Daniel had when he was trying to woo Natasha on her last day in the United States. Except in this scenario, Prince convinces Dani to give him three dates to get her to fall in love with him.
Humor & Joy Abound
Love Radio is the feel good, non-trauma centered Black joy romance you need. This is the kind of book I’ve been hearing calls for in the Black book community for the past year. Yes, I know that the characters deal with very serious issues. But there is balance between that and the developing romance between Prince and Dani.
This book was also so hilarious! I laughed so much that I almost had to stop listening to the audiobook at work. The scenes when Prince is with his boys are so funny! And then you will not be able to keep a straight face when you get to the bubble guts date when Prince is doing his best to impress Dani.
Prince and His Responsibilities
Both Dani and Prince have issues that they are dealing with that threaten to tug them away from their budding love. Prince’s mother has MS and his little brother has ADHD. With his mother dealing with the instability of her health, he takes a lead role in the household as the responsible man of the house. He has a lot on his shoulders and part of his journey is deciding what burdens he wants to keep and which ones weren’t necessary in the first place. He has to learn that he is allowed to dream big and take care of his family.
Dani’s Journey To Healing
Dani has a secret she is keeping from her friends and family about a sexual assault that occurred before the novel began. LaDelle does a good job of allowing Dani to walk her journey to healing as she goes through the various stages of dealing with the after effects of the assault. The situation she was in is very realistic and could happen to anyone. Dani has to work through her feelings while also choosing not shut everyone- including Prince – out of her life. I appreciated the process that Dani went through in order to open up and begin trusting again. Including being comfortable with spending time alone with Prince after what happened to her.
I also liked how LaDelle has Dani, who is a writer, write letters to famous Black women authors as part of her healing process. Prince supports her with her journey by both being a positive male figure when he is with her and being in tune enough with her to know when to back off.
I Stan Prince Jones
Prince Jones is the perfect book boyfriend. I’m hard pressed to not give this book to my daughter when she gets older and tell her to take notes. The boy studies and does research on relationships to give better advice to his listeners on his radio show! This might be the first time that my favorite character was the boy and not the girl. I wanted more Prince chapters! He is romantic, handsome, respectful and kind. Plus he listens!!!
I Recommend the Audiobook
I definitely recommend the audiobook of Love Radio! Loved the dual narrators and there were such seamless voice transitions. Because the chapters alternate between Dani and Prince’s point of views, the narrators switch as well. But they did such an awesome job of not only voicing their own main character but providing voice for the other main character, that my brain forgot that they had switched narrators for most of the listening experience. Shoutout to Joniece Abbott-Pratt and JaQwan J. Kelly for doing a fantastic job.
I loved that Love Radio was set in Detroit, Michigan!!! Shoutout to my fellow Detroiters and Michiganders!
HAVE A SIP OF COCOA ☕…
I came for… Black YA Romance!!!
I stayed for…. DJ LoveJones aka Prince Jones aka the best book boyfriend ever!!!
Hot Cocoa Moments: Let’s see there are so many!
Would I Read it Again: Yup Yup Yup!
Educator Recommendations: There are so many wonderful connections that students can make and explore in this book. There is Prince + music + radio + DJ. There is Dani + writing + Black women authors + the messages they conveyed in their writing. The relationship between geography and community + history and legacy of Detroit. Exploring the chronic pain and disabilities. The importance of consent when interacting with others, especially in relationships. Sexual assault + recovery and healing + guilt and shame associated with the victim + responsibility and consent. (Be informed about trauma education for this.) Regarding the main characters there is a great research opportunity for students to research Motown and other great artists from Detroit. For Dani, there is an awesome opportunity to introduce students to classic Black writers like Toni Morrison and bell hooks.
Check out what else I’m reading this month: June Reading Goals: Summer Love is in the Air