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The Pros of Cons

Review

The Pros of Cons

THE PROS OF CONS is an entertaining, hilarious, and heartfelt novel about what it means to live up to expectations and to truly be yourself. Told from three points of view by three different authors, THE PROS OF CONS flows easily and smoothly to a side-splitting and meaningful climax that will leave readers wholly satisfied.

It’s a weekend of conventions at a huge Orlando convention center, each more obscure and intriguing than the next. Vanessa Montoya-O’Callaghan has been anticipating attending her first We Treasure Fandom convention (WTFcon) for months, primarily because it’s where she plans to meet her online girlfriend, Soleil, for the first time. But when Soleil turns out to be someone very different than Vanessa expected, her entire weekend is thrown off course.

"THE PROS OF CONS is perfect for anyone looking for a light, easy read rife with hijinks and tenderness. The lack of emotional heavy-lifting makes this book the perfect escapist read."

Phoebe Byrd is all set to attend her junior-year Indoor Percussion Association convention. She is understandably proud of her near-perfect drumming, and can’t wait to prove what she can do. But when a bag mix-up leaves her with hand injuries and a chance hook up with a bandmate sends embarrassing rumors through her ensemble, Phoebe finds herself facing a far more bizarre weekend than she anticipated.

Callie Buchannan has been working as her father’s assistant for years in an attempt to rekindle the relationship she remembers from childhood. She even follows him to the World Taxidermy championships, where she is the youngest attendant and begins to feel increasingly out of place. The situation only becomes worse when Callie discovers a secret her father has been keeping from her and embarks on a revenge campaign that will bring her into contact with some of the strangest and most interesting people she has ever met.

Thrown together by circumstance, Vanessa, Phoebe and Callie will become more invested in each other’s lives --- and conventions --- than they ever thought possible.

THE PROS OF CONS is such a cute read. It’s a little bit surface level, but it’s a fun and wacky book that will have readers tearing through the pages. I was impressed by the cohesiveness of the writing, especially since THE PROS OF CONS is written by three authors. There were no noticeable shifts in tone or style to indicate who was writing where, which made the book extremely readable. Each con is rendered in impressive detail, and the contrast of one con against another is funny and vibrant. Watching taxidermists interact with Toddlers in Tiaras-types is vastly entertaining.

The characters were also impressive. The three narrators were unique and three-dimensional. I loved that they didn’t blend together personality-wise, and that readers can see each character’s individual motivations, not only in the chapters they narrate but also where they appear in other narrators’ chapters. Even the supporting characters felt real. I was irritated with both Soleil and Callie’s dad, rooting for Phoebe and her bandmates and cheering on Vanessa and Merry.

Merry themself was such a cool part of this book for me. I had never read a book with a nonbinary character who uses they/them pronouns, and I felt that the topic was handled sensitively without making a huge deal out of it. Merry was such a fun supporting character that I found myself hoping to see more of them as I turned the pages.

Overall, THE PROS OF CONS is perfect for anyone looking for a light, easy read rife with hijinks and tenderness. The lack of emotional heavy-lifting makes this book the perfect escapist read.

Reviewed by Maggie Dow on March 28, 2018

The Pros of Cons
by Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar, and Michelle Schusterman