Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 31, 2022
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Format: eBook (320 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
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.
Proceed With Caution:
This book contains sexual assault and an MS relapse.
Love Radio is narrated by seventeen-year-olds Danielle and Prince. Danielle isn’t sure if love is in the cards for her, certainly not the type of love shown in the 90’s movies her mother loves. Meanwhile, Prince is known as DJ LoveJones as he gives relationship advice on the radio. Now, it’s time for him to take his own advice as he pursues a relationship with Danielle, after saying he can get her to fall in love in only three dates.
Love Radio sounded like it was going to be a sweet and fun romance between a supposed love expert and a nonbeliever. For the most part it was, but there were some things that did bother me that kept me from getting sucked into Prince and Danielle’s story. I did love how it tackled some serious issues with love and caring such as Prince taking care of his mom who has MS and one of Danielle’s friends puts on a hair show to show that Black is beautiful and not just a trend!
There were a few inconsistencies that bothered me in Love Radio. The first being that Prince says he needs to plan three great dates on a budget. But then for the first date he buys Danielle custom rollerskates and gourmet donuts. Then on the second date takes her to a nice meal and buys her expensive gifts. And on a non-date, when they’re just hanging out, she offers to buy lunch and he refuses. How is any of this “on a budget?”
Then there was Dani who says she doesn’t want to date someone who will “settle” and hold her back, when Prince never once said anything about wanting her to stay in Detriot. She’s free to go to college wherever she wants! Prince was encouraging her to follow her dreams! That just felt like some way to add extra drama where there was none, and it was actually never even mentioned again.
Prince and Danielle do have some super cute moments together. Even though I found his persistence aggravating at first, he did win me over when he helped her take out her braids. That is a long and very unfun process, that is definitely done better as a team! Sure, he offered as a way to get close to her, but he didn’t try anything funny. He genuinely tried getting to know her. It was sweet. He also put a lot of thought and effort into their dates, making sure he was choosing things that she’d enjoy and spark some joy in this girl who’s feeling down.
I also appreciated the author covering Danielle’s trauma. While I feel like it was just shoehorned in at times, as it was just randomly brought up, only to disappear again, it’s an important topic. Danielle hasn’t been herself for months now, cutting herself off from her friends, and not leaving the house. But we’re only told these things kind of superficially, since the focus is on her dating Prince. When it does come up though, it’s hard hitting. It’s a real thing that teen girls experience and it’s scary. There’s no one to turn to, because society makes them feel like they brought it upon themselves. That’s not okay. I’m glad Danielle was able to open up about it through her writing.
Love Radio has a lot of good things going for it, but not all of it came together. It’s definitely worth a read though.