That Summer Night on Frenchmen Street

That Summer Night on Frenchmen Street
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Release Date
June 12, 2022
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In this modern-day young adult take on Breakfast at Tiffany's, two teens from vastly different worlds discover that sharing their strengths, including the love of their friends and family, may just be the path to finding wholeness within themselves.

Being there for her family is the most important thing to Jessamine Monet. And her family is complicated. Her twin brother Joel has a secret boyfriend, and her transgender cousin Solange is flourishing, despite the disapproval of Solange's dying mother. Yet Jessamine doesn't mind being caught up in family drama. Being busy keeps the water at bay -- the water of memories, of Katrina, of past trauma. So when Tennessee Williams -- a rich white boy named after the writer -- asks her out, she hesitantly says yes. He'll be like a library book, she figures, something to read and return. Falling for him is another burden she can't afford to carry.

Tennessee has always lived his life at the mercy of his mom's destructive creativity and his dad's hypermasculine expectations. Jessamine's caring and aloof nature is a surprisingly welcome distraction. While she fights her attraction to him, Tennessee is pulled into her inner family circle and develops a friendship with Joel's boyfriend, Saint Baptiste. Together Saint and Tennessee bond over the difficulty of loving the emotionally unavailable Monet twins.

As senior year progresses, old traumas and familial pressures rise higher than hurricane waves. Can this group of friends make peace with each other, their families, and most importantly, with themselves?

Editor review

1 review
Modern-day take on BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S
(Updated: July 20, 2022)
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Jessamine Monet feels it's important to be there for her family. Her twin brother Joel has a secret boyfriend and her transgender cousin Solange is thriving. Jessamine is stressed about her upcoming senior year and the pressure to get college scholarships to get out of New Orleans. Then Tennessee Williams, a rich white boy, moves into town. She's intrigued with the boy who is named after a famous writer, but after a first non-date, vows to keep him at arm's length. She doesn't need anything more to deal with. Tennessee has his own issues which include a racist father and an author mother who is distant. Tennessee and Jessamine fight against a growing attraction they have for each other. Tennessee grows close to Jessamine's inner friends, which includes Joel's boyfriend Saint Baptiste. Both bond over trying to get close to the socially distant Monet twins.

What worked: I totally was engrossed in this contemporary tale set in New Orleans with the Monet twins. It starts off with a fight between Tennessee's parents during Jessamine's dying aunt's luncheon. Jessamine's own family still has a hard time accepting Solange. Later, Tennessee finds himself at the coffee shop where Jessamine works. Little by little they reach out to each other. I loved the slow burn between these two characters. Both carry secrets and burdens.

Jessamine's attempts to hold it all together are slowly whittled away by those close to her. She fights against the attraction she feels for Tennessee. She also carries within her sadness and guilt about what happened in her own past. The author gives readers glimpses of what happened that fateful day until at the end it's revealed.

Tennessee is a complex character. Even though he comes from privilege, he also has vulnerabilities like his hatred of how his racist father acts in public. Add to that his emotionally distant mother. He comes alive when he meets Saint, who is outgoing and vibrant. Even Joel helps him out when Tennessee is at his lowest point.

I love the New Orleans backdrop and how we see the characters grow from the beginning of the school year to Mardi Gras. There's revelations, hard truths, and stepping out of comfort zones.

Modern-day take on Breakfast at Tiffany's where two unlikely characters meet and learn that it's okay to take that first step outside their comfort zones. Highly recommend.
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1. Modern-day take on Breakfast at Tiffany's
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