On the surface, Prince Jones and Danielle Ford live in separate worlds – he’s the popular kid, not just in school, but in all of Detroit, charming the city with his insight as DJ LoveJones on his uncle’s radio show. Meanwhile, Dani’s spent the last year doing everything she can to stay out of the spotlight, focused only on earning a spot in NYU’s competitive undergraduate writing programme. When they collide in the local library, they start a remix that brings out the best of both their tracks and reminds us that even though love loves to play, it doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game.
Each chapter alternates POVs between Dani and Prince, providing a full picture of not just their developing romance, but their families, friends and inner lives. This touches on one of Love Radio‘s central themes – that love is not just limited to two people, but touches everyone and everything in its path. LaDelle deftly navigates the complexity of young love with convergent issues around class differences, trauma, illness, non-traditional family structures, and the influence of friends and community. Despite the seriousness of these themes, the story maintains an incredible depth of humour, warmth and – of course! – utterly heart-melting romance.
Love Radio is equal parts electrifying and wise: a story that every young adult should have the chance to read and that every adult could likewise benefit from adding to their shelves.