Book Review: “Chasing After Knight” by Heather Buchta

Chasing After Knight follows Alexa, a Las Vegas high school senior, as she attempts to apologize to an old friend for an unfortunate incident that happened the summer before high school. However, the friend she needs to apologize to is now an A-list movie star. She is lucky that her best friend Lindsey is obsessed with celebrities; otherwise, Alexa would have no idea where to begin her search for her former friend.

After reading the synopsis of this book, I thought it was going to be as predictable as most books in this genre are. I was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn’t. Is the ending predictable? Yes. Did I predict how Alexa would solve her dilemma and make amends? No. I couldn’t anticipate how she would run into her former friend because he is a movie star. The winter dance that keeps getting mentioned is where a miraculous meetup would happen in other books, but that wasn’t the case with Chasing After Knight. It was a surprise when and how the initial encounter happened. As the stakes grew, I found myself rooting for Alexa and hoping she could say the right words when the opportunity arose.

I found Alexa’s goal relatable. She made a mistake, then moved states, eliminating any chance of making things right, especially since he was not answering any forms of communication. Sure, it was a move from California to Nevada, but that’s still a distance to overcome. Instead of allowing herself to drown in her guilt, she tried to bury it by taking on an unreasonable amount of schoolwork, clubs, and college prep. She picked a college not because of its programs but because it was as far away from California as she could get. Alexa wanted to run away from the situation and her guilt over what happened. While this may seem extreme, it makes sense that this is how a teenage girl would react to the situation. It also makes sense that as a chapter of her life is coming to a close, she thinks about her initial decisions and how she handled her circumstances at the time.

Surprisingly, I also found the story relatable. I certainly have never had to right a wrong with a friend who became a movie star, but I have had chance encounters that changed the direction of my life, which I feel is a great way to describe how Chasing After Knight ended. All of Alexa’s encounters with her old friend change the direction of her life. Although we learn in the end that it was for the better, at times it feels like she’s destroying everything she worked for during her high school years, including her other friendships. Alexa is digging herself out of several difficult situations, and as the reader, you have to watch and see if she’ll make it out unscathed. It was difficult to read at times because you’re upset she’s treating the people in her life that way, but it made me root for her, and a positive outcome, even more.

Chasing After Knight is a fun read. It’s different from those in the genre because you can’t always predict how Alexa’s resolution will come, even though you know things will likely end in her favor. Alexa and her story are a great read if you are looking for a happy ending that isn’t a straight line from start to finish.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Penguin Young Readers, for review.

Buy on Bookshop  Buy on Amazon