Share this Manuscript

How to Speak Boy


How can she crush the competition when she's totally crushing ON the competition?

see full description

Swoon Index

  • Heat

    5 (2 ratings)

  • Tears

    4 (2 ratings)

  • Laughs

    6 (2 ratings)

  • Thrills

    6 (2 ratings)

Full Description

Quinn and Grayson have been fierce speech and debate rivals for years. They can't stand one another, either in competition or in real life.

But when their AP Government teacher returns their school assignments to the wrong cubbies, they begin exchanging anonymous notes without knowing who the other is.

Despite their differences, the two come together through their letters and find themselves unknowingly falling for the competition. Before the state tournament, the two of them need to figure out what they want out of life, or risk their own future happiness. After all, what’s the point of speech and debate if you can't say what's in your heart?


“You good?” Grayson asked, and I nodded.

“You have my number. Don’t be afraid to use it,” he said. Then he turned and walked away again. I brought my phone back to my pocket and spun around to find Naomi watching me, her smugness radiating off her in waves.

“What?” I asked, already knowing what she was going to say, even though she was dead wrong.

“He was flirting with you. I totally saw it.”

I scoffed. “I was there too, remember? And he definitely was not flirting.” She should know, that was simply part of Grayson’s enigmatic personality. Sometimes he was cheeky, sometimes he was smooth, but he always had his own agenda in mind. I knew better than anyone else that he wasn’t to be trusted. It was a show, just like his speeches. His mom had taught him all she knew about winning people over, and Grayson was a natural. When he wanted to be, or when he had something to gain, he could be very charming. And sure, maybe sometimes I enjoyed our little spats. When I came out on top. But that was a secret I’d take to my grave.


“The enemies-to-lovers story is a classic, and How to Speak Boy honors that tradition with charm and humor.” —NPR

"Gets to the heart of the teenage experience. ... A fun, enjoyable story that explores the world of high school seniors." —School Library Journal

"This was a super cute book that I think a lot of teens will relate to. It’s so focused on the feelings of falling in love for the first time, along with all the insecurities and worries that go along with it. I think it’s perfect for young teens, but older teens will relate, too." —Confessions of a YA Reader

"One of my favorite reads of the year! ... Quinn and Grayson are officially on my all-time-favorite-OTPs list." —Book Nerd Becky

Match Me If You Can:

"Very reminiscent of '90s romance movies, so obviously I couldn’t stop turning the page to see how the story ends. ... If you are a fan of goofy guys, dating shenanigans, and '90s romcoms, I highly recommend that you read Match Me if You Can." —Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile

"An adorable book that made my heart feel so warm and fuzzy. ... If you're looking for some 2019 debut authors to watch, I definitely think that Tiana Smith is one of them." —The Book Bratz

"I am always a sucker for adorable contemporaries, and Tiana Smith’s debut did not disappoint! ... An awesome light read that let me just settle down with a fun book and enjoy the story." —Vicky Who Reads