Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Best friends Willa and Flor have always had each other's backs—until the day that Willa kisses Zach, Flor's ex-boyfriend. Flor has enough on her plate with soccer, plummeting grades, her dad's new girlfriend, and missing Zach, but now she feels like she has lost her best friend too. However, despite everything she's dealing with, Flor starts developing feelings for her brooding, mysterious math tutor, Grayson. Meanwhile, Willa wants to explore her blooming relationship with Zach while still being loyal to Flor. At the same time, she's trying to keep peace in her family with her dad away at work and her sister moving back in with a baby. Ultimately, after some surprising twists and turns and plenty of steamy moments, the two girls reconcile and both end up with the guys of their dreams.
Jordan tells a classic teen romance story of high school drama, stolen kisses, and trying to fit in. However, she keeps the book fresh by addressing current issues like accepting others who are different from you, consent in romantic and sexual relationships, and respect of self and others. Throughout the novel, the characters evaluate their own behavior and own up to their mistakes. The message of the book is one that encourages teens to treat themselves and others well, to recognize the influence of their actions, and to forgive. However, this novel also has plenty of weaknesses. Jordan sometimes fails to introduce characters sufficiently before bringing their names into the story, and other characters, particularly Flor's dad's girlfriend, lack the development necessary to be believable. The diction in the book is also sometimes lacking and repetitive. Lastly, the resolution of the book is short and somewhat disappointing. Jordan does not take the time to tie up all the minor story lines, and the ending feels rather rushed and abrupt.
*Contains severe language, moderate sexual content, and moderate drug abuse.