☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ FIVE STARS
This story kinda broke me. Without sharing too many spoilers, it’s safe to say that I’m not a resilient reader and the ending of this story completely blindsided me. Maybe in a good way. I haven’t quite come to terms with it yet. Or perhaps I’m just too much of a sap. Either way, this is one story I think I’ll read again. If only to re-write the ending in a way that makes my heart beat a bit better!
As an avid fan of romance and YA novels, this was a must read for me. If anything, it felt like my most anticipated book of the year. With that hype to live up to, it’s surprising that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Usually I tend to be in the 1% of people who don’t get the lovey-dovey feels for a fan-favourite read. What really drew me in with this novel was the contrast between a budding teen romance (with ALL of its awkward quirks and small moments of LIKE-AT-FIRST-SIGHT) and yet a surprisingly deep emotional journey. The disparity between this was startling at first, I hadn’t expected so much from a book aimed to younger readers, and yet I absolutely adored it for this very reason.
“I don’t know if we’re in a love story or a story about love.”
This quote, in my opinion, completely sums up my thoughts on this book. It was an almost unconventional read in its exploration of love and the meaning behind people coming in to our lives when they do. This book certainly had me thinking about my own experiences in this. Which is a sign of a good book, in my opinion. I love books that subtly attack your mind and make you think. When you sit down expecting a light and fluffy read and instead get a trip down memory lane with a dash of inner turmoil attached.
While this book was deep in some ways, the budding and awkward experience of first love made for a great contrast. Who doesn’t love LOVE? It’s impossible to dislike reading about the slow-burn, cute encounters that slowly sum up to a full-blown teen romance. The build-up was the best part of this book. As the character’s experienced mishaps (which are almost impossible to avoid at that age) it was endearingly sweet how they went on multiple first dates to make up for their blunders. Within the first chapter, and especially after their second first date, this book had completely stolen my heart.
“He laces our fingers and shrugs. And I’m dead. I am actually dead. There’s no other way to explain it. I’m sitting in fucking Herald Square, holding hands with the cutest boy I’ve ever met, and I’m dead.”
Even though the ending of this story was not the cookie-cutter one I was after, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and am eagerly awaiting future novels by this author duo. At least I can binge-read older novels by this duo to tide me over until the next is out!
// what is your most unexpectedly deep young-adult read? //