Would you believe that this is the first Becky Albertelli that I’ve read? As someone who reads a lot of queer YA, I’ve still not picked up any of her books before this. But this book sounded like so much fun that I grabbed at the chance to be on the blog tour, so I could read this book.
And I actually really enjoyed it. This book took me no time at all to get through, and it was actually more friendship focused than I expected. I really loved that. So if you’re on the lookout for more YA contemporary with more of a focus on friendship? This could definitely be the book for you.
This story follows Kate, a junior in high school and her best friend, Anderson. The two of them are described by other friends as being too codependent. To the point where they actually have communal crushes. You heard that right. They like crushing on the same guy. But these guys are usually guys that aren’t really involved in their lives. Until their latest crush, Matt joins their school and the school musical. Suddenly Kate is beginning to realise that liking the same guy as her best friend isn’t all that fun, even as other aspects of her life seem to be changing for the better.
If you like musical theatre, then this is definitely a great book for you. There are so many references, and these characters are true theatre kids. Singing loudly in the car to musical soundtracks, acting out scenes in their bedrooms and dreaming of a future on the stage theatre kids. That might not be me, but that was certainly my friends. I have strong memories of walking home from the fair with my mates in high school and two of them walking ahead and loudly singing Don’t Rain on My Parade. Whilst I walked behind them cringing, as I might like some musicals, but that song isn’t an example of anything I like.
I’ll be honest, I’d never even heard of the musical they were performing in the book. It does sound fun, so I think I’ll have to check it out. But I actually liked that. It wasn’t one of the big musicals that everyone knows, and you expect to hear them talking about. So to see these teenagers getting all these soundtracks and knowing all these stories? For me, it really highlighted how passionate they are about musicals. And it helped get me more excited about them too.
I mentioned at the top that this book is so friendship focused. And from the summary, you might think it’s more romancey. There is definitely a lot of romance. Both Kate and Anderson do get a happy ever after on that side too. But a big focus is their friendship. Kate and Anderson are so close, and this jealousy and trying to keep things from each other? It’s not going to work. They love each other so much. They say they love each other, and to lose that over a guy? That would be the worst. You get to see the changes to their relationship as they learn to accept that things aren’t always going to remain the same. There was no point in the book that I thought the storyline would veer away from their friendship, as it clearly is so important to Kate, and I really loved seeing that. I loved reading about the differences between friendships, and teammates too and seeing their other friends as well as sibling relationships.
There definitely is romance. And to me, at least, it felt fairly obvious early on where the romance sub-plot was going to go. But that was okay because I liked the direction I could see it going in. There are some really cute moments for Kate, and it definitely feels worth it, even if you have to wait a long time to get there.
This book wasn’t perfect. The predictability of the plot and some of Kate’s reactions out of upset were kind of meh. Even if she admitted she was wrong pretty quickly, it was still a dick thing to say. And yeah. Didn’t like that. But I honestly liked so much more about this book than I expected to. I think I’m actually really starting to enjoy YA contemporary, and I’m so glad that I actually gave this book a chance.
A fun, fast and easy read. Definite a good read for when you’re looking for something fun and fluffy.