An incredibly cute book that focuses on what it means to have a healthy relationship with your friends/family/significant others.
Thank you so much to The Write Reads and Becky Albertalli for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy and media kit!
Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon
About the Author
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at http://www.beckyalbertalli.com.
For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.
Premise (from Goodreads)
From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.
[PRINCIPAL CAST LIST]
Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:
Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.
But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.
Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson
He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.
Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…
Review (No Spoilers)
I enjoyed this book very, very much. Initially, I was worried that I would hate it because love triangles are my least favorite trope of all time. Fortunately, Becky Albertalli handled this in such a profoundly amazing way that it actually didn’t bother me at all.
The book focuses on two best friends, Kate and Anderson, who are both crushing on the same new guy in town. Kate and Anderson are well-known for having what people declare is a co-dependent relationship. They tell each other pretty much everything and are known for often harboring crushes for the same guy. This is just the first time that either of them might have a chance with him. It doesn’t take long before the unattainable communal crush turns into a “friendly” competition that threatens to ruin their friendship.
The reason this book worked so well is that Kate and Anderson care a lot about each other. They are both so focused on trying to make their friendship work during this love triangle that it’s pretty endearing. And while a lot of their plans to make the situation less awkward don’t always work out, their hearts are clearly in the right place. Rather than rooting on any romance to happen in the book, my mind was solely focused on just making sure these two best friends made it out together.
My favorite part about this book, however, was its focus on trying to show teenagers what a healthy relationship looks like, whether it be familial, platonic, or romantic. The book explores Kate’s relationships between every one of those categories, and I think there are many beautiful lessons that readers will be able to take away from it.
Side note: I’ve seen a few reviews complaining about the language of the book and it does use a lot of f-bombs in particular. As an American who has seen teenagers talk like this, I wasn’t at all bothered, but it could be jarring to people who aren’t used to it. I’ve also seen reviews calling the diversity of the cast a “diversity bingo”, but the characters in this book were basically exactly what the drama kids looked like at my high school, so it’s very realistic in my opinion. Ultimately I think it just all depends on what you’ve experienced in your own life. All in all, I’d definitely recommend this book.
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