I rather liked this book, I wouldn’t mind being friends with most of the characters though a best friend like Dylan sounds awesome. It was initially difficult to tell the characters POVs apart at first but became easier, I don’t know if that’s because I was better at picking up on their nuances or if they just became more fully realised as the book went on.
I loved their love story, their commitment to “do overs” and the theme of “do overs” for other relationships in the books. It was great how they acknowledged other people’s needs, and issues, and addressed them – after a couple of bumpy starts. Books like this can be manuals for how to interact with other human beings. Yes they were both ridiculous and stroppy, yes they took it out on their friends. But then they both owned up to their drama, apologised for what they did wrong or misunderstood, tried to understand the other person, and ultimately, worked it out.
Side note: I love that Young Adult novels these days, regardless of sexuality, are going all in on consensual sex. I know that might seem daft because most YA/teen books didn’t used to all be about rape, but the way the characters take steps with one another, checking the other one is happy, is just so wholesome. We need this normalisation of enthusiastic (even if it’s breathily whispered) consent. And yeah, sure, a lot of the people who commit sexual crimes against another person aren’t the ones who read these books, but at least the people who read these books will know what they deserve and should expect, and if those expectations aren’t met they can feel confident that a violation occurred.
A lot of books, even ones rooted in reality, obviously give us heightened expectations – is it going to be perfect from the first moment every time? No. Are you never gonna love one another forever and never get sick of the sight of them for one sec? Also, probably no. Should you expect to be met as an equal with your comfort being important? Absolutely, always.