When Ollie meets his dream guy, Will, over summer break, he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer’s ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself one prince short of a fairytale ending. To complicate the fairytale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country—Will’s school—where Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted—and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk. Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship. But as Will starts ‘coincidentally’ popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolve weakening. The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again. Right? Right.
This book was pitched as queer Grease. I’ve never seen Grease and I barely even know what it’s about. Yet, I was overwhelmed with the want to read this book. Queer inspired anything is something I’ll jump on. Plus, it sounded adorable, with a good amount of angst thrown in there. I wanted to give it a shot! Trigger warnings: homophobia (called out), biphobia (called out), fatphobia (called out), cancer, grief
I adore this book with my entire heart. Seriously, I love it so, so much. It’s packed full with fluff, but it also a good amount of angst, with lots of growth from complications that arises. It’s real and it’s painful at times, but it’s really, really good.
Alright, I’m not quite sure where to start. Characters. I loved them. Ollie is freaking adorable. He’s awkward and so sweet. He’s just a really good guy. He loves music and he’s always there to help out his family when they need him. I was surprised how much I loved Juliette, Lara, and Neihm. When they were introduced, I thought I was going to hate them. But, they really grew on me! Lara’s snark and Juliette’s lightness and Neihm in general was just awesome. Will was also such a great character. He’s so different from Ollie, in his sexuality and the kind of person he is. I still loved him a lot, even if he was a jerk sometimes. He was figuring things out. I also loved Crista and Dylan, Ollie’s little cousins! (His whole family was really great and I really enjoyed their characters even if they weren’t a huge part of the book.) Though, I did have a hard time figuring out their ages, since their behavior was kind of all over the place. It was eventually mentioned though!
I sort of went into this book expecting a clear understand of the queer, dynamics I guess you could say? But I wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Will is still firmly closeted, while Ollie is firmly out. It creates a lot of problems for them, especially since Will feels like he has to act a certain way to make sure he’s not outed. For a bit, it kind of felt like Ollie was saying “what, are you ashamed of me?” but it wasn’t that at all. Ollie didn’t want to be treated like garbage. He wanted Will to be kind to him. Will wanted Ollie to understand that he felt like he had to act that way. It was all a grand miscommunication. And it was complicated. Both Ollie and Will had things they needed to work out. But, I really, really, really loved this complicatedness. Yes, give me queer characters figuring things out. Yes, give me stories like these. Plus, there was a side character trying to figure out where they fit in their bi-ness. It was just really queer and really great.
Ollie has a family member with cancer. I really enjoyed that plotline, as weird as that sounds. It showed more depth to his character and Crista and Dylan were adorable. I feel like this portrayed grief and family dynamics really well, even if it was painful to read.
I also really loved the growth for pretty much all the characters throughout the entire book. People made mistakes, they said things that were mean, but they learned from them. They wanted to do better and they wanted to be better friends.
Ollie and Will were adorable. There was a plus sized character and she wanted to be a model! There was amazing character development. There were so many absolutely hilarious jokes (seriously, this book is really funny). I just love this book a whole lot.
Thank you for reading!