It seemed like a good plan at first. When the only other virgin in her group of friends loses it at Keely’s own eighteenth birthday party, she knows it’s time for drastic measures. If she’s going to avoid heading to college without any experience of her own, she needs to find the guy, and fast. Problem is, she’s known all the boys in her small high school forever, and it’s kinda hard to be into a guy when you watched him eat crayons in kindergarten. So she can’t believe her luck when she meets a ridiculously hot new guy named Dean. Not only does he look like he’s fallen out of a classic movie poster, but he drives a motorcycle, flirts with ease, and might actually be into her. But Dean’s already in college, and Keely is convinced he’ll drop her if he finds out how inexperienced she is. That’s when she talks herself into a new plan: her lifelong best friend, Andrew, would never hurt or betray her, and he’s clearly been with enough girls that he can show her the ropes before she goes all the way with Dean. Of course, the plan only works if Andrew and Keely stay friends–just friends–so things are about to get complicated.
I was very, very much looking forward to this book. It sounds a bit like a YA version of The Kiss Quotient, which I adored! I always appropriate sex positive YA, and this sounded like it would also be packed full with amazing tropes. Plus, the cover is so bright and happy and absolutely adorable.
I really, really, really hate to say that I didn’t love this one. I really think this is a matter of personal preference and a lot of people are going to really love it, but it just wasn’t for me. It just fell short in a lot of areas.
I’ll start off with saying that I was fully intending to think that this should have been a New Adult book. But, it pleasantly surprised me! It is firmly YA. It is everything YA, and it was really cool to see. There are lots of conversations about sex, but it wasn’t done in an uncomfortable way. This truly was a sex positive YA book, with teens exploring sex and how the felt about it, that felt like a YA book. I’m really glad it surprised me.
I’m going to make a weird metaphor that I hope is understandable. There’s this popcorn that I really like, but it makes me feel a bit sick after eating. This book is similar. I liked it, but there were things underneath that made it feel off throughout it. I think I liked a lot of aspects about this book, but I didn’t like how they played out. It was good, but off for me if that makes sense.
I wanted more feeling out of this book. I think I was expecting it to explode with emotion, and so when it wasn’t that, I was caught off guard. During the kissing scenes, I didn’t really feel anything. It felt like they were just happening. I wanted to feel the connection between the characters more and I wanted to feel their bond and their relationship. A lot of the emotional pieces fell flat for me. They were there, but I wanted more.
I feel like this book went a lot of different directions and I didn’t realize it until the end. It wanted to do a lot of different things, but they all sort of got tangled up in the middle, so none of them really stood out to me. There are a couple I liked, such as the female relationships, that I wished could have been fleshed out more. They were complicated and messy, but I think it would have been cool to see more of them!
Keely also makes a lot of messy decisions, but it feels like she just makes them and that’s it. I would have liked more of her thought process, more of her emotional development, more focus on the messiness. Because life is messy and that’s fine!
The relationships were alright. At the end, I was a huge fan of the romantic relationship. There was also a great friendship between Keely and Hannah. But everything else wasn’t that great for me.
I don’t want to go on about the things that didn’t quite work for me, because I think this book was completely different than my expectations. It was a good book. I didn’t hate reading it. It just frustrated me a lot. I wanted more out of certain things and I wanted less of other things.
This is a sex positive book, with lots of kissing, and messy decisions. I enjoyed reading it, but overall it wasn’t for me. But, I still think a lot of people are going to love it!
Thank you for reading!