Today, she hates him. It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time. Tonight, she puts up with him. When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other. As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams. Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.
I adore Rachel Lynn Solomon’s books. She’s the kind of amazing author that I will read literally anything she writes. She wrote two sad, heavy books and those aren’t usually up my alley, but I loved them. I’m willing to try anything if she writes it. So even though I haven’t loved a ton of 24 hour stories, I was super excited for this book.
I love this book so much. Just, everything about it is amazing. It’s the kind of book you kind of want to squeeze because you love it so much. It’s adorable, it’s sweet, it’s about nostalgia and regret. This book landed really close to home in ways I’m not 100% comfortable talking about, but it truly felt like I was apart of it. It burrowed its way into my heart and I don’t think it’s going to leave. I’m completely fine with that.
First off, this book felt like the tipping point between the end of highschool and the start of what comes after. It’s full of the nostalgia, the fear of regret, the fear of what you could have missed out on, and the fear of what comes next. It feels so true to what those emotions really are. It felt so real, like this book was those feelings made into words.
Along with those emotions, I fell in love with Rowan. Because she was the one feeling them haha. But I related to her so much, so closely. I truly got what she was going through in a certain way and it just made me love her so much. She loves romance novels and wants to write them as a career! That’s another thing I loved about this book, how it addressed the stigma behind romance novels and how people look down upon them. It was so awesome to read about a character who is so fully in love with them. She also has walls to protect her, she’s nerdy, and she’s an all around super cool person.
Neil was also really great! While he might love “White Men In Peril” (seriously, Rowan is a genius for coming up with that) books, he was a really great guy. He was awkward and sweet and a really solid person. He also loves a band called Free Puppies! (the exclamation point is important) which was honestly amazing. He and his friends also call themselves the Quadrilaterals which is the nerdiest thing ever and I love it.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that takes place over such a short amount of time, but feels so full. It had all the character development, feel, and pacing of a book that takes place over a week. It was amazing. I fully got to know Rowan and Neil and their relationship was able to blossom. All while their figuring things out emotionally and playing an elaborate scavenger hunt. It was amazing.
Speaking of the scavenger hunt, my inner compeitor came out in full force because Rowan and Neil would take detours and I would just be silently screaming “GUYS KEEP MOVING YOU GOTTA WIN.”
The romantic relationship was incredible. I love rival stories and this was an incredible one. Their relationship blossomed slowly but surely and it was amazing to watch their feelings change. Plus, they were just downright adorable.
Solomon always writes sex positive books and this one was no different. I loved how it was candid about sex, what it means, and how it isn’t something dirty. Plus, watching Neil blush when talking about it was amazing.
All in all, this was an amazing book about romance novels, regret, nostalgia, imperfect cinnamon rolls, a scavenger hunt, rivals, with two amazing characters. I seriously loved it.
Thank you for reading!