Saine Sinclair knows a little something about what makes a story worth telling. Your childhood best friend refuses to kiss you during a pre-adolescent game of spin the bottle? Terrible, zero stars, would not replay that scene again. The same ex-friend becomes your new best friend’s ex? Strangely compelling, unexpected twist, worth a hate-watch. That same guy—why is he always around?—turns out to be your last shot at getting into the documentary filmmaking program of your dreams? Saine hates to admit it, but she’d watch that movie. And working with Holden Michaels on this doc is going to get her into college—even if she has to take a few. . . cinematic liberties as a director. But there’s something about Holden that makes her feel like she’s the one in front of the camera—like he can see every uncomfortable truth she’s buried below the surface. Saine knows how her story’s supposed to go. So why does every moment with Holden seem intent on changing the ending?
After reading and loving Last Chance Books, I was very excited to see what Kelsey would write next. And a book about a fat cheerleader was basically what sold me, but a book about a fat cheerleader who has to make a documentary with her childhood best friend who is also her friends ex and she does like him very much herself because of a falling out. It sounded amazing, and I was so eager to read it!
There is something about Kelsey Rodkey books that is comforting, sweet, and so humanely messy. It creates for something that feels like a hug in such a wonderful way.
The writing is the same way, there’s something so comforting about it. Plus, Kelsey knows how to write a romcom. The teenage banter, the sweet awkwardness, the humor is just so spot on.
I absolutely adored Saine. She’s messy and complicated and she’s carrying so many emotions around with her all the time. She’s trying to balance her feelings for her maybe not enemy, a friendship that seems like its getting rockier, her grandma’s death, and trying to put together a documentary to get into her dream school. And this causes her actions and her feelings and the situations she finds herself in to be messy. Because she’s a teenager trying to figure things out. Therapy is talked about so plainly; I adored it. Saine might be wary of the idea, but I loved the progression of her feelings toward it. She has a lot to deal with, and she deals with it like an authentic teenager. That doesn’t mean there isn’t tons of secondhand embarrassment, because I did feel a lot of that haha.
Really, one of my favorite parts of this book was the messiness. Saine is far from perfect, and the book as whole lets her be imperfect. She makes mistakes and she messes up. She’s human, but she has to work to fix that. It’s not something that is easy, but it’s something she wants to do. There is a lot of growth in her. I loved seeing her be completely messy, and I also loved seeing her try to move forward.
I also really loved all the other characters. Holden was such a sweet, slightly awkward guy. He is so earnest, and he’s just wonderful. I also adored Saine’s friends. They don’t have perfect relationships, but they do truly care about each other.
I will mention the humor one more time because this book is seriously funny. There was a line that made me downright cackle because how it was written was pure brilliance. Plus, the jokes throughout were amazing as well.
This was a really, really good book. A fat girl got to be the main character and just be fat because that is the way she is. She was messy and wonderful, and I completely adored her. Really, I adored the whole book.