Blurb from Goodreads
A tender, funny, and joyful novel about longing, confusion, feeling left out, and finding out what really matters, and first love, perfect for fans of Emergency Contact
Eighteen year-old Natalie has suffered every adolescent indignity when her parents announce their impending divorce. She can’t understand why no one is fighting, or seems at least mildly upset.
Then Zach and Lucy, her two best (and only) friends, hook up, leaving Natalie feeling slightly miffed.
It’s not the version of her life she’d always imagined — the version that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of playful banter and meaningful looks.
Then an unexpected romance shake things up even further. For Natalie, who’s never been kissed – never been on a date – everything is changing…
There was something about this book that spoke to me. I really didn’t expect to feel like I do after reading it. I thought it would be just a cute, fairly standard, contemporary YA.
But for me this book was so much more.
I found myself laying down under a blanket curled in the foetal position crying and reading. It was just that good! And it’s hard to explain exactly why.
I’m not a teenager. And this book is YA… but yet it spoke to me.
I related to MC Natalie’s insecurities.
I related to her emotional pain.
I related to her tendency towards the dramatic.
I just found her to be a truly authentic character.
I absolutely adored how this book dealt with the issue of severe acne caused by PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that was so honest about the struggles of having acne prone and acne scarred skin. I loved how the book was so honest about Natalie’s struggles. How her acne left her both physically and emotionally scarred. I think there’s so much of our self identity wrapped up in how we are physically perceived by the world and it was very refreshing to see a character struggle with knowing that she should be more confident in her appearance and not give a damn… but yet still couldn’t be. It showed her inner turmoil in a painfully raw and sensitive manner.
I enjoyed reading about Natalie’s first foray into a romantic relationship too. I liked that at times it seemed fast and almost too much, because it felt realistic. It felt like being young and new to love. I enjoyed how Natalie knew that she shouldn’t place her sense of self worth in the hands of a boy but yet still yearned for that gratification from him. I think it showed the dichotomy that many people experience in relationships. How we want to be both independent and completely wrapped up in another person all at once.
Overall I just really loved this book!
Natalie’s dark sense of humour was hilariously captured. Honestly this book was incredibly witty and I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions.
Her interactions with her closest friends were fascinating to read about; particularly the exploration of Natalie’s feelings about her two best friends dating.
And I really liked how her parents played such a central role in her life and thought that the storyline surrounding the impact of their divorce on Natalie was handled with great care.
If you love contemporary YA then I highly recommend this book. It is a very quick read but one that really knows how to land it’s punches with its perfect pacing.
*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
This edition publishing 30 April 2020 by Text Publishing