Published by HarperTeen on August 22, 2017
As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.
But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods…and maybe with Janie Lee, too.
Always considered “one of the guys,” Billie doesn’t want anyone slapping a label on her sexuality before she can understand it herself. So she keeps her conflicting feelings to herself, for fear of ruining the group dynamic. Except it’s not just about keeping the peace, it’s about understanding love on her terms—this thing that has always been defined as a boy and a girl falling in love and living happily ever after. For Billie—a box-defying dynamo—it’s not that simple.
Readers will be drawn to Billie as she comes to terms with the gray areas of love, gender, and friendship, in this John Hughes-esque exploration of sexual fluidity.
This book did a great job of developing the characters, and making the reader love them just as much as the main character does. The friendship dynamic in this is to die for and I envy Billie so much. I have never really had very close friendships in my life especially not to the extent as the characters in this book and I really enjoyed that while I was reading this book I almost felt a part of their group. I really love the way they get each other, like they will be talking and the other will say something about them that just rings true. This book has so many beautiful quotes in it this one was one of my favorites, “I think there’s a place where love equals history and a place where love equals the future and a place where love is just love and it doesn’t go away no matter whether you get it back or not. Figuring out the difference is impossible.” I also really related to Billie’s struggle with her sexuality because for a while I also struggled a lot and it took me a long time to get to the place that I am today. The characters will be staying in my heart for a long time to come.
Verdict: This book is an actual work of art in the form of words. I loved it so much and I think it is my new favorite of the year and definitely a new favorite of all time. I gave it 5/5 stars and I highly recommend everyone to read it.
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