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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Tia is just looking for a senior year of fun. She's a perfect flirt and has a hard-earned reputation as a party girl. She isn't looking for anything serious as she has seen where that could lead to and wants no part of it. The first order of business on this year's list of guys to fool around with is Will. Will, however, is looking for something serious. He is a stand-up guy and doesn't much go for the love 'em and leave 'em hookups. When Tia refused to date him, he looks elsewhere, putting Tia in an awful position. Does she want him for herself enough to get over her fears or will she let him go and move on?
Tia was a character I instantly loved. Though I don't have much in common with her, I love that a character like her has finally made her way into YA literature. She's smart and confident and not a virgin. She's the heroine who is okay with noncommittal hookups and is terrified of a relationship. For all intents and purposes, she is the typical YA male. I loved the role reversal. I loved that she wasn't looking for more, that she was scared of more. She has good reason to be, seeing how her sisters lives have turned out. I also love that she hides her amazing drummer skills. She intentionally misses a beat or two so she isn't the lead drummer and doesn't have to tackle those responsibilities. She doesn't want this. She is scared she'll suck at them. I love that she is confident and not at the same time. I just love her.
Will is adorable in his attentions to persuade her into a relationship. Their friendship/whatever the hell it really is, is the stuff dreams are made of. I loved them together from the start. He's so sweet, even from the start that I couldn't help but love him. I'm a sucker for a sweetheart. He does what he can to help Tia, even when she's being a bitch. He doesn't take it all lying down, though, standing up when he thinks it's appropriate and sometimes even when it's not.
It feels so good to read another great Jennifer Echols story. I was a bit worried after I read her adult contemporary romance and didn't love it. It wasn't terrible, but it didn't come close to the awesomeness that she portrays in her YA's and I thought maybe she was losing her touch. But this proves that is not the case. Maybe I'm just not a fan of normal contemporary romance or maybe that was a fluke, but either way, this novel was fantastic.
(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
The writing is great, the story is interesting, and all the characters felt very well rounded. My only issue was that Tia and Will play the break up and get back together game a bunch. That always irritates me. Tia has her reasons for shying away from commitment, but it doesn't make it any less annoying for me. Either you like him enough to get over it or you don't, but pick one.
What you really need to know is that this novel has everything you'd expect from Jennifer Echols. It's witty, it's funny, it's sweet. It's the perfect combination of heart-warming and heart-breaking. It's the perfect contemporary YA romance that breaks the tradition of virginity = good, smart girl. Tia is flirty and fun and not ashamed of how active (or inactive) her sex life may be. She's a great role model for teens, in my humble opinion.
****Thank you to Simon Pulse for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****