If you are or have ever been on the outside of the popular crowd for any reason (and felt justifiably superior for being on the outside), you will probably really adore this witty little take on love, confidence, and friendship. It wasn’t perfect, but it adored Maggie, the protagonist, so much! If nothing else, it will leave you wanting to discuss, or rant, with fellow readers.
“Do not ignore a call from me when you know I am feeling neurotic about a boy. That is Best Friend 101.” —Nash
Maggie and Nash are outsiders. She’s overweight. He’s out of the closet. The best of friends, they have seen each other through thick and thin, but when Tom moves to town at the start of the school year, they have something unexpected in common: feelings for the same guy. This warm, witty novel—with a clear, true voice and a clever soundtrack of musical references—sings a song of love and forgiveness.
I think this is a pretty awesome read. I absolutely adored the narrator, Maggie. She was so sure of who she was a lot of the time, but some few things made her very uncertain. Such a cool girl who, most of the time, knew what she wanted and what she didn’t, and I found a lot about her really inspiring. Thank you, thank you, thank you for not making her lose weight – it has always been my pet peeve when writers create a big girl and then whittle her down to make her life better. That just isn’t going to fix everything, and I really respected the author’s decision to fix the real problems in Maggie’s life. Problems, conflicts, and most resolutions in this book are realistic. This was teen drama, but it was teen drama that I could bear to read as an adult. Everything about this felt real and relevant instead of overblown and exaggerated. So rare. The cast of characters was varied, and even when I didn’t like them, they read like real people with good and bad traits. I especially enjoyed the mentor character, Maggie’s boss, because he called it like he saw it (and like I saw it). My problem was really with the resolution. I just wasn’t sure if Mags got the respect she deserved in the end. I think she was satisfied, but I just wanted a little more worship at her feet before she forgave certain folks for their ridiculous shenanigans (see how mad I am? I used an old lady word). Ultimately, I will walk away from this pretty happy, but I just can’t help but feel like someone put Baby in a corner and Johnnie didn’t fix it. I do think my students will like this book a lot, but adult readers of YA will probably find it just as engaging.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.