Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, I received an eArc of this book in exchange for a honest review.
I feel like for a long time I was suffering through romance books I didn’t enjoy – for the most part I couldn’t get into them. Everything felt unreal – even when I was a teen. Those teens were glorious and immortal, and for a long time I thought I was the odd one out. It has only been in recent years when reading YA romance that I started to see some of what I wished I could have read reflected in new books. And I mention that because this book was relatable on a whole new level. It felt real and it felt honest.
First off, this book did make me remember what my teen years were like. I never dated myself, but Natalie goes through some of the same thought processes and situations that I often thought about or encountered. Not the all girls school part, but a lot of it. Natalie has a chronic condition that affected her appearance and she always felt ugly and unlovable. And I was overweight (still am) and so I really connected with that feeling. The feeling that no one would ever like me for who I was – and it felt so great to see that reflected in this book. I about swooned when we get more in depth with Natalie’s condition. She isn’t perfect – but her personality is amazing.
I love Natalie as a character. I think we see a wonderful character arc for her. We see her start to grow up, but we also see her struggle with her emotions, and her life and everything else. I found it very touching and was moved at moments in this book. Both with pity and laughter. There were some great moments in this book that made me chuckle and I really liked the bits of humor interwoven with more serious issues.
I liked the supporting characters as well, they fell into the friends category and they pushed the story forward, but they too also had little plots set in their own world that Natalie slowly uncovers. And I loved Alex.
I loved Natalie’s relationship with love and romance and it was beautiful to see it unfolding. As I said previously: tears and laughter. This is honestly a lovely book on so many levels. I don’t think I can say enough good things about it, other than I flew through it in a few days between working.
Kenwood’s writing is also stellar. I was invited in and drawn into the book with this writing. This was an amazing book, and it is one I definitely would like to own once it is published!