An excellent YA novel with all the feels
As a huge YA fan, this was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I had a feeling this book would be a tough read, but I had no idea I would be ugly crying for half of the book. If you are going to read this book, then I highly recommend keeping a box of tissues next to you.
There are a lot of trigger warnings in the book including racism, homophobia, murder, and cancer and that is not a full list. As tough as this book was to read at times, and as much trauma it deals with, underneath it was these stories of love and life that made you feel, and it gave you hope that these characters could get past some of their pain in time and it kept you reading and reading because you just had to find out.
I really enjoyed almost everything in the whole book, I think my only complaint, and why I didn’t give this a full 5 stars, is that I felt the book started a little slow. I kept picking the book up and putting it down, over and over. It really took me a while to find my reading groove. Once the book picks up, about a quarter in, the story changes and I could not put the book back down. It had its hooks in me and I had the tissues in my hand for the rest of the night.
There is a very light sapphic romance. What is there romance-wise is very sweet and cute, but one character is just deciding her sexuality, so it is really light. There is also a light mystery in the book, but I would say that the mystery is a little bigger than the romance was, but it is not the biggest part of the book yet still a very interesting part. My mystery-loving brain was proud to have figured it out before it was revealed because it was not easy to guess, and I really enjoyed the twists and turns.
In the end, I would absolutely recommend this queer contemporary YA, especially if you enjoy more emotional stories. The fact that this is Hammonds’s debut book and their writing is this good already makes me really excited to imagine what they could have in store for us next. 4.50 Stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.