I went into this fully aware that this is Casey's first young adult novel but I honestly did not see any difference between this one and their previous two novels, minus possibly better handling of their poc characters as well as less spice/sexual situations. I also realize I most likely was not the intended audience for this book and that's ok. I do think me being over the age of 25 had more of a critical lens walking into this. Chloe and Shara were not characters that I particularly found myself enjoying or wanting to read about the more I continued with this book. The writing itself was bad, it was the execution that had me raising my eyebrows. Am I going to like every character every written? No, of course not. But I also think both of them were unapologetically selfish, and manipulative to the point where everything and everyone around them just didn't matter until they received their prize. It was.... odd. For example, If Shara actually had any inkling that Smith
I feel if Shara had been a bipoc girl and done this, reviewers would be fawning over her as much as I seen them do. Also, how are the parents in this novel absent throughout these last couple of months? That just didn't seem realistic to me, small town, big city...you gotta give adults a little more credit than that no? Idk If I found myself more inclined to devour the parts where Rory, Summer. Smith, Georgia, Ace and other side characters were mentioned more so than Shara or Chloe. I also feel as if Shara and Chloe only got away with certain things because they were of the majority (meaning white in terms of race) and if either of them were girls of color, a lot of this wouldn't happen aka
Spoiler liked Rory or Rory liked Smith, why kiss Smith? Why not just talk to him/ befriend him and treat him like a human being instead of toying/messing with both boys emotionally?
I thought this would be third times the charm but I think McQuiston just isn't the author for me.
Spoiler smear campaign against Shara's dad? Oh he has a great lawyer so he will get away with it. What?
Moderate: Religious bigotry, Toxic friendship, and Toxic relationship
Minor: Lesbophobia and Acephobia/Arophobia