William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist! From debut author Nina Kenwood comes a tender and funny love letter to coming of age, and first love and its confusions, perfect for fans of Booksmart and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting, or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day—in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining, and meaningful looks. Now everything has changed, and nothing is quite making sense. And then, an unexpected romance with Zach’s older brother comes along and shakes things up even further...
Kenwood's well-written, Melbourne-set debut follows Natalie, 18, whose life has improved since puberty, during which a growth spurt, heavy periods, and painful cystic acne had left her feeling "messy, leaking, uncontained." Now, her acne is under control; she has two best friends, Zach and Lucy; and she's waiting to hear from universities. But her parents are splitting up, and years of feeling awful about herself has left marks, both physical (acne scars pit her back) and psychological (she's insecure, still a bit of "shut-in," and has never had a romantic relationship). It's both exciting and terrifying for her when a series of events nudge Natalie toward Zach's older brother, Alex, whom she's written off as the kind of popular guy it's best to avoid. No one thinks Alex and Natalie should be together, but not for the reasons she assumes. Natalie conveys the difficulties not only of puberty but of moving past internalized negativity in a voice that's sharp, funny, and self-aware, making it even more satisfying for readers to see her realize that she can be the star of her life, not just the sidekick. Ages 12 up.
If you LOVED "The Kissing Booth" then you will LOVE this book!!
This was a very well written novel that actually reminded me of " The Kissing Booth". Fans of that movie franchise would ADORE the chemistry between Natalie and Alex. I couldn't put the book down, I read it in less than a day! Absolutely Loved every part.