In this YA contemporary queer romance from the author of Hot Dog Girl, an openly gay track star falls for a closeted, bisexual teen beauty queen with a penchant for fixing up old cars.
“Earnest, wistful, romantic, and real.” —Casey McQuiston, New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue
Morgan, an elite track athlete, is forced to transfer high schools late in her senior year after it turns out being queer is against her private Catholic school's code of conduct. There, she meets Ruby, who has two hobbies: tinkering with her baby blue 1970 Ford Torino and competing in local beauty pageants, the latter to live out the dreams of her overbearing mother. The two are drawn to each other and can't deny their growing feelings. But while Morgan--out and proud, and determined to have a fresh start--doesn't want to have to keep their budding relationship a secret, Ruby isn't ready to come out yet. With each girl on a different path toward living her truth, can they go the distance together?
“Beautiful, necessary, and completely irresistible.” —Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Morgan, "marginally disgraced track star of the female persuasion," is starting at a new school because queerness is "against the code of conduct" at her old one. On her first day, Ruby a lifer beauty pageant contestant whom her classmates see as "trashy" because she lives in a trailer almost runs Morgan down in the school parking lot, and their attraction is instantaneous. Ruby has had feelings for girls before, but she doesn't do relationships, and her homophobic beauty queen mother is totally invested in her daughter being a pageant winner, a dream that Ruby no longer shares. Morgan, meanwhile, is no longer interested in being in the closet. Dugan (Verona Comics) gives the high school seniors, both white, solid lines as well as obstacles that are tied to and separate from their feelings for each other. Ruby is the slightly more interesting character, as she tries to balance competing interests (she's serious about fixing up cars) and navigate what she owes her mother, but the teens' collisions as they try to determine whether they can turn their attraction into something more solid make for an enjoyable romantic tale. Ages 12 up.
Sooo amazing that I finished it one day! Fell in love with the characters and just very real depiction of challenges that lgbtq+ couples can face, so it made it super relatable.
insta love isn’t my thing, found one MC very unlikeable
There was no build up in this story, it seemed like a love at first sight thing which I’ve never been a fan of bc it doesn’t give you a real reason to be invested in the relationship. Also, I really, really couldn’t force myself to like Morgan, an MC. She came off to me as pretty sanctimonious and annoying. I am all for people being out and proud (I am) but the way she treated the extremely closeted Ruby rubbed me the wrong way. Even 75% through the story she hadn’t barely asked or tried to understand what reasons Ruby had to be closeted (I’ll give you a hint, they’re good ones). Also, it generally bugs me when ppl date someone who clearly has no intention of being out expecting them to upheave their life, especially when they’re under 18 and/or at the financial mercy of parents. Also, it was a case of just near constant poor communication. Rather than the standard trope of one time it was 50% of the book. It made it hard to become invested in the relationship bc they were always arguing with each other and had like only a few, unremarkable moments where they actually bonded. As a result, the relationship felt like it was simultaneously moving to fast but also hadn’t moved at all bc I couldn’t understand why either MC liked the other. The whole relationship was flimsy. Also, the political/human rights aspect felt super contrived. Without going into too much detail, it just felt unrealistic and Morgan drove me nuts when she was still upset with her parents after they remortgaged their house trying to further her goal. Overall, I think Morgan failed as a character because although we were told she cares a lot about others, she just doesn’t show that in her real-life relationships. Finally, the side characters were very forgettable and had no characterization and basically added nothing to the story. I wish they were fleshed out more and helped us learn more about the main characters.
I’m giving this two stars bc I could drag myself to the finish and I did enjoy some of the witty dialogue. Also there were instances when I felt this book could’ve been good, just failed to deliver.
This book does point out realistic issues the community faces, but I just feel like it didn't give enough attention especially since the main characters were struggling with coming out. Other than that it was REALLY boring! I could barely finish the book, it took like 150 pages to get into the real stuff. Wouldn't recommend.