With books I really love, I almost can't be bothered to write a normal review because I just want to scream incomprehensibly in numbers and letters, so I usually do a bullet list so I can squeal over all of my favorite things.
💬 The "bad girl" heroine. I love antiheroines and Savannah was so well done. I loved her tough facade and how it was kind of a mask for her fears of abandonment and getting hurt. She had real problems-- an absentee mother, alcoholic father, special needs younger brother, abusive ex-boyfriend, school stuff. She dealt with it all realistically, in that while she tried her best, it was a lot for her to handle alone, and cruel for anyone to expect her to. A big part of her growth is learning to rely on others and cut toxic people loose. Her character development was just so well done. I absolutely loved this girl.
💬 The "bad guy" love interest. Cameron might seem like the stereotypical rich kid with issues, but like Savannah, the author goes so much deeper into his character development. Teen me would have absolutely loved this Himbo With the Heart of Gold™, and the fact that he was so willing to go to bat for Savannah and her little brother melted my icy heart to slush-mush. He cares about consent, he loves his parents, and even though he fucks up, he knows when he's been an idiot. Cam is the man.
💬 The female friendships. Retha and Savannah are the best. I loved their relationship. The only thing rarer in YA than a positive sexual/romantic relationship is positive friendships. Their relationship is goals. Whether it's running away from a fight in the corn or confiding each other on the telephone late at night, they had each other's backs. I also loved Savannah's friendship with Retha's boyfriend, Travis.
💬 The emotional feels. Yes, this book made me cry. Be warned that it does have triggers: sexual and physical assault, neglect, slurs, addiction, underage drinking, and other stuff. It was a surprisingly dark and intense story. Which is weird, because a lot of the most popular books are actually kind of bland and people say, "Wow, YA just doesn't take any risks anymore!" and then awesome books like these that do basically go untalked about. Which I am doing my damnedest to fix, spamming it on Instagram and yapping about it on here, because it is soooooo good. Like, it would make an awesome movie.
I really enjoyed this book. I would read a LOT more contemporary YA if it were all like this.
5 out of 5 stars