Many upper YA books take on those BIG life changes that teens that age face. The end of high school brings many new beginnings, but some beginnings are accompanied by endings. Delia and Josie may have been best friends, but they now found themselves on divergent paths.
For Josie it meant leaving home and leaving Delia. She would have to adjust to a new city, a new school, new friends, a new job, and a life with a lot less Delia. She was dealing with all the anxiety that accompanies leaving the nest, but she was also weighed down with a lot of guilt when it came to Delia.
Delia had been dealing with feelings of abandonment for over a decade since her father left and never looked back. He left, her other best friend left, and now Josie was going to leave too. My heart totally went out to Delia. It's never fun being the one left behind, and when your own father can up and sever all ties with you, what would keep someone, who is only a friend from doing the same? She just broke my heart, and I wanted to give her the most fierce hugs a person could give, over and over again.
BUT, not to worry, because let me tell you, most of this book is chockfull of hilarity. Delia and Josie were such a fantastic pair. I adored the way they played off each other and their Seinfeldesque discussions about nothing were a thing of beauty.
He also gave us a most wonderful love interest with Lawson. Gosh! He immediately captured my heart, and my love for him just grew and grew with everyone of his on page appearances. He had all those soft boy qualities I love, as well as being an MMA fighter and an avid SFF reader. He was sweet and lovely and he wore his heart on his sleeve. Oh, and, the romance was precious and perfect.
I will admit, Orlando was a mixed bag for me. The stuff with Devine took a real over the top turn, but the chapters that followed were so beautiful and emotional, that I just didn't really care what happened before that. Zentner did some wonderful things for these characters in those last few characters. I found myself simultaneously shedding happy and sad tears as I sported a HUGE grin.
Other things I loved:
• The Random Josie Observations test
• Improbable animal encounters 🐘 + 🐬
• "Fan" mail
• Road trip
• Nods to The Serpent King and Goodbye Days
Overall: This was a beautiful story about friendship, love, moving on, and letting go. It was about beginnings and endings and appreciating the lessons learned along the way.
*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
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- Started reading
- 17 February, 2019: Finished reading
- 17 February, 2019: Reviewed