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You can pry the ship of Olivia and Zoey out of my cold dead hands. I am so unbelievably in love with them as a couple and I’m desperately invested in their relationship.
And to think I almost missed out on this book entirely because the cover and title imply it’s about cheating.
The blurb does this book a huge disservice, so allow me a minor spoiler. Liam is not in love with Zoey. He never
says he’s in love with Zoey. (He says the opposite.) They’re casual. Liam starts liking her more than she likes him, but that is absolutely
not the same thing. Around the three quarter mark, the relationships start to feel kind of cheater-y, which is what causes the climax, but I don’t feel like this is a “cheating” book. Your milage may vary.
Liam is really a non-factor in most of the book, though. Zoey’s POVs almost never features him, thoughts of him, anything. Instead, it’s all about the slow build from hate to friendship to love between Olivia and Zoey. It’s so natural and sweet; it’s probably one of the best examples of a relationship in YA/NA. If I had one quibble, it’s that Zoey never gave gifts or planned the dates. I understand Olivia has more money and time, but I just wish I’d felt a little more give and take. Still, I’m never going to get over the graffiti date. The idea of a love interest taking the time to plan a perfect day for their partner, institute it, and use it to show their affection? Beautiful.
I did find one thing extremely weird. Zoey has a little sister who she’s extremely close to. She comes along on trips out with both Olivia and Liam, but at the climax, she has no idea who Liam is. (She didn’t talk to them on the ferry, but she had her face pressed to the glass and definitely saw them together, but didn’t recognize him at all when he arrived at the house. Huh?) I feel like a scene must have been added and not edited in properly. I hope that’s corrected before release. OH NO, LOOKS LIKE I MUST BUY A COPY TO CHECK. IT IS A TRAGEDY.
Their home lives are a little melodramatic and feature some subplots I could take or leave. The maybe-cheating didn’t make me feel good, though teenagers aren’t known for their complex romantic morals. It doesn’t matter. This is a book that features a f/f relationship with no homophobia or consequences of being gay. Do you understand how rare that is? If I'd been able to see a happy, healthy homo relationship when I was a teen, instead of sad issue books where being gay is the only thing in a person's life, it would have saved me a lot of pain and tears in my own life. So allow me to quote Olivia,
“It was perfect.
The whole [book] was perfect.”