I received an Advance Reader Copy — book goes on sale Tuesday, October 9.
Let me just put this out there: this is one of the most sexual titles I’ve read in a long, long time.
Not sexual in that all of the characters are having sex all the time — I can think of books that imply more off-page teen sex than this one does — but rather that these characters are constantly touching, feeling, considering, playing with, and leaning against each others’ bodies. There’s a lot of sleeping over and a lot of discussion of bodies. A lot.
I enjoyed reading about characters like these because I know these people are out there — though I don’t even like hugging family members, so I can’t say I’m one of them.
The story follows three voices in three sections.
Courtney (“Coop”) is a straight male and his voice has a lot of braggadocio (maybe too much to be authentic and relatable? I gave it to a teen and am waiting his response). He is hopelessly in love with his neighbor, Jupiter, who isn’t attracted to boys.
Meanwhile, Jupiter seems to have a huge crush on the new girl, Rae, while Rae has feelings for both Coop and Jupiter.
Oy vey is right.
I am ready to give the author a pass for parts of the book that I felt lacking in literary merit (characters seemed a little cardboard to me after their signature styles, the ending didn’t hold together for me) in order to appreciate the big picture here, that this is a book about sexuality, relationships, love, and self. It features a racially diverse cast and I believe it speaks directly to teens.