Genre: Young adult fiction, contemporary
Published: April 5, 2022 by: Simon and Schuster
Rating: 4/5 stars
CW: homophobia, alcoholism involving a parent.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Alex Blackwood is a sassy college freshman who is determined to win back her ex and prove to her that she's ready for commitment. Molly Parker is a quirky, awkward freshman who has a lingering crush on her high-school friend Cora. Alex finds the perfect way to reunite with her ex by helping Molly to match with Cora. While Molly is shy and doesn't know a thing about how to get the girl, Alex is a master at flirting, and she decides to give Molly the ultimate dating course in order for her to use her flirtatiousness for good and hopefully win back her girl in the process. But while Alex and Molly attempt to win over other girls, in reality, their plan is actually moving the two girls closer towards each other.
I thought this was an adorable, fun read. The best part about this book is that it has an OwnVoices sapphic romance. In fact, the two authors are married, which just adds to the overall fluff of the book. I really enjoyed getting to learn about Alex and Molly's characters and I loved the progression of their romance. I think the authors were able to use the love that they have for each other and relate that to the idea of fluffy first-loves in the book, and it was done really well.
Firstly, it was refreshing to read a book about college freshmen. Most YA books take place in high school, which is fine, but sometimes gets a bit repetitive. In this book, as the main characters are not only dealing with relationship trouble, but also the idea of transitioning from high school to university, an interesting dynamic is brought up. They're not just trying to find love, but they're also trying to make friends in a new environment and find themselves amidst these new changes. I would love to read more books that take place in college/university.
I think the opposites attract trope was used very well in this book. Molly is shy and awkward, while Alex is outgoing and sassy, and they played off of each other really well. Both girls learn something from each other, with Molly learning to let go a bit and have fun, and Alex learning when to mellow out. I think Alex's growth in particular was interesting to see, especially since she starts off the book with some obvious faults, but ends the book finding a way to commit to a relationship.
The book also deals with some tougher topics like Alex's mother's alcohol addiction. I thought this storyline was treated well, though since I have never experienced that for myself, I can't really comment on it. However, one thing I will say is that while I felt a lot of closure with Alex's storyline with her mother, I'm not sure if I felt the same with Molly and her family. I think I felt more invested in Alex's story overall, and I would have liked to see more development with Molly's family. I wondered if Molly's personal life felt a bit rushed alongside Alex's.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a really fun, fresh take on the YA genre and I love the idea of couples collaborating on romance books. That detail just seems very sweet.
Have you read She Gets the Girl? What did you think?
Emily @ Paperback Princess