17y.o. heroine gives in to pressure from her friends to find someone from their list of guys to get her de-virginized. Trouble ensues from her very first date off the list. And it’s her best friend’s 21y.o. brother Hero who saves her.
The time they spend together, watching movies & talking, opens her eyes to how great he is and how manly he’s become. However, she notes that her best friend isn’t pleased with her spending time alone with her brother. Even though Hero volunteers to teach her to drive, they decide to keep it a secret from her best friend. But in doing so, it forces them do things they don’t really want to do like date other people. Separating them even more. At what length will they go to please her best friend?
Good writing & overall emotional tone. Some angst from their inability to be together, relationship choices they were forced to make, and misunderstandings. Main characters’ struggles were typical of their age group. Although heroine is only 17, she is technically considered a new adult in England. She’s attending sixth-form college with her close friends. She’s fearful of being rejected by her friends, especially her best friend, and placates them by passively-aggressively agreeing to their plan to get de-virginized. It was a methodical plan but really quite crude and degrading. I think heroine sensed that but didn’t protest enough lest she loses her friends. So she goes on dates with the guys on her list, although she has a good idea that she wouldn’t be doing anything more serious with them. Her passive-aggressive behaviors extend to her relationship with Hero. She meets with him secretly and denies anything more than friendship with him when asked. We see the consequences of her choices and the changes it forces her to make. We see her takes steps towards maturity.
Hero also showed some maturity. He began a bit too passive for me. He was a nice and respectful man but let his sister have too much power over his and heroine’s relationship. It took some suffering for him to be motivated enough to assert himself. It was sweet of him to do what he did to show heroine that he chose her. I liked how the sex scene was handled. It was generalized and balanced out the way her virginity was planned on being dispensed with earlier in the book. Secondary characters (i.e., family members, friends) provided humor, drama, and support to the main characters, making their coming-of-age journey realistic and engaging.
**A more detailed review is on my blog. Click here.