Friendship Over Romance
Although TWBL starts as a simple buddy adventure, it quickly morphs into a coming-of-age journey including budding sexuality and the fine line between friendship and romance. Cooper and Cady head off for a weekend of firsts and homeless Eli quickly joins the fold. As they continue crossing off the items on their bucket list, the developing relationships between the three characters really begin taking center stage. Cady was by far my least favorite character, with her mood swings and bossy attitude. I was pleased by the end, however, that her character arc showed growth. Cooper's understanding of his own sexuality was well-written, and I was genuinely invested in his well-being throughout the novel, wanting him to accept himself. Eli was by far my favorite character. His backstory was thoroughly fleshed out, and I felt so much compassion not only for his situation but for the empathy he showed his new friends.
In all, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA contemporaries where friendship--not romance--drives the narrative.