My High School Rebel Boyfriend stars a high school senior, Harper, who is struggling living with type one diabetes. She’s had to give up so much in her life and now just wants a chance at a volleyball scholarship.
Enter Mitchell. Along with another boy, he receives a punishment to help the volleyball team train for an upcoming tournament. Harper and Mitchell don’t get along for most of the book, each misunderstanding each other in many ways. But as secrets come out, they slowly realize neither of them is the person they thought they were.
What I loved:
That the book was heavily focused on illness and disability. As someone who lives with both, it was refreshing to see it done in a realistic way. I know from experience the worry and anxiety and embarrassment Harper faced every day and this author managed a perfect representation of what that’s like.
Harper and Mitchell were cute together and you can’t help rooting for them to go all the way. Their connection is palpable. The writing flows easily, making this a quick read.
What left me wanting more:
There are some pretty offensive judgements made about type two diabetes in this book that were completely uncalled for. It’s categorized as a disease only overweight people get for eating too much junk food, completely discounting all other factors and causes. It was a comment that stayed with me through the entire book.
I think some of the nuances of child abuse were also missed, especially in the end when it’s seemingly getting better because of Harper’s involvement.
I’d have loved a more complete ending where we find out if Harper reaches the goal she’s been striving for the entire book.
Final verdict: A well-written story that excels in entertainment factor with real, easy-to-root-for characters who face relatable problems in realistic ways.