What worked: This is a very realistic portrayal of that first year at college. Though it's set in the UK, it brought up memories of my own first year away from home. The excitement, worries, drama, and yes, even that nervous fear of no one wanting to move in with you the following year rang very true to me. The authors didn't hold anything back by showing the daily roommate conflicts that deal with just getting along with strangers to the awkwardness of running into a roommate's last night guest.
I really liked how this book shows both points of view. Luke at first comes across as that 'jock', but readers see his discomfort over the 'wall of shame', where fellow soccer players post photos of girls they'd slept with and then others rate them. I only wished he'd been strong enough to walk away from the team like a fellow soccer player did when the new players were 'forced' to get drunk as part of their initiation. I do like that the writers did show that one player did walk off and stated that there were others things to do on campus.
Luke's on again off again relationship with Abby and Phoebe's confusion on her hook-ups is something that does happen. Mean-girl antics don't stay in high school either. In this case the slut-shaming the soccer players do with girls they hook up with is one topic that oft times is pushed to the side when it's a very real occurrence.
The dialogue was punchy and at time hilarious. Also the idea of 'hooking' up is handled in such a way that does show the consequences of those actions. Never preachy, which is a huge plus.
Phoebe's desire to hook up with Luke leads her to make some not too great decisions. These affect the relationships she has with her friends. Another very true portrayal of college life. The ending sets readers up to a sequel. What will happen with Phoebe? Luke? Abby?
Realistic portrayal of two teens' first year at college that shows the joy, excitement as well as the angst. Love that more books are coming out that address college life in all it's brilliance and drama.
2. Multi-layered characters