Although many boys have seemed interested in Evie, she has not found herself romantically interested in any of them - until Leo, the new boy who is also gifted with mathematics like Evie. Caleb has been in love with Evie for as long as he can remember, but she has not been interested in anything but their whole-hearted friendship and deep understanding. Caleb is the most important person in her life, but she is starting to understand the desire for physical romantic connections with the feelings she gets from Leo. Told in both Evie and Caleb's points-of-view, we follow them during an eventful year of romances and pining, where they also attempt to win a major prize that could change their futures.
What I loved: I really love the perspectives on STEM, toxic family, and deep friendships (Caleb and Bex). As a female in mathematics, Evie experiences prejudice from teachers and adults that force her to have to prove her abilities - something that would not happen if she was a boy. This theme was really well woven throughout the book with Evie's experiences and mentioned regarding other classmates who experience similar prejudices not being white. A lot of the book takes place internally, and I felt that this really brought both Evie and Caleb to life, as well as expounded on internal struggles so well.
The romance is definitely the focus of the book, and there is a lot of related angst and tension. I actually really enjoyed the journey and was captivated by the story and the will-they-won't-they vibes. The perspectives and writing really pull the reader in and keep the book flowing well. The addition of the competition was a great way to bring them all together.
I also really appreciated that the book shows the importance of therapy through some of Evie's sessions and her reflections. This also gives her the courage to tackle problems with her toxic family, particularly her mother whose controlling and single-minded sentiments could have dangerous consequences. The boundaries that Evie creates for herself with the aid of her therapist set a good example.
Final verdict: This book is ultimately a charming friends-to-more, STEM-themed YA contemporary romance. Recommend for fans of THE CODE FOR LOVE AND HEARTBREAK, THE KISS QUOTIENT, and FOUR DAYS OF YOU AND ME.