Cameron Bates (Cam) could have almost any girl at Franklin High School…except for the one he wants. Unfortunately Bebe seems to be immune to his flirty charm and good looks, which means one of two things: a) she’s completely oblivious to how he feels, or b) she’s just not into him. If that’s the case, declaring his love would be disastrous for their friendship. Bianca Barnes (Bebe) has a huge problem: the universe hates her. Every time she admits feelings for a boy, he ends up falling for her sweet, popular, and beautiful sister Beth. To avoid a broken heart, Bebe has sworn herself to secrecy. Nobody can know how she feels about Cam…Ever! Neither person wants to confess their feelings, but the universe has its own plan. Out of the blue, Bebe is courted by a secret admirer. Cam has to step up his game and Bebe has to make a choice. Play it safe and accept the affections of her mystery man or challenge fate and take a chance on the boy she loves.
Bianca Barnes is who I wanted to be growing up. Petite, athletic, the girl that’s friends with all the guys but doesn’t really date any of them. She’s comfortable in her own skin except for when it comes to her best friend and neighbor Cameron. Quite simply, she’s in love with him and has been from the day they met. But she’ll never admit it for fear that he likes her sister better. Her dilemma is classic. Been there, done that and I’m sure any girl can relate. While Bianca is confident in herself, she also has this stubborn belief that no one will like her like that. That role goes to her big sister, the beautiful, sweet, stereotypical cheerleader.
Cameron Bates is not at all what I expected. After reading three or four chapters from Bianca’s point of view, I was a little surprised that the playboy really wasn’t one. He was striving to get the girl of his dreams to like him back. Like Bianca, Cam is insecure. He knows he’s good looking and their personalities match, but he isn’t sure if he’s been friend-zoned. And that scares him because Bebe (his nickname for Bianca) is his best friend and while he would love for her to be more he doesn’t want to lose her either. Again classic dilemma that I’m sure many will relate too.
The plot is fairly simple. Cam wants Bebe to notice him and hopefully become more than just his friend. The way he goes about winning the girl isn’t as simple and at times I really wanted to reach through the pages and yank on his ear. Seriously, he is super sweet in his gestures but man does he have foot-in-mouth disease when they talk face to face. I really liked having both points of view as it helped to understand what the other was thinking. However I did feel like it spoiled itself as you were reading and there were several instances of repetition which were distracting and pulled away from the pace of the story.
Overall I really enjoyed this debut novel. I thought that the author did a decent job of creating believable characters and the pace kept my attention. In fact, I finished it in one sitting. If you enjoy YA contemporary or you’re looking for a light weekend/beach read, I highly recommend you grab a copy!
What I liked:
The story hits the ground running with a cute flashback, and the dual POV narrative keeps it moving along nicely. Cam's point of view is adorable, the consummate clueless high school guy. Bebe is more driven but equally clueless, making their roundabout romance as amusing as it is intentionally awkward. There are very Shakespearean vibes with a lot of almost moments and things left unsaid, friends getting in on the chaos and a grand resolution.
Also worth noting is that this is a clean read, perfectly suitable for younger readers.
What Left Me Wanting More
The parents are a bit nonexistent in this book, and some of the circumstances aren't fully explained, like why Cam's parents seem to have money but he doesn't have a car.
If you're looking for a beach read or a nice reprieve from reality, this book is for you.