Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 271
A Love Story Filled With Hope
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The story opens with Zyla and Kai on their Senior trip, where the teachers believe they have runway. Their disappearance is confusing since they have broken up and are not in contact with each other. To understand why they ended up together on Senior Day we must go back to the beginning of their love story. I found the way the story moved from the present day to the past helped the story unfold and kept the reader engaged. I was captivated and had to keep reading to understand how the relationship between Zyla and Kai, which started with so much promise, fell apart so quickly.

In this story, Kristina Forest has captured the essence of young love so beautifully. Zyla had never even kissed a boy before Kai so it was sweet to read all of those little firsts and how they were depicted realistically. The moment Zyla described having butterflies in her esophagus, I smiled and was transported back to my first crush when I read her description.

While this book is a love story, other storylines were just as compelling. This story shows both Zyla and Kai dealing with their own demons, whether it's family issues or the pressure to be perfect. There was just something so likable about these two characters, and you strongly wanted them to succeed.

As a reader, I was pleased to see this novel normalize Kai going to therapy after the death of his parents and maintaining his mental health. I was delighted to see Kai using the techniques he learned in therapy like grounding himself when he felt overwhelmed.

While I liked the storyline of did they or didn't run away, the conclusion was somewhat anti-climatic after such a buildup. The book ended with a sense of hope and possibility and that satisfied me in the end.

Any teenager interested in first love, everyday teenage problems, parental issues, and friendship will enjoy this book.
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