Two best friends discover love during their last few months of high school.
Dave and Julia have always been thick as thieves. Before starting high school, the pair concocted a list of things they promised to never do in order to fight becoming high school clichés. Now it's the end of their senior year, and Julia has decided to take out the Nevers list and break the rules, one at a time. Meanwhile, Dave has decided to set aside his longtime crush on Julia and date the sporty Gretchen. Sparks fly, hearts are broken, and love is found in this charming rose-colored depiction of the last few months of school. Peppered throughout this love story are amusing asides involving substitute-teacher seduction and prom escapades, but its beating heart lies in the friendship and romance between Dave and Julia, a pair of teens who are genuine, emotional, and sometimes too clever for their own good. There is a kernel of truth in every cliché, and Alsaid cracks the teen-lit trope of friends becoming lovers wide open, exposing a beautiful truth inside. He also perfectly captures the golden glow of senioritis, a period when teens are bored and excited and wistful and nostalgic all at once. Everything is possible in this handful of weeks, including making up for squandered time.
A good romance is hard to come by. This is a great one. (Fiction. 12-16)