Age Range: 14 - 18
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A high school senior aims to lose her virginity.

Keely Collins has grown up with the same small, tight group of kids all her life, making romance a difficult proposition. It’s hard to feel sexy with someone when you’ve seen them eat paste. But after discovering she’s the last virgin standing, Keely resolves to lose her virginity before finishing high school. Luckily, Keely’s earned the attention of her sexy older co-worker, Dean. While Dean and Keely get hot and heavy, Keely’s best friend, Andrew, starts acting weird. If you think you know where this is going, you’re absolutely right. The novel takes the “childhood friends figure out they love each other” trope and sprints with it, forgetting to prop it up with complex characters or dynamic plotting. Events spill forward with little regard to pacing save for one element: the sexy bits. The author’s steamy scenes are appropriately titillating when they need to be and emotionally affecting when it counts. The book’s scenes of true intimacy and pure sexual energy are well-crafted set pieces, using heavy petting to illuminate characters that are stunningly two dimensional before and afterward. There’s just enough going on here to halfheartedly recommend the title, but there’s also enough potential to cause anticipation for the author’s sophomore outing. All main characters are cued as white; secondary characters are black and Korean.

Read it for the sexy parts. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 7th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-593-11491-9
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2020