Despite the title’s promise, romance takes too long to blossom.
On their way home to Brooklyn from the Dominican Republic, Flora Thornton, who is assumed white, kisses half-Mexican/(presumably) half-white Oliver Russell, and the two teenagers, who are diagnosed with a rare form of mononucleosis dubbed “tropical mono,” are forced into quarantine together in a Miami hospital. (It’s not clear how tropical mono differs from regular mono.) In actuality, Flora figured that quarantine would be a much-needed break from her life, so she messed with her thermometer reading to make it look as though she had a fever. To help Oliver elicit the attention of his crush, Kelsey, Flora comes up with a hashtag, #quaranteens, to share their experiences on social media. Along with Flora’s and Oliver’s mothers, Kelsey becomes a regular visitor to the #quaranteens—visitors are permitted (although kissing them is off limits) as long as they wear protective gear. It is clear from the outset that Kelsey is only interested in Oliver because she hopes that he will garner her attention on social media. Chapters alternate between Flora’s and Oliver’s points of view and are not long enough for readers to fully invest in either protagonist for long.
By the time Oliver and Flora finally get together, readers will have lost interest in this novel’s obvious conclusion. (Romance. 12-18)