Texan best friends Willa and Flor both break “girl code” as they deal with personal crises, heartache, and love.
Sweet, loyal Willa Evans knows how to pretend. She has secretly loved her football-player neighbor Zach Tucker for so long even her bestie, popular, athletic beauty Flor Hidalgo, has no clue. Zach and Flor broke up nine days earlier, and Willa doesn’t want her relief to show. Instead, Willa, Flor, and their rebellious friend Jenna decide to start an “official girl-code manual.” Almost immediately, Willa breaks rule No. 1, “never date a friend’s ex,” when she ends up in a dark closet with Zach, while Flor keeps secrets about her increasingly chaotic home life (her mother abandoned the family, and her single father has started dating someone barely older than she) and her developing feelings for her smart and sexy new math tutor, Grayson O’Malley. While the book will please fans of “friends to more” and “opposites attract” romances, it barely passes the Bechdel test. Willa, who’s white and middle class, and Flor, who’s half-white, half-Mexican and conspicuously rich, talk more about boys and dating than anything substantive. Both love interests are white. The dual perspective may be necessary, but Flor’s narrative is more nuanced and the chemistry in her banter-filled romance more exciting; Willa’s gets steamy too quickly to offer much tension.
Two love stories for the price of one fun, but predictable, story. (Fiction.14-18)