First of all, I have to say that this book rocked. I have seen some mixed reviews about it on GoodReads, but that didn’t stop me from loving the heck out of it. I became obsessed with finishing it. There were appointments to go to, but I just couldn’t put it down. I would read in the waiting room, after I got back in the car, before I left to go to my next destination. I just had to finish it. The writing is unique and the storyline captivated me. A story of friendship, young love, and heartbreak. It’s so raw and so realistic. I needed to know what was going to happen to these young characters who were so madly in love with each other but has such a toxic relationship.
This is where Leighlee and Thomas come in. Leighlee is an only child. She was raised by good parents who were strict, but never swore, yelled or grounded her. She was raised to be respectful and nice. A little over-protective, but all around good parents. Rebecka and Thomas are siblings who were raised with more relaxed, care-free parents. Rebecka befriends Leighlee when she moves into town and starts at their school. She is quirky, funny and rides a skateboard. She is the complete opposite of Leighlee’s girly side, but they were born to be best friends.
Thomas is two and a half years older than the girls. He has two best friends who always tease them, but never in a harmful way. Thomas is a player. A baseball player and a player with the girls at school. He likes to drink and get high but he also likes Leighlee. He says she’s the prettiest girl he knows. Ever since she first moved to town, he has secretly loved her. Leighlee and Thomas share secret nights together in his bed. Harmless at first. It’s more of a comfort and companionship that they crave. As they get older, they tell one another that they love them. But Leighlee is younger and Thomas does what he wants. Leighlee always forgives and forgets because she loves him.
As I said earlier, these two characters are in love with each other but have a toxic relationship – in my opinion that is. First of all, it’s in secret. That may be because they are so opposite of each other and Leighlee’s parents would never approve. Also, she’s a bit younger than Thomas. Another thing is that Thomas does what he wants and when he wants. He’ll go and party and be with other girls. He’ll lie to Leighlee about it but she’s not dumb (well, maybe she is) because she hears about it at school and from mutual friends. Why I say she is maybe dumb is because she continues to forgive him for the things that he does. Why you may ask? She says because she loves him. She was born to love him. She’s young and naive, I don’t think she really knows any different.
I love all the characters in this story. The side characters play just as an important part as the main characters do. The best friends, the regular friends, the slut’s and even the parents are crucial to this story. The chemistry between Leighlee and Thomas and even the other characters is real. It’s real in the sense of this is what young love and friendship is like. The friends you meet in grade school, continue on with you in high school and the experiences you go through alone and together is real. I think this book captures all the emotions perfectly.
Even though this book has characters that are younger, I don’t feel this is suitable for young readers. Let them experience what they will, but not let them be influenced in the things they may read in this book. It’s for mature readers who have gone through their own experiences and can relate to what they read. Language, sex, drugs and alcohol throughout. The second book Delinquents is a continuation of this story.