Thank you to Disney Hyperion for providing me with a copy of this arc!
This was a touching and compulsive read. It’s told from the dual POV of best friends Hannah and Emory, who have drifted apart due to a fight. The description states that there is a boy caught in the middle, which originally lead me to believe that Hannah was interested in her BFF’s boyfriend (or they would soon become involved), so I was glad when it turned out to be that Hannah and Luke were simply friends in their own right. It was refreshing that Emory and Luke’s romance was more of a subplot and that the main story focused on Hannah and Emory’s friendship.
Both Hannah and Emory grew as characters throughout the novel. Hannah questioned her Christian beliefs, specifically whether or not they were hers or her parents’, and Emory confronted a traumatic event that happened with her mother’s fiancé and struggled with the decision of whether or not to tell her mother. The novel ultimately revolves around this event and the miscommunication between Emory and Hanna that occurred immediately after, but Luke’s subplot tied the story together and gave the two friends a reason to make up (which is why he referred to himself as “the glue”). I enjoyed the element of mysticism/religion in Luke’s story, how he died but came back to life and it shook his entire belief system.
The subplot I found problematic and felt didn’t add to the story was the budding romance between Hannah and her teacher (or teacher assistant? Doesn’t matter). He was 23 or 24 and had already graduated from college, and she was in senior year, so either 17 or 18. Even if she was 18, he was still her teacher she was still in high school, so I found it creepy he would be interested in her. I think the book could have done without that romantic subplot, since the friendship between Hannah and Luke provided enough substance to carry her story.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for a YA book about friendship, the ways we can grow and change but find our way back to each other.