June is constantly moving because of her father’s job. She has a system when she enters any new school. She wanted to join the kids who were cool, but not too cool. Wes noticed June that first day, mentally dubbing her Aqua Girl because of her sea-green eyes and wide mouth. The two of them are attracted to each other, but not in the way you read about in most teen novels. There was no overwhelming burning desire, no sparkling in the sun. Instead they noticed each other, orbited each other, dated other people, and eventually realized that they might have something special between them. This is a book about how love really is, how strange, how dull, how powerful, how amazing, and how filled with anguish. It is a book filled with humor, wit and a wonderful intelligence.
Hautman has managed to capture the reality of teen romance in a book. Yes, there is natural attraction, but it is not a story of epic love. Rather it is charming in its ordinariness. By telling the story from both June and Wes’ perspectives, Hautman really allows readers to see that love stories are told in small moments of regular life rather than passionate embraces. Both characters are people that are intriguing and funny. They have distinct voices, attitudes and reasons for being with one another.
Hautman’s writing lingers on those small and important moments, because so does the mind of the characters. Wes thinks about June’s face again and again, the small things that make her unique and intriguing to him. These are the pieces that fit together into love, that these characters build their realistic relationship from. And that is not to slight their love and passion for one another, which are tangible and lovely throughout the story.
A realistic book on teen love that is uplifting, funny and a delight. I appreciate the cover being more than just a shot of two heads or worse two headless torsos together. This reflects the book and the feel of it well. Get this in the hands of kids looking for a romance with fewer teeth and more tenderness. Appropriate for ages 13-17.
Reviewed from ARC received from Scholastic.