Caleb has always assumed that when she was ready for romance, Evie would choose him. Because he is her best friend, and he loves her, and he has almost kissed her 17 times…
Seventeen-year-old Evie Beckham has never been interested in dating. She’s been fully occupied by her love of mathematics and her frequent battles with anxiety (and besides, she’s always found the idea of kissing to be a little bit icky). But with the help of her best friend and her therapist, Evie’s feeling braver. Maybe even brave enough to enter a prestigious physics competition and to say yes to the new boy who’s been flirting with her.
Caleb Covic knows Evie isn’t ready for romance but assumes that when she is, she will choose him. So Caleb is horrified when he is forced to witness Evie’s meet cute with a floppy-haired, mathematically gifted transfer student. Because Caleb knows the girl never falls for the funny best friend when there’s a mysterious stranger around, he decides to use an online forum to capture Evie’s interest. Now, he’s got Evie wondering if it’s possible to fall in love with a boy she’s never met.
Evie is fairly clueless about love. She’s never been in it, and honestly the thought of kissing a guy hasn’t been on the forefront of her mind. For her, it’s all about the numbers… and trying to keep her anxiety under control. But when new student Leo comes around and shows interest in her, she can’t help but feel a pull to him, which is to the dismay of her best friend, Caleb.
As much as the “best friends-to-lovers” trope can annoy me, this one did a great job of it. I adored both Evie and Caleb and their history. Evie was honestly very relatable to teenage me – being more focused on academics than boys – and therefore really not having a clue when it came to relationships. Her anxiety is something I still relate to, probably more so now than when I was a teenager because I’m more understanding of my own anxiety. Luckily for Evie, she has Caleb as her rock for when her anxiety becomes too much or when the panic attacks happen.
Which is why Caleb is all the more shocked when she starts going out with Leo.
For the most part, Caleb handled the situation well. Yes, he was jealous and made a new snide comments, as well as not revealing his identity to Evie in the chat for the competition, but for the most part he was more concerned for Evie’s happiness. He didn’t try to manipulate her in any way and was willing to accept whatever decisions she made concerning her relationship with Leo – as in if she planned to stay with him or not.
This book covered a lot for the size of it, and did it well. Along with the obvious love story, it dealt with anxiety disorders, women in STEM and their role in religion, and family relationships. There was one teacher that was rude toward Evie because he was one who felt women didn’t belong in STEM but was shown up a few times by Evie, which was so satisfying. Evie’s mother annoyed me a little in her overprotectiveness of Evie because she wasn’t willing to let Evie grow – she constantly used Evie’s anxiety as a crutch as to why she shouldn’t compete in the inter-school STEM competition, rather than being on Evie’s side to overcome her anxiety and do well.
Honestly, there was so much I loved about this book that I don’t think I can even really list it all. It was just amazing overall and so cute. The only reason I’m giving it four and a half stars instead of five is because I wanted it to be longer! I highly recommend this to YA romance lovers!
Rating: 4.5/5 stars