Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to review this title ahead of its release date.
I was initially drawn to this book because the premise is not one I have read before. Therefore, I was intrigued. I was surprised to read it through and discover that it wasn’t your typical “dying teen girl” novel. Not at all.
This book centers around Simone, who is an HIV positive teenager, who navigates high school, her sexuality, and dating while trying to keep her condition a secret. She’s a first-time theater director for her school’s performance of RENT and a musical buff. When she meets Miles, she enters the world of dating, all while dodging a mysterious person who threatens to out her condition if she doesn’t stop seeing Miles. With gay dads, a broken-ish family life, that with being adopted and a person of color, she still powers through life. Her secret could be exposed, but is that something good or something bad?
I loved Simone’s voice. As someone with limited education about HIV, and musicals, I have to say I learned a few things from reading this. Simone takes her health seriously, and she protects herself at all costs, and I think that is something admirable. She is a good example for teens reading this story. The plot moved smoothly, and all the characters, side, and main were distinct.
Some of the things that irked me, such as the eye-rolling, went away quickly when I reminded myself that I am reading about teenagers. What do you expect? Also, some plot points needed expanding on. The book could have had a higher word count, and I would have been OK with it if it solved these minor things.
I didn’t know until I started to write this review and I researched the author, that Camryn is only a teen, which hypes me up so much about this book. One, because she is young, but she is so talented, and two, that I know she is going to be around for a long time and I am excited to read everything she has to offer the world.