While at ALA in Chicago I spent quite a bit of time wandering the exhibit hall and talking with publisher representatives. During one visit, a rep shared this title with me and told me a bit about it. She mentioned that author Jeff Zentner read it and highly recommended it. Well, that sold me right there. I was hoping to get to it earlier this summer. That didn't happen, but I'm so happy that I recently sat down and read it.
What It Is About: Starting high school is never easy, but when you have a best friend it makes it so much easier. Matt and Tabby have each other. They have grown up together. They are so close in fact that they are almost "family". As they begin their freshman year, they are ready to "conquer" the high school world. Matt is excited to join the basketball team with his best buddy. He has hours practicing in his driveway. So much so that he tends to wake up Tabby with his early morning "hoops". They are both excited when he makes the JV team with the possibility of playing varsity. Tabby throws Matt for a loop when she begins to date the senior star of the team. This shouldn't be a problem since she thinks that she and Matt are best buddies, but Matt has other feelings towards Tabby. The problem is that he hasn't shared these feelings with her. The more time Tabby spends with the "senior", the harder life gets for Matt. When he makes a colossal mistake with his friendship with Tabby, he may have lost her forever. Matt decides to do whatever it takes to remain friends with her and leave his feelings "hidden". The only problem is it may be too late.
What I Thought Of It: I believe young-adult stories are becoming my favorite. Stories like this one grab me from the first page and don't let go until well after I have finished. I didn't read the book blurb before I started so I really didn't have an idea of what the story was about. I loved the beginning when the author introduced me to Matt and Tabby. It was enjoyable to read about their friendship and the years they spent together as kids. As I read, I could feel Matt's conflicted feelings towards Tabby and not knowing what to do with them. It was heartbreaking when he had to watch her spend time with her new boyfriend. As I was reading, I was sure where the story was going to go; but was completely surprised when I got to the middle of the story. There was an event that I was NOT expecting. Once I hit this point in the story, I could not stop reading and read late into the night. As much as I giggled in the first half of the story, I had tears in my eyes throughout much of the second half.
Who Should Read It: The novel would be perfect for any high-school, college, and/or adult reader. I also think the story would appeal to both the male and female reader. Matt and Tabby are both central characters to the story. The characters are strong. The plot is top-notch. All readers will enjoy this novel. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars