Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: April 5, 2022
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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She’s All That meets What If It’s Us in this swoon-worthy hate-to-love YA romantic comedy from #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Five Feet Apart Rachael Lippincott and debut writer Alyson Derrick.
Alex Blackwood is a little bit headstrong, with a dash of chaos and a whole lot of flirt. She knows how to get the girl. Keeping her on the other hand…not so much. Molly Parker has everything in her life totally in control, except for her complete awkwardness with just about anyone besides her mom. She knows she’s in love with the impossibly cool Cora Myers. She just…hasn’t actually talked to her yet.
Alex and Molly don’t belong on the same planet, let alone the same college campus. But when Alex, fresh off a bad (but hopefully not permanent) breakup, discovers Molly’s hidden crush as their paths cross the night before classes start, they realize they might have a common interest after all. Because maybe if Alex volunteers to help Molly learn how to get her dream girl to fall for her, she can prove to her ex that she’s not a selfish flirt. That she’s ready for an actual commitment. And while Alex is the last person Molly would ever think she could trust, she can’t deny Alex knows what she’s doing with girls, unlike her.
As the two embark on their five-step plans to get their girls to fall for them, though, they both begin to wonder if maybe they’re the ones falling…for each other.
I received a free copy of the ebook from Netgalley. All opinions shared are 100% my own.
Okay, the title says it all on this one. She gets the girl! It's a really sweet sapphic romance. While Alex and Molly start out enemies, they soon move on to frenemies and, eventually, friends, and then - well, let’s just say it has a happy ending. (Come on, it’s literally in the book title).
At the beginning of the book, both girls had major character flaws that made it a bit difficult to like either one of them. Alex’s fear of attachment leads her to have a pretty toxic personality. She’s had to grow up quickly in order to parent her alcoholic mother. Molly is painfully introverted and shy and lives in the shadow of her mother’s internalized racism. But these characters are not one-dimensional or static. Through the alternating voices of the authors (who are married to each other!), the reader is taken on a journey of growth and self-discovery. In the end, you will be rooting for them both.
Alex and Molly join forces in order for each to “get the girl”. Alex is trying to help Molly so her rockstar girlfriend sees that Alex isn’t self-absorbed. Molly hopes to finally date the girl she’s been crushing on for years. Alex convinces Molly that her five-step plan will help Molly wins her crush’s heart. As they work on Alex’s plan, they both realize that reality doesn’t live up to the fantasy. As they grow individually and navigate evolving relationships with their mothers, Alex and Molly become friends and then realize that they are meant to be so much more.
It definitely starts out with the classic bad girl-good girl dichotomy, but these girls are both far more complex than that and this book sees them growing into self-actualization through each other’s support. Hard subjects are dealt with thoughtfully - alcoholism, parental neglect and abandonment, bullying, and toxic relationships. This was a very enjoyable read, well balanced between lighthearted and heavy, with a blooming romance to tie it all together.