Summary from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Quinn Hughes needs to be in top shape if she wants to medal at the swimming World Championships in ten months. This means no easy distractions, no matter how pretty they are.
She’s still piecing her confidence back together after not qualifying for the Olympics, her relationship with her twin brother is getting worse the more he hangs out with the popular kids, and then Kennedy Reed suddenly squeezes herself back into Quinn’s life. The girl who was her best friend. The girl who gave Quinn her first kiss. The girl who hasn’t spoken to her since.
Soon, Quinn finds herself juggling her new girlfriend, training for the biggest competition of her life, and discovering she’s not the only Hughes twin with a crush on Kennedy Reed. All these distractions are getting to her, and if she wants that medal she needs to find a way to stop drowning on dry land.
This review is spoiler free.
eARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Content warning: underaged drinking, consensual sex between minors, homophobia, forced outing, mentions of conversion therapy
I feel like I keep constantly bouncing back and forth between styles of review but maybe eventually I’ll find one I like and stick to it, what a day that will be. Anyways, that was my attempt at saying that for this review I will be reverting back to my original style of breaking down what I liked and didn’t like about this book.
This book follows Quinn, a senior in high school who is also a world class swimmer (what the heck??? I’m so proud of her). She is also out and proud about it, and right after she hooks back up with her ex-girlfriend/swim teammate she finds herself falling for her childhood best friend, Kennedy. This book is really sweet and wholesome and also heartbreaking and uplifting, it’s a lot of things and I am still letting all of those things absorb and I feel like I will be for a good while.
What I Liked
Quinn Hughes is the level of put together and confidence that I someday strive to be but will probably never reach. She is a world class athlete? She’s in AP classes? She keeps up a semi-decent social life? She in confident in her sexuality and out? When I was in AP classes all I did was AP classes, I also can’t imagine ever being out and completely confident about it so Quinn is honestly a super star in my mind. I love love love how dedicated she is to swimming and getting to the Olympics one day, I believe in her and am very proud of her.
Quinn’s relationship with her parents
Quinn’s parents aren’t in the book that much (lets be realistic, when are parents uber present in YA books?) but when they were they were super supportive and proud of her and I always appreciate that a lot so I just had to include that in here some how.
The wholesome romance
I spent half of my time reading this snapchatting my friends about the “wholesome gays” (wow shout out to my friends for putting up with me) because I loved it so much and it made me so happy. I had a smile on my face for the first 30% of this book because Kennedy and Quinn were super cute. They had some issues towards the end of the book that I really want to discuss with someone but can’t because of spoilers but I will say that I really enjoyed how where their relationship was at the end of this book. It was at a shockingly mature place for two recent high school grads and I’m really proud of them.
I feel like I have just said everything and nothing about their relationship? But that’s just how my reviews are to be honest. Just know that I loved it and that for the most part its super sweet and wholesome.
What I Didn’t Like
Girl hate (?)
The (?) should be noted in this heading because I am still not sure that is what I should label this heading. Quinn had an antagonist relationship with a side character that at first seemed to very much just be the cliche girl hate that comes in high school romances but later the character gave Quinn plenty of justifiable reasons to be angry with her. Needless to say I’m conflicted? Like it would have been completely unrealistic for the pair to make up and become friends and I probably would have been upset if they did. Anyways, I’m conflicted, but such is life sometimes I guess.
Some lines of conversation about coming out
Kennedy, the main love interest, isn’t out yet. She is still figuring out what her sexuality and a lot of other things about herself and that is perfectly okay. However, her and Quinn had a fight about Kennedy not wanting to own her sexuality and it opened up some not so good lines of conversation concerning coming out. One of Quinn’s friends called her out on it and she retracted her statements and I did really appreciate it but it is still kind of harmful? Like, as a closeted gay, I know just how scary and hard coming out is and any type of message about how you have to immediately own it is potentially very harmful. Anyways, I more so just put this is as a warning to others just to be aware that this happens.
I really loved this book! Like, way more than I was expecting it to. It was really happy and a great distraction from finals week hell. There were a few things that I wasn’t a big fan of, but I enjoyed the majority of it like a lot. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a cute contemporary (its especially great for pride month, wink wink, nudge nudge).