Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for gifting me an e-arc of this book.
The blurb for this book (taken from Goodreads) is:
Did you know you can marry yourself? How strange / brilliant is that?
Fifteen-year-old Phoebe thinks falling in love is vile and degrading, and vows never to do it. Then, due to circumstances not entirely in her control, she finds herself volunteering at a local thrift shop. There she meets Emma . . . who might unwittingly upend her whole theory on life.
So I was bit skeptical going into this, as between the time I requested it on Netgalley and the time I read it, I’d seen a few people my age and older say that it’s quite juvenile, even for a YA book. So after seeing a few people say this I was a bit wary going into it, however when I was reading it I tried to imagine what fifteen year old me would have thought reading it and it made the reading experience so much better. I also thought that the diary format of the book helped with the reading experience aswell.
This book had me laughing at so many points, it is so relatable for the target age range especially when I look back on how I was at fifteen years old, honestly the nostalgia was real. This whole book explores so many different aspects; we have sexuality; Phoebe figuring out that maybe she isn’t as repulsed by falling in love and maybe, just maybe, she likes girls. We have friendships; the book starts with Phoebe’s best friend Polly, getting her first boyfriend and from Phoebe’s point of view Polly no longer cares about her and just the boyfriend. We have family, although I absolutely despised Phoebe’s mum, I think she’s a terrible mum and so selfish and I feel so bad for Phoebe, I’m so glad she had a better adult in her life with her godmother. We also have grief; there is a couple of heart-wrenching moments that actually made me tear up.
This had a lot of sex-positivity and character development, I liked how Phoebe would try and research things on the topic of sex so that she could try and help give her friend advice, instead of just laughing and acting like a child (because honestly that’s what my entre friend group at that age was like when the topic of sex was brought up). Also nearer the beginning, Phoebe makes a few comments about disabilities, but then she does some researching and you actually see the growth of her learning how not so great her views and comments were, and growing from them. I actually saw a few people say that it was the reason they dnf’d this book, and as much as I respect other opinions, I think people need to realise that we’re brought up with the way society currently is and we have to unlearn a lot of prejudices, so I think Phoebe is a brilliant character for showing that.
Overall I think this is a great book for teens, and if adults go into it imagining how their teenage self would have views it then it would be such a nostalgic read for them aswell.