Release Date: May 16, 2011
You know, being friends with two cute boys does have its benefits. There's Danny. He’s the boy every girl crushes on. The boy I get into trouble with, the boy I fight with, the hot quarterback no girl can resist, not even me. Being with Danny is like being on an adventure. He has a bright, contagious smile and abs to die for. He’s pretty much irresistible. Equally crush worthy is Phillip. Adorable, sweet Phillip, who I have known since birth. He’s the boy I talk to every night before I go to sleep. The boy who rescues me, the boy who can read my mind, the boy who is always there for me, the boy who tries to keep me out of trouble, the boy who irritatingly keeps getting hotter, and whose strong arms always seem to find their way around me. And when he gives me that grin, I can never say no. One boy will give me my very first kiss. One boy will teach me to make out. One boy will take me to prom. And finally, one boy will ask me to marry him. They will both be my best friends. But only one of them will be the boy I fall in love with. Only one of them is That Boy. - Goodreads.com
I'm not sure how to describe how absolutely perfect I found this book to be. I picked it becauase I was searching for a cute, romantic read. Every now and then, I'm just in the mood for something cute, light, and pure romance, and I'll troll the online bookstores searching for it. Yes, this book certainly fit the bill, but for some reason, it was so much more.
JJ was one of the most memorable characters I've ever read in a contemporary YA romance. Her narrative is funny, quirky, and so cute. She's what I would term as a girly tomboy. This is a variation of the classical tomboy in which the girl loves to do boy things like play football with the guys, but is, in fact, also very feminine and girly. And her best friends are two hot, sexy guys that she met when she was a little girl because they all live next door to each other.
First there's Danny, the sexy quarterback playboy type. Then there's Phillip, the hot, sweet guy who always watches out for her. When I first read the summary, I knew exactly who I wanted JJ to be with. I get firmly held opinions like that, and it is usually very difficult to change my mind... but Jillian Dodd completely did. She didn't end up with the guy I thought she would and wanted her too, but it was perfectly fine... and by then, I was so happy for her to be with the other guy. I completely switched... and it wasn't because the author threw in some sort of horrible character change that made you dislike one of them like so many books tend to do with their love triangles. In the end, you still absolutely adore both guys, but through the progression of the story, you just naturally discover who she's meant to be with. And I gotta tell you, Dodd kept you in suspense until the very end. JJ's love for both boys is so perfectly balanced on the surface that you really have no clue who she's going to end up with, even if you have a vague idea all along which one is the best "for" her. At that final moment, you just have to love the guy for all the lengths he goes to in order to express his love. It was amazing and perfect and epitomizes him as a character.
Jillian Dodd's writing sucked me in immediately. I was amazed at how she managed to move the reader through ten to twelve years of time so seamlessly without the book feeling choppy and confusing, but she succeeded at this. I had read some reviews that suggested the story was difficult to get into at first, but I don't know what book they were reading. This story had me from page one. And it wasn't just the love story. The evolution of the characters was amazing and perfect. Every grows, everyone discovers what's important, and real emotion, even gut and heart-wrenching kinds are all over these pages. The story had depth I wasn't expecting, but I am so, so grateful to have found this book.
If you liked this book, check out the sequel: