A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
Zack met his best friend, Noah, at Harper Lake when they were five years old. Summer after summer, his feelings grew, but he assumed Noah didn't feel the same. But one night when they were seventeen, Zack kissed Noah... and Noah kissed him back. Zack was sure he did. But the next morning, Noah put an end to their friendship and walked away, leaving Zack with a broken heart.
A year has passed, and Zack goes back to the lake—where every leaf, rock, and turn in the road remind him of the biggest mistake he ever made. He hates thinking about what he lost, and more than anything he wants his best friend back. He figures it'll be the longest summer ever. But then Noah shows up out of the blue, apologetic and more gorgeous than ever. Noah is sweet and attentive, and Zack can almost believe nothing had ever gone wrong. But there’s something different about his old friend, something not quite right. Zack doesn't want to ruin the fragile new bond between them, but he has to know... What secret is Noah hiding?
This started really strong and skidded into the finish line.
Zack has turned emo since his best friend Noah broke his heart the previous summer. Nevertheless his family makes a yearly sojourn to Harper Lake and even though he's 18 now he decides to spend one last summer at Harper Lake for his little sister Maya even though it brings up all sorts of Sadtown feels.
He revisits the dock where they shared their one epic kiss night after night wondering what went wrong and hoping Noah will magically reappear. Really it was only, like, 3 days but this is teen angst we're talking about here. 3 days in teen years is an ETERNITY! Then Noah actually does show up and all is forgiven. Because love.
These two have been best friends since they were five and both of them knew but were too scared to admit their feelings for fear of losing the other. After their fateful night something bad happened and Noah had to let Zack go.
Then something worse happened! But it paved the way for him to get together with Zack if he'll forgive him. And if he's the understanding sort...
I won't give away the secret but I will say I thought the reveal could've used more drama and angst. Zack, for all intents and purposes, takes it in stride. The events that transpired afterwards were a mixed bag. Some I found exciting and others boring. A lot of secondary characters are introduced probably because this is book one of a series, but I thought overall the narrative suffered for it. I wanted more focus on the MCs.
My primary quibble is the lack of angst through all the adventures and changes. The angst is why I read YA. But I think O'Shea did a fantastic job of capturing the teen essence. Both of them are impulsive, a bit reckless, slightly arrogant and think any and all adults are dumber than dirt who couldn't possibly un-der-stand. I remember being like that. The dialogue captures that authenticity as well.
The adventure was a bit outlandish and grew tiresome to me.
What I liked best was the showing of Noah and Zack's feelings toward each other. It is almost saccharine oftentimes, but I also felt this was authentic and relatable. There isn't a doubt in my mind that these two are gaga over each other.
They also really like to get they freak on and I am not mad about that. At all.
Recommend for YA and PNR fans or those wishing to reminisce about their own teen times.
A copy was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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