This book is queer and I’M HERE FOR IT!
So I actually read the blurb for this novel but it was for a video so I didn’t go in completely blind, but I didn’t know anything else about it.
Blurb: Vetty's family is moving back to London, and all she can think about is seeing Pez again. They were inseparable when they were small - roaming the city in the long summers, sharing everything. But everyone's telling her it'll be different now. After all, a boy and a girl can't really be friends without feelings getting in the way, can they? Vetty thinks differently ... until Pez tells her she's 'not like other girls'. But what does that even mean? Is it a good thing or not? Suddenly she's wondering whether she wants him to see her like the others - like the ultra-glamorous March, who's worked some sort of spell on Pez, or the girls in the videos that Pez has hidden on his laptop. How can she measure up to them? And who says that's what a girl is supposed to be like anyway?
Not going to lie, I thought this was going to be some cheesy story about a girl who moves back home to her boy best friend and falls in love with him and didn’t realise it before when they were kids… Oh but how wrong I was.
I have had a hard time thinking of how to even start talking about this novel. I read the entire book in less than a day, I think it was more like over a span of 6 hours. I have not done that in a very long time.
This novel has everything you want in ways that you’ve never seen it done before. The blurb really undersells the novel, so let me try and upsell it to you:
Vetty and Pez are the best friends. Literal GOALS! The duo were attached at the hip for years since Pez moved into the house across the road from Vetty. It was always Vetty and Pez or Pez and Vetty. But when Vetty’s mother passes away and her family has to move out of town, Pez and Vetty drift apart and their communication eventually stops. After 4 years, Vetty is back home and things are the same… but not.
When Vetty arrives back home, she looks for her old friend, not having to look much further than the house across the road where he still lives. They seem to kick back off where they left off, cycling around the streets, Pez dragging Vetty on a quest.
It soon becomes apparent that things are rough and most certainly not the same as when Vetty first left four years ago. She tries to make it up with her best friend and where it might seem like he is brushing off her coming home like it’s nothing, he’s more closed off and she wants to understand why.
Now, this isn’t a story about a girl trying to get back in the good books with her BFF because she slots back in like a missing puzzle piece. Amongst all of Vetty’s efforts to understand Pez and take her place back at his side, she is trying to understand herself.
She is questioning herself, learning things, becoming a woman and most of all, something just doesn’t feel right. Her clothes don’t fit the same and things that once made her happy don’t please her. It makes her uncomfortable.
As a single father, her dad is there for her and her sister as much as he can be but he can’t know everything. While Vetty is going through this, her younger sister (10 yrs) is asking her questions about make-up and boys, trying to be popular in this fast-paced, high-standards society.
family is a huge theme within this novel. Vetty turns to her mother’s old clothing when she is finding herself which gives her confidence and it was beautiful to see the change in her attitude and outlook. The slow burn of friendships and issues dealt with in were also very well done and unique. Nothing was rushed and it was a story that anyone could really sink into.
Mental illnesses, sexuality and trauma were handled well amongst the young crowd. There were a couple things done and said in the novel which made me say ‘eh why’ but I was able to overlook them as something done for character development and the sake of the storyline.
I just really think that this story would be really lovely for young girls who need an MC like them in a contemporary novel. Someone like Vetty who is finding herself, questioning her sexuality, trying to be confident, outgoing and making a huge effort to reclaim her friendship. She is faithful but also insecure and just really trying her best.
I finished this book and immediately hugged it. No joke, I wrapped this rainbow in my arms as I lay on my bed and just hugged it with the laziest, most content smile on my face.
★ Rating ★
I rated this book ★★★★☆ (4.5/5 stars). It was heartfelt, not cliche and I in some way related to the main character BUT there was something that just didn’t do it for me with this novel.
There was something special about this novel and I would have really appreciated reading it as a sixteen-year-old, half-way through high school and always yearning for something more.
See you back here on Monday’s (book reviews), Wednesday’s (storytime/ writing updates) and Saturday’s (other bookish content).