First review of the year!
Title: The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss
Author: Amy Noelle Parks
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: January 5th, 2021
Caleb has always assumed that when she was ready for romance, Evie would choose him. Because he is her best friend, and he loves her, and he has almost kissed her 17 times…
Seventeen-year-old Evie Beckham has never been interested in dating. She’s been fully occupied by her love of mathematics and her frequent battles with anxiety (and besides, she’s always found the idea of kissing to be a little bit icky). But with the help of her best friend and her therapist, Evie’s feeling braver. Maybe even brave enough to enter a prestigious physics competition and to say yes to the new boy who’s been flirting with her.
Caleb Covic knows Evie isn’t ready for romance but assumes that when she is, she will choose him. So Caleb is horrified when he is forced to witness Evie’s meet cute with a floppy-haired, mathematically gifted transfer student. Because Caleb knows the girl never falls for the funny best friend when there’s a mysterious stranger around, he decides to use an online forum to capture Evie’s interest. Now, he’s got Evie wondering if it’s possible to fall in love with a boy she’s never met.
Told in the alternating voices of Evie and Caleb, THE QUANTUM WEIRDNESS OF THE ALMOST KISS is a YA romantic comedy, sure to satisfy fans of Jenny Han, Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins.
What a way to start off a year of reviews! This was such a joy to read and my first audio arc from Netgalley. It was a really great audiobook, especially because we got to hear the perspectives of our two main characters, Evie and Caleb.
Caleb has been in love with his best friend, Evie, for years—they’ve even had 17 almost-kisses over the years. Evie struggles with anxiety after a childhood of bullying, and her one saving grace is her closeness with Caleb—he is her constant. He doesn’t know what to do or how to feel when she starts to date the new kid in town. Evie’s whole world revolves around math and physics, she doesn’t have time for boys when there’s a massive science competition that could set her up for college—that is until Leo commented on her physics equations.
Evie had incredible character development throughout the book. You could see her get a handle on anxiety, learn what it means to have a boyfriend and new friends, and not rely so heavily on her friendship with Caleb. Their relationship was wonderful. I loved that even when she was in a relationship, she didn’t compromise her friendship with Caleb, much to Leo’s chagrin. Despite not liking Leo and Evie together, Caleb didn’t dislike Leo, as much as he wished he did.
The math and physics concepts went a little over my head and at times took me out of the story to try to understand what they were talking about, but this wasn’t that big of a deal. I think the author represented anxiety and panic attacks really well and showing Evie’s success and improvement through therapy was a really important plot point.
I think this was such a really strong debut and I highly recommend.
ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.