I never thought I would finish reading a book and end up feeling like I made new friends. This story will completely immerse you into these characters’ lives, make you wish you really knew them, grew up with them. It is a truly feel-good book if there ever was one and I am feeling the seam-bursting goodness all the way to my toes.
This is the delightfully light-hearted story of Jadyn “JJ” and her two best friends in the whole wide world, Danny and Phillip. Having been neighbours all their lives and having parents who are also best friends, they have always been inseparable. While JJ and Danny are very alike – both competitive, impulsive and fun-loving – Phillip is the level-headed quiet achiever one of the lot. They balance each other perfectly, loving one another unconditionally and always being there for each other. We watch boyfriends and girlfriends come and go, but their friendship staying true and only getting stronger as time passes by.
We follow JJ, Danny and Phillip through their teenage years, through heartbreaks, personal trials, moments of joy and moments of intense sadness, witnessing their transition into adulthood first-hand. We hear it all through JJ’s voice, the voice of a young girl raised in a loving family and surrounded by people who love her selflessly. From a tomboy who needs to prove to others that she can play catch better than any boy, to a young woman embracing her body and her feelings, JJ enchants us, makes us invested in where life takes her, and we can’t help but watch her life unfold with heated anticipation.
The relationships between the two boys and JJ are as different as night and day. Danny excites JJ, turns her to mush every time she sees him, easily making her entertain the idea of turning their friendship into something more. They are like two fire crackers when they are together – always the life of the party – their minds mischievously in sync and always ready to conquer the world.
“… when you’re around Danny, it’s really hard to think about anything but him. He’s got this easy, seductive way about him. Like he’s a warm, inviting swimming pool and you can’t wait to jump him.”
Her relationship with Phillip, on the other hand, is a much closer one but with clearer and much more guarded boundaries in JJ’s head. She never sees him as anything more than her best friend, one she talks to on the phone every night before falling asleep, one she depends on when her life turns sour, one she cannot do without.
“Nothing is ever real until I tell it to Phillip.”
His affection for her is pure and genuine, it lifts off the pages and envelopes us in its tenderness. Phillip complements JJ, he grounds her and makes her want to be a better person. While we watch JJ step into womanhood, make her mistakes and learn her lessons, we also watch her come to terms with her own feelings and what she hopes to find in life.
Two boys, two sides of JJ, only one boy that has her heart.
Do yourself a favour and read this book. It will be like sunshine after a cloudy day – it will fill you with cheerfulness and put a smile on your face.
“I’ve been here for you all along. I’ve listened to you cry about other guys, I rescue you, take care of you when you’re sick, hug you when you’re sad, tell you you’re beautiful when you look terrible.” He looks me straight in the eyes and is dead serious when he says, “Princess, I’ve always been the one.”