I am still having a headache, plus I am still lost for words on this book, but I want to try to at least voice my feelings on this book! So bear with me!
This book was even better than I had hoped, it exceeded all my expectations. I had expected what the blurb stated, but it was much more than that. It is about finding a place you belong, about friendship, about being gay, about religion, about transgender, about so much more. The book may sound all sweet, all easy breezy, and yes it had quite a few parts that were just that, easy, fun, breezy, but the underlying message is a bit more heavier than that. And I loved how it combined these two and made it a very engaging read.
We have 5 POVs, and generally with so many POVs they blur for me, especially if they have the same voice/similar characteristics. However, with this one… each and every person was unique to me. I could easily distinguish between them all, and was looking forward to each POV. Unlike many books with a lot of POV I would have one or two characters I didn’t like, but in this one? I loved them all. They were all so intriguing, and I want to know more and more about them. About their lives, what makes them tick, what their hopes and dreams are.
First up we have Cash, he is the oldest in the book, 22 years old. He is the actor, sick of everything, and boy, I could understand it so much. I was a bit pissed off that at times the characters couldn’t get that fame is nice, but it can get too much. This guy has been acting in that favourite series of them for 9 years. He is never really safe, because of all the screaming fangirls finding him no matter where he goes.
Plus he has a secret, a big secret. Something that is mentioned at the first chapter (his POV), but isn’t revealed until much later. Until then, there are hints, parts of veil being lifted, but I really had no clue what was going on until the end.
And then my heart broke. For him, for what he had to go through, and I could also definitely understand why he did all he did. If I had a few months left to live I would also party hard and make sure I have done everything I wanted. Maybe he could have let people know what was going on, but given his past, and how people react to him, I can imagine why he never did. I never had expected his secret to be this. So I was really crying when things start taking a turn for bad things. 🙁
He was a bit mean, rude, and brutish at times, but I mostly loved him. He was eccentric, fun, wild, and also did show the kids that there is a life beyond all the standard things. Now, I am not saying that it was OK to give them drugs, but then again, these are adults (at least from what I could gather).
Since there are more characters, I will move onto the next ones. 🙂
First up Joey. He is not only gay, but also black, and if that wasn’t everything, his parents are super religious. He wants to come out of the closet, he wants to meet with guys, be free with his romance/love, but he doesn’t dare to in fear of his parents, the people of his church. I just wanted to hug him. As the story continues we see him get more accepting, and see him get more brave, and gain more courage.
I was a bit surprised that his friends didn’t know he was gay (at least given the reaction when it did come out), but Cash immediately saw it. Immediately knew it.
He was a very sweet guy, and he definitely deserves happiness.
And I was a bit surprised at the parents. As Joey said, it was a bit hypocritical of them to be all for equal rights in colour/race, but then were shutting down and protesting, and hating on everything else. 😐
Mo is up next, and she is the fanfiction writer of the group. She is also with the least big of a secret along with Topher. Her father wants her to go to Stanford, and she wants something totally different. Her mom died, and so she doesn’t have anyone else but her dad to talk to about it, and her dad is difficult. As the book continues we see her gain courage, search for the right way to tell her dad about her dreams and hopes. I have to say that at times I wanted to smack her, for how she acted around Cash. What she did and said. That is just not what you do. Here is a guy explaining to you about his life, and you act like that? No. Just no.
Topher, the one who sent the letter to Cash. Unlike his friends he decided to stay close to home and go to a college nearby. Not only to save up money, but also because of his brother who needs constant help. I really loved how responsible he was, and how caring he was. A lot of people might just have gone to college far away, but he stays home. So sweet!
His crush on Sam was cute, and I was definitely cheering for those two to get together.
Sam. I am going to put this all in spoiler tags as I don’t want to spoil the surprise to anyone.
I loved him, yes, him, I was frankly quite surprised when we find out that he was transgender, and at times it was still confusing as everyone else used female pronouns (they didn’t know he was/wanted to be a guy) but Sam used male pronouns. I was cheering for him the loudest. He was so brave, but also so sad. He just wanted the freedom to be what he wanted to be, and that was a guy. Instead he didn’t know who to talk to, didn’t know what to do with it. The one time he went to a doctor for a talk he heard that he had a mental illness and that it was probably daddy issues. (Whut? Really who the hell tells that to a patient like that?)
Throughout the book we see him worry about it. How will he tell his friends, especially Topher. He knows Topher has a crush on him, and well, the truth is, Sam also is falling love with Topher.
I was so happy for him at the end, while it wasn’t right of Cash to do it like this, it opened the way for Sam to tell more than just his friends. To find help. To transition. Also thanks to Cash he has all the money to do it now.
I will also put this part under spoiler tags. When Topher and Sam talked after everything came out. I just cried so so much. It was a beautiful moment, and I was happy for both. Sam was worried he wouldn’t be accepted, that he would lose his friend, but instead Topher had a whole speech ready, and even had plans. He wanted to try it out. He was so in love with his friend that he didn’t mind the same gender. These two are perfect and I hope that they will both be really happy and be together for a long time to come. I am sure Topher will be a great support when Sam is transitioning.
Of course there is the whole Wiz Kids stuff that is all over the story, and I definitely am kind of curious about the show. Too bad it is fictional, otherwise I would have so watched the show.
There was 1 thing I found weird, but I really don’t want to add more spoiler tags to my review, so I will just mention the keywords Friendship + Wiz Kids.
The road trip was a delight to read about, to see what places they visited, what roads they travelled, what they saw, and what happened along the road. I wish I could have travelled with them, they are such a fun cast of characters.
The ending was beautiful, lovely, funny, and perfect!
Phew, I think I have everything. I laughed (that rubberball incident for instance), I cried (so many times), I shook my head (at Cash, but at other things too), and felt so many other emotions. It was a roller coaster ride, and I will be sure to get aboard the roller coaster someday again! Highly, very highly recommended!