I read this book in Dutch, but I want to try and write a review in English. I hope I can find the words for this amazing, wonderful and beautiful book, that yes made me cry a few times.
Just like with Het schaduwjaar I want to send a big thank you to Candyce for sending me both the books, I loved THEM!
In this book we see 6 birthdays as both MCs have been born on the same day (which I loved), we start at their birthday at 13 and end with their birthday on the 18. It was such an unique premise! I haven’t seen a book like this. It made reading it way more interesting. What had happened in that year that we didn’t see? What kind of things did Morgan and Eric do? How is their friendship a year later? And yet, it never felt like one truly missed something. Really, I never once missed the year that was between the birthdays. The feeling was still there, we read a bit and pieces on what happened in the year. I hope that makes sense. 😛
We have two MCs, Morgan a girl in a boy’s body who wants to tell people on how she feels. That she wants help. That she is a girl. But it isn’t easy. Her dad is an absent coach dad who cares a lot about sports, her mom died not too long ago and the loss is still very palpable. It also doesn’t help that the town she lives in isn’t very kind to people who are different. I just wanted to hug her, talk to her, help her. Because she is hurting and with each birthday things get harder. Not just because of her ever evolving feelings for Eric, her best friend since birth, but also because her body is getting more and more male. She can’t escape the change of voice. She can’t escape that certain things are happening down below. There is hair. I could only imagine how terrible it was for her. Knowing you are girl but your body says no to that. She is also very lonely as Eric is also going his path. And each birthday she gets a reminder from her mom who, before she died, wrote letters and made videos for several of Morgan’s birthdays. You can imagine how hard it is, that she never was able to tell her mom about her body, about her true feelings, and not only that, knowing that these are truly the last things you have of your mom.
We see her go through all sorts of things. Trying to be accepted. Trying to find what she should do. I was rooting for her so so much and I was delighted when things started to go a bit better for her. When she finally found someone to talk to. When she finally found multiple people.
Then there is Eric. A wonderful boy who is the star of the team… but does he want to be that? We see him struggle with his true feelings on whether he should do sports, which is what his dad wants, or if he should go for music something that he loves and is getting better at. He is also struggling with his changing friendship with Morgan. He knows something is up. He knows that there is something she isn’t saying, yet he doesn’t know and Morgan is keeping her lips closed. And he is struggling with his growing feelings for Morgan.
We see his family and the drama and trouble that is surrounding it. The dad is a bit too bossy and mean, we see his mother struggling with that, his older brother is being a dick about many things (and I just wanted to kick him at times for the remarks he makes about Morgan and also about Eric), and then there is his oldest brother who left home and barely comes back.
I loved Morgan and Eric together, they had such a gorgeous and special bond that was just getting stronger and stronger. I was rooting for the two to get together, to be together. To find each other.
The book is beautifully written, and I cried a few times, one time I cried a lot as it was a gorgeous chapter and meant so so much for the story, it clicked everything together and made me so happy.
There is a lot of drama, but it never felt too much or over the top, it was just all well written and fitted the story perfectly.
The ending just made me cry some more as it was the perfect ending for this book. I was delighted for Eric and Morgan.
And sure, I had a few little things that I wasn’t a fan of (like how Morgan was at times grumpy when people called her guy/boy/son, which I can understand but hello you are, on the outside at least a boy, your father only knows you as a son, if you don’t want people to call you this, tell them and be honest, but that requires coming out…), but those were really tiny things. Didn’t really get in the way of the story.
I could probably talk and rave more about this book, but I will keep it at this. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone. It is gorgeously written, has wonderful characters that go through a journey, you will root for Eric and Morgan, and just WOW.