My fifth Simon James Green and I can tell you one thing, he is one of my favourite authors now. I have loved his picture book Llama Glamarama (5). I loved his MG books: Sleepover Takeover (5) and Life of Riley (5). And I loved two of his Young Adult books: this one (4.5) and You’re the One That I Want (4*). I definitely need to get Gay Club and his other books soon!
In this book we meet Alex. Chaotic, a misfit, tons of bad luck, but also a sweet boy who just tries his best to manoeuvre through puberty and life in general. It is summer and while he had plans.. his friends ditched him and so he ends up working in a falling-apart arcade near the pier. If only he had known that his doomed summer wasn’t so doomed, because this summer is going to be wild. With friends. With work. With making something out of that work and try to keep it alive. We see him with Lemon Boy. We see him fall in love and struggle with that. And there is more. Alex was a very wonderful character. I am also glad that I am not the only one with a pillow obsession. Haha, my parents at times wondered why I had so many pillows and my husband is now also wondering why I need so many or why I need new ones. XD
I loved the arcade and wished I could visit it. Especially later when the teens put in more effort to make it awesome. That museum-make-over? I wanted to be part of it. Wanted to visit it. Get scared shitless.
I also loved the various other characters we got in the book. Like Efia, sweet and determined Efia who is willing to go a long mile for her friends. Or Caleb who at first I wasn’t sure about but then absolutely adored. Maggie was just fantastic. I loved how she was all tough but sweet underneath.
I had such a big laugh the two times that Alex drank just a little bit of alcohol and got completely drunk just from that. Well, at least he turned honest when he was that, though haha, some things I am not sure if he wanted to do. XD Like pee in the shrubs.
There was tons of shipping. First up with Lemon Boy, though for me that quickly stopped given things. But there is plenty of Ben to ship with Alex and just hope that the girlfriend stuff is either not real or just falls apart. Yes, I know harsh, but seriously, I needed to get these boys together, pronto. And I loved that I wasn’t the only one shipping them. Everyone at the arcade did it and even Alex his dad was into it. Haha. I love that Efia made their shipname Bex, that is so adorbs! I loved the quick glances between the guys. The little moments. The sweet moments that you want them to kiss, but oh yes, Bella is still in the picture lets just not. I loved that Alex was pining and kept pining, but kept it all respectful. He knew that Ben had someone and he wasn’t going to initiate anything without knowing that that relationship is over. There were so many cute moments and then when they were finally able to get together… oh boy, I was cheering. I don’t think it is a spoiler, I knew from the start that Ben x Alex was the only true pairing. The one meant to get together at the end or well hopefully sooner than that. There was one very romantic moment and I was just squeeing and yasing!
Then there is the mystery. Who is targeting the arcade? Why? Who? What? I loved seeing our group try to figure things out. Try to follow hints and clues. It definitely added a lot of excitement to the book.
I wasn’t a fan of Kendra. Holy crap. This woman. Constantly making harsh remarks, critiquing Alex whenever she had the chance, putting him down, not giving him privacy, making him feel shit. And all along his dad apparently didn’t mind. Well until the end, but seriously, I would have liked him to step up sooner. This is your son. He is more important than your new girlfriend.
I wasn’t a fan of the drama near the end, I mean, seriously, we already have enough of that crap in romance novels, please don’t put it in my YA or MG. I was just so surprised to see it and it just didn’t make any sense how everyone went 360 on poor Alex. Instead of talking, or listening, they did this. I am glad it was resolved quickly because for a moment I was thinking of giving minus points.
The ending, that one was a rollercoaster ride, especially with THAT revelation.
All in all, a fun read that had me laughing, shipping, giggling, and having tons of fun! I would recommend it.