** Publication Date 30 April 2019 **
By Adi Alsaid
This was anything but brief. Great concept and story, but rather long winded. Alsaid does a fabulous job of sharing the trials of being a teenager in and out of love, but takes far too long to get to the whole story.
Lu Charles is a columnist for an online mag called Misnomer. She writes about love in the teenage world. After her boyfriend breaks her heart, she meets Bench Boy. He’s a cute teenage boy, also apparently going through a heartbreak. He walks away after their brief encounter, but doesn’t really leave her life.
Randomly interspersed with chapters about the current day are columns that Lu has written in the past. We find out about the relationship Lu shared with her boyfriend through these columns, while Lu obsesses over Bench Boy and his pinup-style girlfriend Iris. In the name of journalism, Lu inserts herself into their lives and relationship trying to break through her writer’s block that appeared with her own breakup.
Lu’s best friend Pete tries to warn her of getting too deep, but Lu doesn’t listen. Lu’s mother is constantly begging her to spend more time at home with mom and Lu’s video game addicted brother. Lu is single minded about getting the story.
As I said, the concept and story were great, it just felt like we’d never get to the end. I did enjoy the book, just not enough to give it more than about 3.5 stars, rounding down to 3. Perhaps teenagers will feel differently.